Two Poems by Richard King Perkins II

Art by Collin Beck

A Village of Friendly Shadows

Your coffee cup sits empty—an unwritten manifesto of earthenware

and concavity. There’s so much I still don’t know, can only guess at.

The undiagnosed illness of picture-taking, leading yourself around by

the nylon of a short, black leash, talking to yourself in the most vibrant

sing-song, a purse filled with vile but true accusations. Your moment

of isolation in the deep stillness—grape fantasies buffeted by mosquito

wings in erroneous translation. Blood from the closet of your third eye?

Simplicity. I’ll take the plowing under of your autumn vision and build

you a village of friendly shadows. Above rooftops hangs the brew of a

rustling mandolin. The future is fluid, waiting for your thirst to hunger.

Points of Exclamation

Light from a long-dead source

displays you

in erratic sequence;

nothing is mirrored in your eyes

nothing echoes from the walls

of your absence.

The grass bridge of trust

hangs somewhere between us

strained by gusts of synthetic fear

and the voice of unspeakable things.

A desolate sky still finds us

torn and heaving,

miserable eyes and echoes of sorrow

determine a confusing landscape

where your longing



groping at the brambles of your own misunderstood web.

Glints of silence


against our bodies

into points of exclamation.

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.

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