Poetry by Richard King Perkins II: Pinpoints of Compassion, A Dawn of Dry Cereal, and Softest Loam

Pinpoints of Compassion

We tell ourselves, in a place like this it could never be winter—
even as an arrow of geese arcs across a skein of morning silence.

For a moment, it may be that jars were never filled with fireflies,
holes punched through metal lids showing pinpoints of compassion,
while the last blip of light fades to memory.

Froth of nature gambols as a child, her hands placed
in an imaginary soar, even as her mouth bleeds all her color out.
There has been no difference placed between us.

Winter came late this year and barely. Christmas was grey and wet.
I’m sad for endings like these. A quilting of snow will bring a certain
kind of easement, casually ruined in the seeing.



A Dawn of Dry Cereal

In a dawn of dry cereal,
still huddled in our sheets

we held knives against all the throats
calling from outside.

Your aunt owned the tract
of section 8 housing where we lived

and she called us around that morning
to look at old pictures of her naked body

posed four decades ago
in black and white.

She spoke of the man who took them;
an army guy

who became her mechanic
and something more

a guy she thought she might marry
but didn’t.

On the back of one photo,
a poem—

“I know the milk of your deepest wound…
and only my love can save it.”


Softest Loam

Softest loam

above knuckled roots

sunlight drizzles
through treetops

saffron spotlights

spectacles of sunshine

falling through
layers of green

as quicksilver



Richard King Perkins II
Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.