Saturday, 10 April 2021

Three Poems by Richard D. Houff


When We Were Here Together


Falling into windswept piles of autumn,

we tripped forward with bright colour.


From an opening on the western bank,

far above the river, we giggled like school

children rolling in the leaves during recess.


We traded early disappointments

with youthful shrugs; nothing could pull

us away from our books and paints.


And the ideals of a better life outside

the factory door greetings soon disappeared

like everything else.


Returning to this spot, I count the absent

years and fractured decades.


I find myself with an old friend

standing above the river.


I asked after you, and wondered

about your painting


He told me you never had a chance

to develop, and that you ended up

working as a punch press operator.


He said an accident took your hand

a few days before your nineteenth birthday,

and the river took you a year later:


The distance and course, always moving

forward toward the Gulf.


And we are traveling forward

with occasional stops along the way,

like the broken log jam below

surrendering to the current.


The Order of Things


All the blind creatures

step forward and coerce

one another


Sleepwalker’s huddle

on the corner of 9th & Main

where mass confusion stirs


An inaudible mumbling

of strange tongues

tilt their heads

above broken skylines

flickering toward

a sliver of moon

Hidden Doors


We walk close,

hand in hand among shadows

and the dark petals,

careful not to startle the flowers


Our hearts sing out

in the silence


And once again,

we are made innocent

Richard D. Houff edited Heeltap Magazine and Pariah Press Books from 1986 to 2010. He is also a journalist that is comfortable in writing both poetry and prose. His work has been published in Academic and Arts Review, Big Hammer, Brooklyn Review, Chiron Review, Conduit, Louisiana Review, Midwest Quarterly, North American Review, Parnassus, Rattle, San Fernando Quarterly, and many other fine magazines. His most recent poetry collections are Night Watch and Other Hometown Favorites, from Black Cat Moon Press (2016), The Wonderful Farm and Other Gone Poems, from Flutter Press (2017), and Dancing on Rooftops, from Homage Press (2019) Czech Republic.


1 comment:

  1. WOW! Lovely, and touching poems, Richard.
    Alicia & Zep 💕🌼


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