Three Poems by Richard King Perkins II

Three Poems by Richard King Perkins II
(Image credit: Richard King Perkins II)

Three Poems


Richard King Perkins II 





My transcendence releases a voice,

originates a depth of forgetting


and a gain that ceases.


Outside, stagnation builds—

coalescent, crystallized


relinquishment pushes forth a timelessness


spits out limbo


the whale sleeps,










that is the nexus     the obtuse curve     the offering

the forest left behind


the moon intensifies     the world warms     you ask to undress

people are arrows or crosses

loneliness is a movement of departure or insulation

clouds are a grey place to rest your head     disjointed     reachable

skin sickened by daylight


you have been gone too long


I’m asking you again

if you remember the dream

and how it all began.





Variation on Dreams Faded and Extant


Sometimes when I open my eyes,

I can still see the outline of a dream—


Sage Lily Perkins, Age 8




If I open my eyes quickly enough

I can still see the outline of a dream.

I try to fill it with breath and color

but it will hold neither and even its shape

is already fading from the retina of my mind.

Desperately, I squeeze the sides of my head

trying to force the vision back into form—

ironically knowing that dreaming is a release

of pressure and that it can’t simply disappear

or crawl back inside my imagination.


Dreams perpetuate as tiny errors in the commonplace,

specks of  all that are overlooked—

as the drip of paint on the edge of the door frame

or a cracker crumb in the corner of the kitchen.

They live within the transposition of numbers

and the split of the infinitive.

Dreams can be found in the spark of misrecognition

and the echo of an unreceived message.


Reality is unkind to dreams,

making them hide in the most obscure places

like in the dot of an uncrowned i and the

cross of a t that hasn’t yet intersected.

Some dreams will be relegated

to the missing punctuation at the end of a poem

in which their dilemma is empathized and explained

but which lacks a properly defined ending






Since it is gone

why must I be troubled by anticipation of its return?

Even if I desired it, I have no knowledge

as to how it might be restored, so I must forget.

I am a child in a bathtub,

a toy sailboat drifts the placid water.

The temperature keeps an unerring empathy.

A droplet slides from my elbow

and the small plink as it kisses

the water’s surface is all I can hear.

One perfect dream floating amidst

thousands of misshapen visions.

O’ sweet aberration, I must forget you.

You haunt me like no other.



A little more about Richard King Perkins II... 

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Bluestem, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Two Thirds North, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in Broad River Review, Emrys Journal and December Magazine.
















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