Camping Out ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 8th, 2010

Listen here for my reading of “Camping Out.”


This is the hour of night when the docile sky
Loses its urban mask, and starts to shine,
Looming again with its great gothic spires.
We see the enchanted cavern inside the mountain
Where the piper charmed the rodents and the children.
Our whiskers twitch and warn us that the stone,
As big as a big rat’s gut or a child’s heart,
Is at last about to fall.  We hear it
Thunk down in the soft, spring turf of the yard.
That’s when we see him, lying red-faced, and staring,
In the light thrown through the windows of the house,
The one who hobbled last into the crystal,
But did not taste the candy. We touch
The small nude body with the toe of our slipper,
To see if it will dissolve.  A fragrant vapor
Wafts from the remains, but they remain.
And we note that there is a wedge-shaped, golden spike,
In the midst of the chest, affixing our guest to earth.
With both hands we pull, we desperately pull,
And when we pull it out, we tumble hard.
We lay on our backs and gaze up at the stars.
How long, how long, we wonder, have we been here,
And what is this golden feeling in our chest,
That keeps us from waking up, and moving on?

Voyage ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 3rd, 2010

Listen here for my reading of “Voyage.”


In the silent interval between two storms,
A somber ship cuts the weight of rippleless waters.
See where the wake divides, and a trough of calm
Quietly foams between the here and gone.
Now we succumb to night and become the pulse
Of a slow and primitive slumber of affection.
In the cavernous room with the crystal chandeliers,
Whose constellations glitter in the stillness,
Taste how the dark adagio swells the air,
And fills the lungs with the antidote to sorrow.
When the colorless ship slides through the lolling ocean.
Feel how we glide once more through the heavy splendor,
Our veins dilating in the exhalate.
Hear how the song elongates through the night,
As the vast ship slips below the smooth, black waves.

Audience ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written July 18th, 2007

Listen here to my reading of  “Audience”


At night, when the double pretense of knowing
Or not knowing cannot be evaded, the answer
Demanded arises from sensation.  We look up.
The stars are gone, and in their place, a white fog,
Whose pallid nature augments the darkness,
And makes night more itself, brings sky and earth
Together, one and many, and we realize all
Walks east towards light and origin are walks
Up hill, alone.  Soon enough, we will be required
To address the multitudes.  They will be hidden
In the fog, each one darker than night, each one
Exhausted by their climb and desperately
Needing to be relieved of their burden by our voice.
Now the pretense of knowing or not knowing
Cannot be evaded.  They will be listening
In the fog that is white and black together,
And always dark.  They will be listening
As if listening were the one sensation
That could save them.  And we, caught in the crux
Of their longing, will speak what needs to be heard.