Two by Richard Shelton


I love the night
The black ample evening
When all things cheap-
The paltry, the trivial, the gratuitous-
Sleep blanketed beneath
The moth-colored lace
Of silenced days decline
Leaving the mind open
Free to roam
Vacancies of inactivity
Beyond the cluttered wealth of working day,
Diving deep
Deep into depths of self
Deep past echoes of industry and obligation.
Plunged into absence and emptiness
Where idle reflection
Mirrors origin and essence.



Severed from my expansive self,
I sift through slivers of being
Defecating fright
At the reckless sight
Of this breathing thing
This vegetable growth,
This vacuum of functioning atoms
So ordered and unknown
Through which the seeds of tedious life
Are gathered and needlessly sown.


Richard Shelton is a painter, whose writings include poems and commentary on art history. His writing appears in publications such as Willard & Maple, The Chaffin Journal, and The Eclectic Muse. His artwork appears in the Smithsonian Art Institutes, Hirshhorn Museum, and as well as other museums in the U.S.



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