Two Poems by Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II poems are odes to abundance and to the emptiness it tries and fails to fill, or as the poet puts it “there was a time when we seemed almost palpable.”

by: Richard King Perkins II

A Sea of Chai

You erased oceans with your fingertips, your goodbye.
The ancient atmosphere, each forgotten seascape,
leaves a decrescendo, a barbiturate of feeling;
twisted satisfaction.

Here was the deliciousness of abstract icing.

You took the colors from every kingdom
leaving dark canopies, grey graphite, black redactions,
charcoal rain.

A cluster of pink glassine baking cups
was forgotten by the former occupants.

A broken faucet keeps unsteady time in droplets,
a pair of rubber kitchen gloves
offers us further unnecessary separation.

You were asked to give weightlessness
and poured it out of a furtive teapot—

white sands floating across a sea of chai;
the first desires still traversing the planet’s surface,
translated through compression and rarefaction.

You were told to hold that thought:

but it was already gone—
Now, you let go all intimate knowledge
and return it to your oldest newfound stranger.

The first device, the first name,
swimming through an ebb of cupcakes

toward the furthest strip of land,
the most tempting bleak mirage.

As the last intimation of yellow slips away under the door,
there isn’t a fraction of movement left to remember
there was a time when we seemed almost palpable.


Ode to an Intricate Web

To things lost in curbside gutters
the absent tracing of oldest scars,
uneven bricks,
the soft glow of a distant town
which might be
a collage of found objects
returned home after a sojourn in ether.

To blossoming clover
and sun ascending in one fractional spot,
the rise of fire in antediluvian hues;
the untapped reservoirs of thought
stretched above gable and ridge;
the benevolence of so many hands
essential to a dream
which could only be now.

To the scraps of paper in my pocket
on which are written
terrific radiant humble
and I wonder who it is
I’m supposed to save
or if someone is doing me a favor,
giving me back in spiderthread
something I hadn’t even thought
was missing.


Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities who live in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee and has had work appear in hundreds of publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. 

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