by Richard Dinges, Jr


Shadows hide in
twilight, hide in
banality of dim
skies cracked by
blurred limbs.  Limbs
sway spasmodically
in wind’s whispers.
A judgment of a day
that promised sharp lines
between light and dark,
now slips quietly
over a gray horizon.
A judgment recasts
on the other side.
After night’s long slumber
we awake to face
the east once more.


Long after echoes
fade from closed
door, I remember
toilet water hugs
and pickled kisses.
My father’s family
suffocated with hot
hellos and goodbyes
to begin and end
wakes, unable to
dispel loneliness
for a child seated
on a chair, weeping
openly among all
those dry averted eyes,
hands clasped coldly
in silent hard laps.


We walk, my dog
and I, around this shallow
pond with unseen depths.
She pauses to peruse odors
left behind by other
wanderers.  I ponder
a horizon that spreads
gold to orange to red. 
Beside us, sky shimmers
at our feet, riffled by wind,
a chill that shudders.
I do not look down.
I may look back,
and walk on, follow
my dog, satisfied
she knows the way.


Immersed in mist
shed from a gray
distance, a veil
rises between
me and what lies
beyond, perhaps
eternity or just
another day.
I flow into
this gentle rain,
each drop a damp
fairy kiss, until
I sop and shiver.
I lose what warmth
I can spare.  Just
to that point
where I may blend
with mud, my
waterproof self
awakens and
I emerge from
my cocoon.


Future dreams emerge
between clouds
clouds block sun long
mask shadows
a world less black
less white less
vibrant closer
to expectations
pupils adjust
eyes see trees
broken limbs
missing leaves
wave gracefully
passing birds
a flurry of feathers
I want to grasp
carry me toward
that horizon where
sun shines.

About the Author:

Richard Dinges, Jr.

Richard Dinges, Jr. has an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa, and manages information security risk at an insurance company. North Dakota Quarterly, Former People Journal, Stickman Review, Bitchin’ Kitsch, and Thin Air most recently accepted his poems for their publications.