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

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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

A Poem for Mother

I could not stop for life,
So mother stopped for me,
She picked me up on the way,
From a hospital drawer,
Slightly past the ides of March,
In the spring of nineteen hundred seventy four,
Feared once to be hydro-cephalic,
My cranium was merely extravagant,
Instead of a crib or a new baby bib,
My head received a cabinet,
Here I remained,
Until taken to see
Mrs. Lela M. Payne,
Where I learned to play piano,
Mother took me to lessons,
Every week because I wasn’t an alto,
My melon head couldn’t play an octave,
She loved me all the same,
Who needs eight notes?
When Bartok used six to such acclaim.

–Richard Bryant

Angry Thomas

Shut up already,
I wasn’t there,
Yeah, I get it.
While you wait here,
I dodge soldiers and guards,
You see Jesus,
I did not.
Rub it in,
Get off my case,
OK, I want to see him for myself,
Quit being jerks,
Somebody has to go outside,
I don’t see you all volunteering to find food,
You don’t want to get caught,
Those were your words,
Suddenly I’m the doubter,
We’ll you’re a coward,
Mr. Three-Time Denier,
Go ahead; rub it in my face,
I want to touch his hands,
Let me see these wounds,
Leave me be,
Keep your peace,
I watched him die,
like you did too.
Don’t play with my mind,
not this time,
Lazarus, Jesus,
I’ve gone tone deaf,
to dealing with death.

–Richard Bryant