I have been writing poetry all of my life, but about 12 years ago, my consulting partner at the time said: “There are two kinds of writer. Those who concentrate on some genre, so they can sell commercially, and those who write as a spiritual exploration.” That was a lightning bolt moment, I knew at once that I belonged with the explorers.


A decade before I had begun a daily meditation practice, so that it seemed only natural that I should append to that practice the daily composition of a poem. I had read somewhere of a Buddhist monk who had vowed to carve 10,000 Buddhas, and I vowed to write 10,000 poems.


10,000 is a big number. To write 10,000 poems at one poem per day is a project that will take you more than 27 years.


Read the rest of my introduction here >>>




Early Release ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written July 28th, 2008

Listen here for my reading of “Early Release.”

 

Spread out like green lace doilies parallel
To the ground, these cedar branches
Serve as the perfect infrastructure
For a spider’s web, whose silken cradle
Becomes, this morning, the incongruous
Expression for a beauty alive in the very
Gut of cold predation.  A soft, green pollen
Has collected in this little hammock,
And as the breeze gently lifts and rocks
The bed, more pollen from above snows
Down to fluff its cushions.  How we long
To rest in the hand of this delicacy, and be
Again, that body of spirit — as soft as feathers —
Whose assemblage of death and loveliness
Makes such a lilting motion, so that we gaze
Up, in wonder, as if, from the pellucid swell
Of gravity’s ponderous sea, we might take
One step, two, fall forward, ascend,
And soar out of the confines of flesh —
That prey for lurking spiders —
To rest our cares in this intimate beyond.
A car drives by on the street, just one
Of many, and shakes the cedar,
As, pulled back from this green otherness,
We feel the swell of a different order
Of assemblage.  The canopy trembles,
And our two eyes are not glad.  Just here,
At the outskirts, a small and inconceivably fine
Shimmering has signaled to us of death,
While we, still bound in the heavy reds
Of incarnation, stood helplessly below,
Rooted in mire, our vision running back
And forth, back and forth, in the green-laced sky,
Like a soul that is lost in the infinite forests of light.

The War On Women IV: Hatching ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written April 20th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women IV: Hatching.”

 

This is not pain,
But a need to finally placate
Those murdered and displaced
From the Nation’s body.
This is no nightmare,
But a beautiful apparition
Like the first change of color
From night’s relentless shadows
To an eggshell blue
That begins to summon green.
The earth does not shake,
And the sky does not take fire,
But a ghostly reversal
Has dropped the future behind us,
Where we see the wound
We’ve torn in the father’s side,
As a channel that guides us
Into the heart of fear.

It is here that we hear
Old tribal choruses
From the lips of women
Conflating laughter with prayer.

It is now that we feel
The magnitude of the trauma,
As the mothers lift
The sweet medicinal manna,
From the pouch of a night
Where we dream
Of a crack in the shell.

The War On Women III: The Dead Troubadour ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 11th, 2012

Listen here for my reading of “The War On Women III: The Dead Troubadour.”

 

I
A double summer brightness
Infuses these spring mornings
Born from late winter storms.
And the near hysteria of bird cries
Reminds Sir Laureate,
The King’s chosen versifier,
To dedicate again,
Those flattering strains,
Which tell His Highness
“Faith relies on Reason.”

II
Wet wood’s resinous musk,
And the smell of grass
Producing grasses
With the lusty fecundity
Of some green, pervasive animal
In rut, these seasonal urges
Might reconcile us
Even to Sir Laureate’s atrocities.
We might deign to dress for dinner
And re-enter those bland salons,
Devoid of spring’s entangling colored ribbons.
We might stare at the charcoal portrait
Of a lady, approving her bowed head
And lowered eyes.  We might slip our knife
Back in our trouser pocket,
And tight-smiled, join this Christian company,
Of the obediently self-anointed.

II
Maimed rhythms and unrhymed vendettas
Rebel against these blandest policies.

We have not forgotten the war against the bees.
We recall the stench of acres of burning grasses.
We remember the corpses of children rotting in ditches.

The government’s decrees be damned!

Sir Laureate lies naked in the grass,
His body desecrated, a mucilage
Of colored viscera, blasted by sunlight,
Plucked apart by birds.
The lady has escaped her black pastel,
Her green faith armed against the King’s red reason,
Her wild eyes starred with vengeance for her children.