Spring 2014, Volume 16

Poetry by Jim Richards

Little Ones

Are these the words?
The ones that make milk keep.
The ones that say, for you I care for words.

Don’t think of toys. Think balled, tired birds.
It’s dark. Please go to sleep.
Are these the words?

The violent stare. The steady hand. Tin foil swords.
Small heart, which of these is deep?
The one that says, for you I care for words.

You are lucky. You are good. You walk towards
a busy street.
These are the words.

Oh please. (Oh please, Oh please.)
I do. I care for you. I care for words.

Who should you believe? We walk in herds.
The pain in the nerves. The hands. The feet.
These are the words.
The ones that say, for you I care for words.

Remembering Remembering Plato (Installation, Mineko Grimmer)

Forget that you have come to a museum,
to a cave. Forget
that two inverted, frozen cones of ice and gravel
are suspended from
the ceiling, melting in a spotlight, disintegrating
and falling into
separate pools of water. Forget the light, the shadows
on the wall. Forget
the single wire stretched across a pool, beneath a cone,
a bar across a pool,
beneath a cone; is there a mirror here, are you a mirror,
am I? Forget the notes
that ring when ice decides at last that it is water
and gravel falls.
Ringing of a string, clink-call of a bar, echo in a cave,
forget it all.
Through your senses you have abandoned sense,
become a drop
of water hanging on a stone, both of you about
to fall and make
two notes of music, about to translate gravity
into sound, and sound
into waves of water, and water into light, and shadows
into shadows.




BIO: Jim Richards’ poems have appeared recently in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Comstock Review, Texas Review, and online in Dead Flowers and Crack the Spine. In 2013 his work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and he received a fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He lives in southeast Idaho’s Snake River Valley.