Three Poems by Richard King Perkins II


Outcroppings of Crows

Somewhere in these high fields
and outcroppings of crows

you may finally find the moments
which will embolden and underscore your life;

sweet skies swirling,
tufts of cotton grass

and if wishing won’t make it so
how are you making any of this happen?

Your engine is incompatible
with your motives;

it’s taken you nowhere
except up the hillside and down again

as colossal shadows descend
upon the base of your convictions.

You have many means of perceiving reality,
of seeing skirmishes in melted snow:

the casual dismissal of burden,
the fiftieth fetus in your uterus,

waking to find a hand between your legs;
attached, but not your own.

Medicine and feigned altruism
become the oppression of the last creators

and as others sacrifice themselves for you—
it’s almost like none of this ever happened.

Chalcedony Clouds

A morning of chalcedony clouds
and lavender light

and your dream inhabits me

like a leaflet of gloss,
a gallery of radiant stems

freckled milk of almond,
the taste of sacramental bread.

Critical spectators
may judge
and condemn us

for this casual reverie
even if it remains an internal ascent

rising past copper-green steeples
and carven gates

above shriveled saplings
domes of purple granite
and cliffs of opaque glass.

There remains a lingering reality
in fingers that so steadily point

at what they say they deny
but actually want to be near
and inside.

Threnody for Camilla

I can feel the presence of your will
the warmth of your distant sounds

in the place where you’ve gone
to be;

a house in the high mist

quiet cobblestone pathways
slowly winding
between temples and colonnades

the taste of wine from the moon-tree.

All the wonders of the unseeable world.

And here I remain.
The dreamer who falls in dreams
and lives on as a whistling sigh;

the sound of swatting flies
on a solid chair in an abstract room.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.