A Birthday Poem for My Wife

In this cerulean desert,
Surrounded by wind and wave,
Awaiting the tropical swell,
Settled on this unwound isle,
We find a time, a way, a moment,
To claim the indefinite future called now,
There is a place for candle and cake,
A time to mourn the dying beauty of the sun,
While I seek divine counsel for a gift unfound,
For if I could, I certainly would,
Return your sister,
As my present to you,
Because you are my wife,
And I love you.

-Richard Bryant

*My wife’s sister died in a tragic car accident this past May. Her sister’s birthday was last week. My wife’s birthday is today.

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A Poem About Robert Jeffress and His Recent Chat With God

Robert Jeffress
Southern Baptist Imam
Who does his fatwa address?
The God Bob claims
Made him so blessed
Is listening to
this heretical mess.
A Baptist preacher,
Impeccably dressed,
Heard God say,
Kim Jong-un is an abscess,
Rip him out, it’s ok,
Don,
I’ll tell the press,
We’ll lay hands and pray,
You’ll kill millions as we profess,
And hope none of the soldiers are, well, you know, that way.

–Richard Bryant

A Single Word (A Poem)

The incandescent necessities of the moment
Demand I find suitable words to describe
The fumbling steps of the morning
Shuffles which lifted the sounds
And shoved them together into something resembling
The time I call now
Utterances from under my lungs
Pushed through the esophagus
To meet the winning bidder from the brain
Somehow the world around me
Casting a net about my face
Pulls and places the pieces of the puzzle
To draw a single word from this strange place.

–Richard Bryant

The Pentecost Express

The Pentecost Express

I remember the morning,
a glimpse between the leaves,
the meandering Pentecost express,
escaping the station at full steam.
From my breakfast window,
I was certain I could see,
where the Spirit came to rest,
to the left and down a bit;
hidden behind Old Man Howard’s tree.
Everyone in the car appeared to be blessed,
tongue-tied as if waking from a dream,
speaking to newly minted friends,
strangers noticed but till now, never seen.

–Richard Bryant

Frat Boys Buying Beer In a Food Lion on a Saturday Night Over Memorial Day Weekend (A Poem)

Frat Boys Buying Beer on a Saturday Night in a Food Lion on Memorial Day Weeekend

Hats turned backwards,
The vacant 10 yard stare,
Twenty year old males,
People are everywhere,
“Dude, what do you want?”
“I don’t know?”
“You?”
“Whatever, man?”
“What ‘cha drinking, bro?”
“If everyone’s getting Coors,
That’s cool with me.”
“Busch is cheaper by the case,”
“Duuude, so it seems,”
“So you’re cool with Busch?”
“Whatever hoss,
Did you see the frozen Pizza Supremes?”
“That’s what we’re eating?”
“Dude, the Miller Draft,
The taste is really clean.”
“Is that what we’re drinking?”
“I’ll drink what everybody likes,
But I’m not touching Bud light.”
“So what are we getting?”
“Something everybody likes?”
“You’re right, too many vegetables,
It’s a meatlovers night.”
“You’re sure?”
“That’s why we’re here.”
“Whatever bro.”
“Hey, what about our beer?”

–Richard Bryant

We Are Memorial Day (Poem)

Memorial Day 2017
Ocracoke Island, NC

Memorial Day is here,
This is the place,
Memories spotted well alive,
Where recollections,
Refuse to die,
Ignoring the need for introspection,
They come to collide,
With the amnesia floating in our brains,
We are Ocracoke,
Geologically placed,
On history’s front lines,
Geographically based
To fight the War of 1812,
To lay between Blue and Gray’s frantic lines,
To wait with Coast Guard and Navy Ships for U-Boats to arrive,
Sand beneath our feet,
Wind beyond the dunes,
Marking the place,
Claiming the time,
Telling the story,
Whispering the names,
Affirming this moment,
Removed from frames,
In sandy atonement,
This is Ocracoke, we are Ocracoke.
We Are Memorial Day.

–Richard Bryant

When Humanity Becomes Human

 

On this day after,
We are rightly amazed,
When humanity becomes human,
Random kindness by strangers,
Simple acts of courtesy displayed,
These are not what anyone might do,
But grand deeds of bravery,
Shocking, surprising, astounding,
Utterly beyond our belief,
People standing together,
Against the bigots for all to see,
Surely this is how we are… normally?
Or are we kind of kind,
Only when innocent children die,
Morality appears to survive,
When it seems,
random people offer tea,
Does terror no longer thrive,
When our phones are charged,
And Instagram knows were alive?
Keep calm and carry on being human.
For this we need no special reward,
Though I offer my prayers,
For my faith in ordinary decency,
Is somewhat restored.

–Richard Bryant