lyrical poems

These are homeless poems looking for Richard to build a nice little shelter of melody and rhythm to protect them from the elements of the cold dry page.  

Scroll down to see them in their newspaper shoes huddled by shopping carts filled with discarded dreams and abandoned ambition – under the graffiti tattooed bridge between here and heaven.



Notes To “In The Kindtime”

Richard posted on Facebook, “When I was a kid, someone told me that if you lift your feet when driving over a railroad track your love life will last forever. I think I was fifteen when I heard this. I STILL DO IT! (Note – The Beebs and I have been going steady for 55 years) Over time, my superstition has evolved into an all engulfing mysticism. One way it manifests is, I pay close attention to words, to the power of words and ideas to shape my life. In the eccentricity of old age, one phrase that began to annoy me was – “in the meantime!” I thought, ‘Damn! Time isn’t mean. It’s a ferocious teacher, but overall it’s been pretty kind to me.” What follows is another long, tall and skinny love letter to you describing my solution:”




In The Kindtime

like a jackhammer shoulder
time eats life
and the jokes get older
Leaders plummet
from the pulpit of flowers
by lust, money and power
And as the Judases climb
their fatal tree,
rainbows hover on the island
of you and me
in the kindtime

like a sawed off leg
the heart seeks distance
from the powder keg
and seesaws off,
it’s a wobbling sight,
a candle in the wind
of the long dark night
The planet burns,
cities revolt
Dinner tonight
will be lightning bolts
It attacks our fillings
disturbs the peace but
there’s shelter on the island of
you and me
in the kindtime

Off on our island
we dream and pray
Blinking buoys
in a sea of thundering grey
A raft for seagulls
and old sailor’s dreams
of eyes in the hurricane like –
you and me
in the Kindtime


The next news hits
like an army of bikers
on black plague ships
The bar gets lowe
the language gets crude
like a war zone playground
in an ugly mood
The good guy’s plan
gets smashed in the teeth
like Jesus with his cross
down on His knees
The pharaohs drool
for the taste of blood
and black men bleeding
in the Mississippi mud
for the spread of dark ideas
like gateway drugs
sucking the planet
into the vacuum of thugs
Well, God’s been evicted,
traded for rage
The Old Testament’s been pillaged
to justify hate
It’s a long sad ending
to a beautiful dream
everywhere but on the island of
you and me
in the Kindtime

Off on our island
we dream and pray
Blinking buoys
in a sea of gunsmoke grey
A raft for visions
and freedom’s gentlest chimes
of eyes in the hurricane

like yours and mine
in the kindtime

You and I
the last of our kind
all that remains
of the beautiful mind
We don’t know how to hate
We don’t know how to cheat
Our weapons are soft
Our ammo is peace
Our flowers are fragile
but our hope is so strong
Our prayers rise up
like an ancient song
So we wait in the wings
of the angel’s cave
for the ancestor’s help
for the Truth to behave
for the voice of God
both sane and brave
to shake up the ugly,
to rattle their cage
to shatter the hate
before it’s too late
and the best we can do
is stay alive and awake
in the kindtime

by the jackhammer’s buzz
time eats life
but it can’t kill love

26 August 2020

Richard’s notes before writing “A Quiet Bell Chimes In The Still Life”

“It’s a cool, very still Tuesday morning. 5:28 a.m. Windows open, a strange mood oozing out of the computer screen. Colliding feelings of futility mixed with the snowy star wolf call of heaven. All of this effort.  My eyes are sort of bugging out with potential. I rub ’em with my knuckles and press send… as,”


A Quiet Bell Chimes In The Still Life

In a way
you could say
we are dying
The routines
blew up
in our face
The old folks
slide under
the threshold
Quiet as air
ne breath beyond
a phone call away
Money ’s drying up
like an ink pen
Like routines
Like shopping
for thrills
All the old props
have joined
the dead ink pens
Once filled with potential
now quiet

As the hand of the Mystery
turns the table
The eye of the future
bears down
Squeezing the frivolous
out of the saints
We’ve become monks
We’re simplified now

The tubes
of mascara
are pointless
The perfumes
from Lyon gather dust
The thousands
we spent
on the ghost
of prestige
the vain face
of what was

The spendy car sits
in the driveway
The stage lights are dark
The script’s insecure
The genius
stares out
of the window
the same way the ceiling
studies the floor

