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.

Mute Rendezvous ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written January 8th, 2009

Listen here for my reading of “Mute Rendezvous.”


The loud, but little sounds of the replicas
Slide down and away after midnight,
And the silence becomes like an expanding
Projectile, softly exploding outward
As the calmest violence. The masonry crumbles,
The steel and glass dissolve.  Then, out of the clatter
Of the endless city, comes a larger form of endlessness,
The last intimations of those mortal souls,
Whose impulse is to be forever lost.
Here is where one meets no one,
Where the being without organs
De-bones the flesh, and leaves a slow,
Streamer-like fluttering, unscrolling in the breath.
The time in the clock unravels, like smoke in the wind,
And the haunting completes itself as a cavernous yawn.
It is quiet.  You may speak now.  It is allowed.
But here, in this blank, you may find
You have nothing to say.