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Some say they've seen another world
where life and death collide
and all the earthly darkness
suddenly seems insignificant.
God, they say, waits on the other side,
offering salvation for a life well spent.
I've never been a big believer in angels and the heavens,
but some nights, I sit up wondering if maybe
there is more to this life than just
shooting whiskey and writing bad poetry.
Maybe God is up there saying
"Don't worry, darlin', it'll all be worth it someday."

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The Homecoming

I stood beneath the sky,
reached above, and clapped my hands twice,
“okay, chop-chop…
your vacation is over,
time to come home now!”

so the sky opened its mouth,
but the only thing to ever come out
(to touch the Earth again)
was the blanket of snow,
the airplane in Moscow,
a small piece of shrapnel,
the skydiver in Nashville,
raindrops from the window-sill,
cigarette butts in the landfill,
a winter storm’s icicle
a grieving mother’s feet
for the first time
in twenty seven weeks.

you left too early
for your vacation

but maybe it was for
a homecoming.


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angel on the moon

I would sit at the edge of the moon with you.
we would light a cigarette and share it,
you would hold a globe in your hand like a freckle,
and like a child, I’d watch you play with it.

your hair would shine a beautiful Harlow gold
your eyes would display a fierce emerald green, 
your skin would glow a blinding ivory white
yes, you would sit beside me.

where you wouldn’t have to go anywhere
where we wouldn’t have to leave
no one would know the hiding place
that belongs to just you and me.

There, at the edge of the moon.

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Could It Be? (A Villanelle) by richard lynn livesay

Could It Be? (A Villanelle) by richard lynn livesay

Release thy sting O Earthly care

And know within the spirit’s call

Beyond this world, a place to share


Conscious of this world’s despair

That wants control of reason’s wall

Release thy sting O Earthly care


A higher power waits to share

Our choices free, I shall not stall

Beyond this world, a place to share


That still small voice is always there

Take time to listen, it beckons all

Release thy sting O Earthly care


We’re in a cycle that we must bear

For spirit to experience and recall

Beyond this world, a place to share


Be there passion to become an heir

Truth will emerge as we rise and fall

Release thy sting O Earthy care

Beyond this world, a place to share 


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Chant poem for The One People by richard lynn livesay

Worldly prison bars began to melt

As slavery’s chains loosen like a belt

For we are free and sovereign beings


The One People embrace another way

Truly equal without the competitive play

For we are free and sovereign beings


Manifesting gifts of spirit, as alumnus

Transcendent, not born into numbness

For we are free and sovereign beings


Quantum physics reveals all are vibration

Living earth feels our intentional relation

For we are free and sovereign beings


In the now, with positive thoughts to reveal

We are dynamic creators with a loving zeal

For we are free and sovereign beings


Empathy and compassion are beyond all gold

Minds are powerful computers in our control

For we are free and sovereign beings


Banks, no longer needed begin to fold

Nightmares become sweet dreams retold

For we are free and sovereign beings


Not money but human worth is value

Given in care and love without an IOU

For we are free and sovereign beings


So we shall sing in truth as is intended

And change the status quo, contended

For we are free and sovereign beings

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My soul is the abandoned theatre

My soul is the abandoned theatre down the block,
next to the internet café where I first met you
and the Greek deli with the French fries—you know the one.
It’s a big building, old, and you can tell it was pretty once.
But the doors are chained and deadlocked now.
Peek through the window, crawl past the tarp
and the homeless guy sitting on a pizzabox—
Walk the distance to the stage, hear your steps
echoing down to you from the unlit ceiling.
Turn and face the missing audience
There is a silence so sincere here that it is reverence, and
a sadness that has so much purpose, it has simply ceased to be sadness anymore.

The arches and columns are flying buttresses, the boarded up windows
stained glass windows— the graffiti the mark of Michelangelo,
a faceless black hoodie ducking out of sight—
it is a pocket of forgotten humanity.
My soul is a cathedral,
a work of art a thousand days in the making;
There among the dusty stars and in the soft stillness
exists the tenderest form of worship.

My soul is the abandoned theatre down the block
—you know the one.

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she was borne today

from this life to the next

from tortured flesh and bone

to something far more beautiful

incorruptible, now

I wonder what she sees -

what wonder waits beyond this veil

this travail of living -

this life of limitations

is purity as breathless -

or color as bright -

are arias as sweet as we imagine

will we finally comprehend -



so stifled here in this coat of clay

we can see so far, but not beyond

desire to reach

but cannot touch our dream

each day a reminder of our limits

always waiting for answers

dare we yield all we know

for all we don't -

she dared today

slipped her skin

for a new life never ending


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Untitled Green

A craving for the green
Dormant and unseen
Less anger, more aggression
Three hits, it's just an obsession

To be

Above the sky,
Imagine being that high
To touch the moon
One time, one afternoon

To taste that sunshine
So sweet, so divine
Clouds, cluttering my mind
Feeling high, feeling fine.

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The Birds Still Sing


earlier this morning than other mornings

I woke to rain peppering window panes

water filling street storm drains

dark sky upon a dark world, spilling

birdsong inspired, my soul thrilling

 rain will fall; yet, the birds still sing


this eerie dawn, ghostly resurrection

petulant deluge, drenching, dank, and gray

a somber intone for the day

as if my thoughts weren’t dark enough

nasty bits of swirling stuff

rain will fall; yet, the, birds still sing


the thought occurred “how can that be”

precariously perched in some oak tree

unspared foul weather, unlike me

yet sing with joy, rapturously


while the rain still droned and birdsong choired

from a bank of thoughts obscured in fog

one thought into clear view slogged

how wretched, I, to grouse and mewl

of life unfair, unkind, oft cruel

rain will fall; yet, the birds still sing


I’m warm and loved - suburban “nest” is dry

the jalopy starts each day on cue

my old shoes don’t shine, but they will do

if tomorrow comes, it’s a brand new day

these clouds may part; the sun may play

yes, rain will fall; yet, the birds still sing


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From Stars to Flesh


I am



A complex


of flesh

and bones

and water.


I am a passing figure of existence,

but today

I am



In this date


and time


and place. 


In this


we call



I am







My thoughts

are powered



of fluid

and electrically charged particles.


I am a

bio-chemical being


complex cells 

and organs

and matter.


I am a soul

that exist

in this physical



I was once part of stars, you know?

I am that


that light you see 

in a cloudless




But I am

no longer there.


I am here.


You have passed me


in the grocery store

where you buy



I am that man

you cut off

in the 



You didn't notice have you?


That I was a star.


And maybe

you didn't know,

and so were you.