Monday, September 17, 2012

Hatred Beyond the Sill

Morning Glories bloom beyond the sill.
And ivy wraps the quince tree still.
On a beautiful dew-drop day.

The majestic fir just beyond reach,
harboring echoes of a crow’s screach.
All in an easy morning way.

Mother’s clothes-line bare,
dropping dew just there,
and the dandelions stare – into the sky.

And I………
And I….

A forbidden road beyond the drive,
Still not able to cross alive,
holding my sister’s hand

Another world, a different place
different trees and flowers of lace
In a lovely, unknown land.

Soon I crossed the road alone
roaming from home to home
I’ve seen the things of life – and wonder why

Long to live again.

If Heaven be
Please let me see
the simple plan of this simple man.

For in my sky
when I die
I hope to be
On the Morning Glory side.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Circles of the Merry Go Round

Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject
                                                                                                                                             – John Keats

Circles of the Merry Go Round

The ride just goes round, never ending turn
it goes and goes and where it started
no one can say
But its end shall have us all, some day
some summer, some hot summer day

Step right up!  Pay your ticket!
climb on the shiniest, golden horse
let the motors grind and the music play
your greatest find that it should last all day,
all on a hot summers day

Ice cream melting, trickling
sticky fingers grabbing mommas hand
passing crowds eagerly longing for just a taste
swallowing their own lives in the terrific haste
passing by, not seeing, on a summer day

Momma’s attentive, loving to a fault
always in reach, that most soothing reach
the hawker cried with such force: Guess your weight!
I should have peed myself, nearly too late
on a sticky, sticky summer day

Father never caring, another mouth to feed
his cold eyes looking but never seeing
he grabbed the great mallet with eyes on the prize
looking through me as he swung, my insignificant size
and the bell rung on this lonely, lonely day

Quit lagging!  he yelled, me just a nuisance
nothing but another stupid bill to pay
must hurry on to the next great trick to amaze
but daddy, I just need to be loved these days
on this awful, sad summer day

Mother, don’t go, I need you so
you musn’t leave me alone
you’ve melted away, drop by drop, ending my wonderful dream
sticky fingers reaching for yours, colder than this dripping ice cream
on this terribly cold summer day

And so I ride this ride, round and round
music piercing, gears haunting, horses snarling
years passing by, more blurry than the spectators outside
them thinking what fun, me shouting “But they lied!”
Mother’s gone….  and I have bills to pay, on this non-day

As you have already discovered, this poem is a metaphor about the circular nature of life.   It’s not really about a summer day or a carnival, nor even a merry go round though it certainly is suggestive of all of those things.   It is about a man’s life, a love for his mother, a misunderstanding of his father, who he regretfully finds that he has turned into.  I hope that you enjoyed my little carnival ride….  Thank you for stopping by…..

The form of this poem:    It is constructed on eight stanzas of five lines each, also sometimes called quintets.  Lines three and four have a tail rhyme.  The last line of each quintet ends with the same word and repeats the theme of the poem,  in this case, very simply – a summer day.  This form has no set metre, except the poet’s eye.

Please visit the work of this wonderful photographer, Mr. Damien Franco at
 copyright johnallenrichter, all rights reserved.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crusty Edges

Crusty Edges.....  Thoughts of You

Days singing along with rhythm and blues,
Rainbow colors smeared by deep red hues.

Passing quickly, memories soaking in but not to the bone.  Like a sponge, dry on the inside, hard in the middle.  Splash it into the sink full of water but yank it out before life soaks in.  It looks wet, but it's not really, just on the outside, just on the part you can see.  Wring it and you will find but a single drip of happiness falling away, lost again to your selfish, childish hatred.  And the dry part, that relentless hard middle remains un-quenched, untouched, unloved.  You steal away the memories that should have been.  The ones flooding through the days like little tsunamis, slamming against the crusty edges of what's left of me when you are through, begging to be soaked inside, near the middle, near the heart that wants to keep them forever.  But you turn holy water to blood pudding, just spackling my dry, rough edges with the hint of something that was special, or was supposed to be.  And it must have been there, I know it was there because there's a stain on my shell where memories tried to get in but you destroyed them.  When does that end?  When does my responsibility to you end?  When can I leave you behind without thinking that I owe you something?  I want to scrape all the dried up memories of you like burnt, smoking toast and sprinkle those crumbs into someone else's ocean, to clog someone else's life with your constant need to be the center of the fucking world.  But I can't because God puts up with me and so I will put up with You.  For a while longer.  And because in spite of it all, I love you.

Copyright 2011
John Allen Richter

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New World Friends

Emily Dickinson Using Facebook?

This new world is far from what the likes of that which Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson once knew.  I wonder if they would have incorporated the wonderful new things of technology into their poetry, like the overpowering realm of Facebook and cell phones (had they existed then).  

Walt often wrote about the contemporary ocean vessels of his day, which were cutting edge at the time.  Likewise, Emily wrote about horses and carriages, the modern day equivalent to our own automobiles.  So I think she did incorporate some of the current technology into her poetry.  Today we envision Walt's ships and Emily's carriages as quaint.  Perhaps future generations will see such references to the technology in our lives as quaint, or perhaps things like Facebook will eventually fade away into obscurity leaving our future readers unable to understand it.

In any case I think Emily would have used Facebook profusely as she corresponded with her friends.  Although she rarely ventured out to meet them face to face, she was fond of writing letters with them.  So that's why I wonder about it.  

A few weeks ago I sent a "friend request" to a lovely and very published poet on Facebook and later I was away from home when my cell phone buzzed.  Pushing a couple of buttons I discovered that Facebook sent me a notification to explain that my new friend accepted my request!  I was excited and when finally returning home I composed the following poem in honor of her.   I don't know if generations 100 years from now will understand the references, but I think most of us can.  I hope you enjoy my little poem.  Thank you for visiting.

New World Friends


The morning simmered the glistening dew,
returning it's angelic luster to the heavens.
And the bees
played in threes
round the lilacs in dozens...

There my heart laid amidst the blooms,
the springing day and sprouting shrooms,
when my pocket buzzed with such unrest,
and saw you accepted my friend request....

So I left that garden to find another beauty,
as a matter of loving duty,
to thank the delicate heart who found mine
seeking friendship for all time.......

Copyright 2011
John Allen Richter