Kent Reichert: Poem: July 2022

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Los Angeles, CA and Belews Creek, NC can be found around the 35th parallel. Both are referred to as “southern” even though they exist at opposite ends of the country. Having spent my formative years in LA and over 50 in North Carolina, I guess you could refer to me as “southern.” I’ve been to Priddy’s Store outside Danbury and eaten cheeseburgers at Melvin’s in Elizabethton; visited North Wilkesboro for MerleFest and Love Valley for the Old Time Fiddlers Convention; spent time in Bristol and Martinsville for NASCAR races; and strolled along the sandy beaches at Nags Head and Waves, then took the ferry to Ocracoke and on to Cedar Island. While I rarely say, “Ya’ll” I’m still southern, even it’s California.

Requiem: For Those He Left Behind

In an instant, time paused…
night lengthened…

Absent the sky, a cold moon
languished below the horizon,
unable to break free and rise.
Stars, whose shimmer stilled,
remained mere holes
in the firmament of the mind.

Hovering amid the absence,
traversing the immensity of its void,
sight became tactile,
melancholy fingers drawn across
a grieving iridescent consciousness.
All the while, inclusion, succor, and comfort
receded slowly, as if by degrees,
into a realm of absence befitting
existence in the universe of the unseen,
the benign forgotten.

The intimacies of self 

wandered a wilderness of mirrors.
A blank stare, the face of identity
and the realization that this voyage across the lake
finds no opposite shore,
and yet,
within the enveloping gloom
of this resident vacuum,
an aura surrounds each memory
where eyes glisten in reflection,
the precipitate of love itself
enabling and informing the space between each breath,
conferring a taste of grace, of benevolent forbearance,
of healing.

A stubborn fog intermittently lifts
revealing unrecognized suns, risen and rising,
each embracing the journey’s strife.
Passing through each moment, days inexorably arc.
Life’s equinoxes stretch…
vernal…to autumnal…
honoring the seasons,
clasping the realities of each solstice,
discerning within the path
narrow back streets from expansive avenues
recalling, once more, the facets of self.

Here, remembrance and new life
manifest the heart and soul’s continuation.