Richard W. Halperin – Two Poems

photo 2Richard W. Halperin is widely published in Ireland and the UK. His poem ‘Snow Falling, Lady Murasaki Watching’ is on permanent display in the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. His full collections are via Salmon: Anniversary (2010); Shy White Tiger (2013); Quiet in a Quiet House (listed for Autumn 2015). Four of his chapbooks have been published by Lapwing in the last two years: Mr Sevridge Sketches & A Wet Day; Pink, Ochre, Yellow; The Centreless Astonishment of Things; Blue Flower.


This is the old garden, farther along.
A couple confused – and what’s wrong with that?
Children who are different versions of the couple.

Signposts along the way, sometimes deciphered
On deathbeds, although any animal knows the code,
And trees and clouds.. Reminders from Chinese poems
Which may be older than the garden. The colour blue.

Jottings over a cup of coffee.
Someone harvested the coffee, someone sold it,
It arrives in my cup as exhausted as Odysseus.

There is something benign about mornings,
And evening is no slouch. Time for night to visit
The garden again. Snow; the Callas Butterfly;
Prince Andrei and Pierre – an immaculateness.

A young pregnant woman crosses the street
And knocks the whole thing over.

In your green land

When I read old Chinese poetry
I think of you, right now.

You are as far from me as it.
You are as far from me
As one minute ago,
Which is already unreachable.

When I think today of ruins
I think of myself as an adolescent.
He is now a ruin.
I today am;
Just built.
The morning built me.
The same physical and sentient ignorance as then.
An edifice launched daily,
Ribbon snipped by the Queen.

My parents;
You all.
Do you all live now
Just beyond Sugar Loaf in Wicklow?
Just beyond imperfection and perfection?

Do you, my dear, today reread
‘Ash Wednesday’?
Not only for its beauty
But also for its hilarity –
‘Because I do not hope’ to
‘Although I do not hope’ –
In your green land?

‘What is it like?’ I ask you.
‘Comes with free dog!’ you say

And I am young in your delight.



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