The hand of the Mystery
turns the table

The eye of the future
bears down

Squeezing the frivolous
out of the saints

We’ve become monks
We’re simplified now

All the distractions
have vanished
The big neon signs
seem a little unfair
As a quiet bell chimes
in the still life
all we have left now
is prayer

Heaven’s Tired of Crying

Jesus walked
on water
Drew wine
out of a rock
Made two fish
into thousands
Made a hurricane stop
Inspired billions to pray
for the poor,
dismantled seekers
Did all this and even more
but that didn’t move the needle

The Buddha found
the secret road
between here
and heaven
With time and his
immaculate mind
he conquered demons and devils
Sat in the heat
of the Indian sun
till his bones
poked out of his ego
Made simple maps
a child could read
but even didn’t move the needle
The veil is thin as a shadow
A breath can make it shudder
You’d think it was thick as the Wailing Wall
the way we treat each other

God speaks through
the flowering trees
Scriptures written
in the arc of a bee
We’re surrounded by saints
and martyrs
The instant nirvana
of making love
Great books
of justice and freedom
It’s all right therei
in every human heart
Even that can’t move the needle

The veil is thin as a shadow
A breath can make it shudder
Plagues and wars and nothing’s changed
the way we treat each other

Jesus walked
on water
Mohammed prayed
for peace while sighing
Rain won’t fall
in our war zone now
cuz heaven’s
of crying

4/5 September 2020

Unarmed and Dangerous

 I’m going on strike 
Taking a stand
against the dream eater 
growing cancer
on our land
I’m rising up
like steam from a pond 
Spreading my mist from here 
into the beyond
Like a cloud of unknowing,
a mystic vapor of peace, 
takin’ on the bad signs
like a flock of wild geese 
Flying out of a canyon 
through the bullets of despair 
I have no location
I’m the mind of the air
I’m the breath of the Buddha, 
a crown of thorns soup,
with a quiver of zen koans,
a bandolier of beatitudes
A desert cave of scrolls 
buried for millennia
I’m the fire of the gnostics 
I’m the hurricane’s placenta 
Ten parts hummingbird
and three parts fool
I’m unarmed
and dangerous
and I’m coming for you

You with the thunder
you bought at WalMart
Prepare for the lightning
I’ve built up in this jar
You with the nuke
goin’ off in your head
It’s me and your victims
and an army of the dead
like the ghost of Walt Whitman 
the shade of James Dean
the slingshot of King David
on DaVinci’s flying machine
In the robes of Our Mother
Like a rainbow in heat
We’ll burn down your hubris 
with a blowtorch of peace
And all the unknown poets 
who’ve been gardening Nirvana? 
We’ll bind you with the strings
of Little Richard’s piano
and the horn of John Coltrane, 
like a shofar in your face,
will deafen your soldiers
with Amazing Grace
I’ll come on a mist
unsuspected at dawn
and turn your frightened armies 
into flowers on your lawn
and when you are sleeping
their spirits will come
like the ghost of Charles Dickens 
in a cloud
of selfless love

There’ll be W.E. Dubois
‘n James Baldwin too
‘n all the lynched saints
who died just for you
Like crowbars and jackhammers 
to open your eyes,
to a you that’s not far off
as the hummingbird flies 
But hummingbirds are magic 
and you’re just a dud,
a confederacy of wounds
a big bag of bruised blood
A soul lost in anger
A soul lost in fear
A soul that kills music
and brings small children to tears 
I come like a rainstorm,
a human whirlwind
to harvest your dead mind
with a cloud full of hymns
Songs from the future,
smoking embers of the past
Songs that can shatter
your hall of mirror’s glass
Exorcise your heart of darkness 
like Joseph Conrad
Poke holes in the coffin
that you call your mind
let in some poet’s perfume
on a cloud out of time
On a small raft of beauty
to rescue your panic,
we’ll watch your bleak shadow
go down like the Titanic
But like all good soldiers do
we’ll protect your vanquished spirit
Sweep you up in our fog
of Mother Mary flavored lyrics 
that will soon feel like home 
like Dorothy in Kansas
You’ll feel like young Picasso 
with heaven as your canvas 
Released from the terror
from the monkey grip of hate 
in a whole new garden
and this time…
you’ll tame
the snake

I’m going on strike 
I’ll fast till I’m air
ill you release
our doves of heaven 
Only then
will l consider 

21 September 2020