Six Poems

by Richard Dinges, Jr.


Under a sky
misted low, a drift
mingled high with
trees on a hill
I climb in open
pasture, I cast
my gaze downward
to watch each step.
My dog who rambles
his sense of freedom.
I watch each foot
replace the other
and look for my own
disconnect from
to revel with him
in a walk of joy.


A well-honed knife
edge weaned on streak
of light, slices clean,
bits through skin
at a touch. All
my father’s knives
were well-honed.
He appreciated
A sharp wit, a light
touch, clean slice
from past burdens,
only a hint of pain,
sharp, sudden, sterile.


Guinea fowl, unlike
chickens, flock around
sound in tympani.
Each one squawks in
Sympathy. A whistle
gathers, unhinges
squeaks, fluster of feathers.
An amorphous company
skitters across fields
toward safety perceived
in light through coop’s
open door, frightened
by terrorists and night
and day’s thin
red line at dusk.

Between Exits

Embedded in a line
of cars and trucks, lost
in thoughts from where
I came, what I passed,
I drive toward
a cluster of small
buildings on a flat
horizon that steadily
expand and widen
grow into a pale sky,
until my driven resolve
dissolves into a desire
to escape this metal
stampede, return
to my trees, my
open grass lands,
defined by a horizon
of sunsets and rises.

Color of My Skin

My skin browns
into a thin veil,
a confused conceit
draped over
leisure and beauty.
An ignorant path
follows age spots
and wrinkles toward
disease. After
years in sun and sweat,
no moral reveals,
only a pale imitation
of what lurks
beneath my skin.


Bounded by hill’s
crest and sky’s dirty
sheet, reduced by eyes
blurred, myopic lense
upon a narrowing
world, I yet look
into a future
defined within
what TV spouts,
social media tweets
and chats, sputters
in frantic syllables
that echo, vanish
when gales rise,
raise my trees
to a frenzy,
one fighting another,
desires wane and rise.
I still look into
unfettered hope.

Richard Dinges, Jr. has an MA in literary studies from the University of Iowa, and he manages information security risk at an insurance company.  He has recently published poems at North Dakota Quarterly, Stickman Review, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Thin Air, and Plainsongs.

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