December 26, 2012

Poetry by Bert O. Richmond



Sleek red capsule nudging its way

Past white birch and spruce tree guards

Curling through green fields

Tip-toeing across raging streams.


Purring, iron willed in purpose

Carrying its human armload

Past brown piles of hay like ringlets

Dangling from meadows faces.


Safe and warm within its coaches

Languages from many nations

Laud the beauty of the landscape

As the train displays its artwork.






They said that it appears 

In time of great crisis

The death of someone so special

The trees weep.

The beauty berry fades to gray

Or when children cry alone

That there is no love for them.


Yet the wind sighs

That the white one is seen

To mark the clarity

Of an autumn day

The stillness of a full-moon night

The wonder of a starlit sky.



The ghost deer tells its tale

Rarity of nature

Diverse, exciting, changing

In and out of the light

That brightens

And fades away





I don’t remember when I first heard the tinkling of the bell. Perhaps it was where the grass was high enough to blot out all but the brightest of blossoms. Or maybe when the sun cascaded from a sky so blue it made your ears tingle. Tingling like that, you could hardly be certain if it were a bell-tinkle or a blue-sky-warm-sun-ear-tingle. I continued to chew slowly on a blade of high meadow grass while my eyes roamed ravenously over red, yellow, blue and white petals plopped picturesquely about where nature whimsically deposited them a harvest season ago. From whence emanated this tinkling or tingling?


Engrossed was I in this orgiastic feast of fabulous high mountain meadow grasses, my myriad mental processes procrastinating in alerting me to the distinction between a tinkle and a tingle. In fact, my cerebrum might never have been diverted from its brief basking in Bacchanalian banalities had not I been confronted obliquely but nevertheless most certainly by a pair of quizzical brown eyes surrounded by a very white but definitely hirsute countenance. At about two o’clock, for my line of vision, appeared a crystalline white pubescent goat—I kid you notwhose unwavering brown eyes stared at me while the hirsute face continued the task of masticating mountain meadow munchables. It may have been the unswerving stare that arrested my addiction to imbibing high meadow grasses, or perhaps it was the determined tinkle of the bell as the head tossed ominously in my direction. Ultimately, a truce was struck as he munched and tinkled, while I eavesdropped and ogled the sensate scene surrounding me.






Time rests in the walls of this house,

trees, garden, walkways. That old

rock wall we labored, all afternoon

crowning it with brightly colored

Lake Superior stones of thirty

years agohoarded for such end.


Desolate the garden lies

in this dark, dank Carolina

mountain winter. Iris repose,

runners of raspberry arouse no

rumor of last summers juiciness.

Brooding thoughts of our son

last summer as we dug

presage this day’s gray visage. 

Days like minds

adorn and shed somber garb.


Bulbs, tender roots beneath

decaying leaves whisper promises

of tiny brown kegs hiding beneath

green skirts of ginger, of voluptuous

shouts of rhododendron.

Born to cold, dark, misty days of winter

for bold spring flashiness, they

wind the clocks of our lives in a 

cycle of dark, cold, beauty and joy.