Richard Martin

Winter through a Gray Window

I was dizzy and searched for a cause.
Maybe the spin of the earth caught me napping in my chair.
I could have been cast into deep space with an outdated star map.
Orion appeared and slipped into a deck of cards. Why?

I used to be a ballroom dancer,
wined and dined in a cloudburst of inopportune moments,
until the sun heated the spare change in my pockets.
No regret in trees stalking me on my perilous way.

Coherence started to plague me.
Words slipped on slopes of mind.
We were on our way to create the perfect society.
Everyone knew hate sucked.

Love was free – dominion of souls,
minus the history of previous encounters with Eros.
A oneness felt in the marrow of bones –
the spontaneous kiss in the glaring headlights of night.

Everything started again at the beginning.
First Cause paced back and forth on a velvet carpet of nothingness.
Reasons and questions clumped into galaxies without ultimate answers.
It was hard to avoid dizziness after standing up too fast.

Give It a Try

Bring nothing.
A goddess on a bank of roses waits for you.
Let the rocks and water of a hidden spring
sedate you with their music.
You were here long ago, perhaps
in another life. Who knows?
Who should know?
Banish clothes, reenter the water,
embrace the moment. Remember?
The night grows lovely with moonglow.
Don’t ask why.
The world outside is beautiful
but broken in many places.
People have turned sticks and stones
into missiles and bombs,
other gadgets of self-destruction.
They have turned green into brown.
Domes of fire halo their heads.
Lies haunt their speech.
It is cool where you are.
A forest of love surrounds you.
Time is that moment you forgot.
Imagination is eternal.
Give it a try.

Richard Martin’s recent books from Spuyten Duyvil are Leakage & Smoke (2023), Chapter & Verse (2021), Ceremony of the Unknown (2020), Goosebumps of Antimatter (2018) and Techniques in the Neighborhood of Sleep (2016). He is a past recipient of a NEA Fellowship for Poetry and the founder of the Big Horror Poetry Series in Binghamton, New York (1983-1996). A retired Boston Public Schools principal, Martin lives in Boston with his family.