Friday, July 3, 2015

Poetry By Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a  three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. In a six year period, his work has appeared in more than a thousand publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, The Red Cedar Review and Crannog. His poems are forthcoming in The William and Mary Review, Sugar House Review, Plainsongs, Free State Review and Milkfist. He was a recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests. 

Condors and Hummingbirds

You’ve never believed people were meant to fly.
Doubtful as silence or dull knives.
The condor, a faithless creature, her Google Earth.
Even the most glorious killers choose life.  They’ll live until they can’t.
You’re more skeptical than the Sargasso Sea.
A bean is the form of a child. A vine to the clouds.
Almost flying, nestled in sun.
You always feel like sautéed cotton, and you are.
You always feel like euphoria, and you are.
You’re skeptical.
You’ll reel in old tires from the sky.
Then hummingbirds flee from your pasty tongue
as they spit dew into your blindness.
After the storm, I still can’t find my calm.
Angels pull at the insubstantial like pilgrims on holiday.
As you live, men will chum the clouds to find your reflection.
The night sky will darken to find you still aglow.

Homage to a Cousin Emerald

This might have been the moment
where she could have found life
but I had given it away, lost it beyond the shingle,

outside a cloud emptied of its memories, her night song
of eternity, the random thoughts that compose
the expectations of history.

In the creeping bleed of night,
she ignores my meaningless gestures, permanent imprints,
static; giving her supple whiteness so that I might evolve.

Her ending, my beginning; timelessness.  But for
our dissimilarities, uncertainties, the healing of feet
completes the discord; she is free to go anywhere.

Sometime, past the nights that brokenness rejected,
her final pastel whispers erode, weakened, but true,
like the thought of  skin growing a glassy shell

a protection of  soul venerated as a cousin emerald
and of such great depth
that she is impossible of being seen through.

Snowdrops and Shields to Endure

Soured on the first drink of obsidian heat, your summer’s crystallizing at
the bottom of a tall glass. Instantly, a strange harmony and then the advance
of crocodiles. The waters are possessed with a quiet euphoria since all curses
have been previously forgotten. You’ve given me a morning of bilateral
symmetry pressed against a cushion of rhythm, a transition filled with the
rarely touched and commonality of earth.

Singularly, I humble across a marshy path where my growing intrepidation
begins to border on a factory of glass.  As has happened untold times before,
I’ve placed too much trust in my own resourcefulness so that I’m taken
away by the false inheritance of consumption. Deer burrow outside the
dreamtime of years I was counting on my fingers and toes and have become
an intractable calculus growing on the underside of my scraping belly.

Tomorrow, a rarity of moon will invigorate me with the unpredictability
of moths. I’ll consent to a change that will cause me to become completely
unrecognizable—  though I’ll still look exactly the same. We mustn’t swallow
words in the softest air; star-bleached, keeping tempo, the treble line of staying
hidden and aloft. Within the almost alien light of the inner earth, the constant
weight of silence emits a deafening echo.

These are the fears that are hardest to admit to. Legends leave and new legends
return. For vanity reasons, you’ve kept your body despite the cost of appearance.
I’m outside an industrial complex where I’ve dug marbles to replace your
missing interior. This is connotatively still me, definitely breathing, possibly
still alive in a shifting pocket of dirt. What exactly have I become; removed
from the planet of my birth but lying motionless on a borrowed cot.

I’m still filling in your cavities from the greatest possible range, continuing to
stand in the way of our own contentment. All liquid loses fluidity. Glass will
break; the sun tea on the back porch spilled, forgotten. Perhaps we intentionally
drowned. Conscripted to a meditative August, roots are cautiously searching for
water— or a semi-positive direction, and soon, our last thought will be to taste it.
This is the right move for neither of us.

Nothing much happens in the sunless hours but we’ll do what we can; barely
anything. Either that or we haven’t yet noticed we live in a crematorium made
for snowdrops and synesthetes, convinced of the importance of our own frenetic
stupor; never envisioning that we are the only metaphor that can be applied to
ourselves and that this is the elusive serenity of our birthright—to create the
monsters of our own despair without first creating the sanctuary to captivate them—

or, at the very least, the necessary shields to endure.

Himalayan Dynamic

An impact of birds are dissolving mountains and gentle slopes
above the jigsaw pavement;
at night: the city prowls

and where there is no city, the sun panders,
crashing through a hymen of sophistry and bumpkinism;
the forest floor rolling and shrouded like the slow ride
of red velvet and splotchy flesh on a cadaver road.

The bodywatcher has counted up the telling hashmarks
as feathers give outcry to supernal effects.
Relics will spread dust on rooftops
and whatever remains
malingers grey above the cowering ditches of India..

A few visitors flee the tintinnabulation that strangles—
a gibbet too easily attainable.
A soft thud; then the capture of loam.

Outside the sedentary stupor of sand,
carnivores steal organs of diminishing warmth;
tigers contract a muscular torso,
low-ranging wolverines pivot on weaponized claws,
letting go posterity, foraging jawbones
which will crater a swaddle of monstrous valleys.

Each flight must be precise, and yet, birds still soar,
kept aloft by parliamentary currents,
strangers we hadn’t thought could become such intimate friends.

Loosened in the oppressive pall,
gudgeons fill depressions of absent lacquered bone.
Air and its water-sister are purposeful in their orgy of disregard
and of random integrity.
Ravening birds have no choice but to preen in briefest serenity.

Ruins prouden the residue of all that’s missing—
an obsequiousness of acrobatic curvature,
plaudits taken by fish within a wave
while gliding weeps the eagle in a sponge of air.

The most derelict humans are reluctant to deny any bird
the glory of air’s transcendent hum,
yet the few who give voice in harmony spew dahlias uncountable.

Depleting from Sun to Sun

Lost amid faces and actions never taken,
you tried, in a way, to retroactively soothe us by
downstroking our hair, kissing our eyelids,
plugging in a humidifier, offering compression,
decompression, rest.

Yet, before the abstruse potter’s field smiled,
the ground calmed beneath your words
and you witnessed the hairsbreadth of ages,
allowing serenity to take in its organic vowels
directly from the reluctant mull of the east.

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