Literary Yard

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‘Third Law’ and other poems by RC deWinter

By: RC deWinter


third law

in our brash independence
we walk through the world
draped in the cloak of free will

believing in our ability to order our lives
if only we make the right choices
do the right things

unaware of the web of life
the interconnectedness
of a to b to c
an alphabet of sequences never noticed
crisscrossing invisibly

tethering us to the stars
the tree falling with no witness
the child in the mud hut five thousand miles hence
the neighbor you wish lived somewhere else

for every
there is an equal and opposite
the universe does not make mistakes

closing my eyes
i see the monarch’s wings
sending hurricane winds
out to sea

margery daw

winter is coming
makes no nevermind
i’m always cold
shriveled soul hardened heart
beyond repair but for a miracle

miracles are scarce these days
but i’m one to never say never
perhaps the sun will explode
and i’ll stand drenched in atomic gold
thawed by the miracle of love

that’s platitudinous crap
won’t say never
not holding my breath in miracle alley

no need to match the wallpaper
to the soul
i’m riding the seesaw
invisibly blue


still hot (pointless)

after that intricate fandango
during which you turned
and twisted me so well
that the mirror threw back
a stranger’s face
i threw away my dancing shoes

i’ve just about closed the book on love
my rewrites are no good
no new juice
each chapter just more
of the same old song and dance
the tune offkey
the dance that damnable fandango

so bye bye love

yet i can be sitting still as a stone
thinking nothing in particular
and your shadow
slips inside my mind

my flesh moistens
then melts
because that flame
a neverending peat fire of pointless desire
burns on


Dispatch from the Front

Christmas is coming,
but I see no geese getting fat
and no stockings hung by the chimney,
with or without care.

The Spirit of Goodwill
does not traverse the land.
Instead the Spectre of Poverty
walks abroad, gaunt and grey;
eyesockets blind, ears deaf
to the cries of the needy.

It is a cold hard season:
carolsingers frozen in the snow,
leaving only the howling of the wind
serenading those in need of comfort.

Doors are locked and windows shuttered,
and in the churches only paupers sit,
praying for nothing but some hours of warmth,
some interruption in the steadfast bitter weather.

Where is Wenceslaus with his welcome gifts?
He sits in prison with his page,
charged with fostering dependency,
while peasants in their dwellings
despair of all relief.

“Hark the Herald” echoes round the world,
sung not by angels but by diplomats
delivering ultima ratio in unctuous pouches
trimmed with razorblades and bones,
while the only things jingling
are the coins with which goodwill
is bought and sold.

There is no peace on earth.
The Prince of Peace has been deposed, and in his place,
dark Santas with no need of reindeer-powered sleighs
sit huddled deep within warm bunkers playing video games,
delivering unwrapped holiday surprises
to those who do not celebrate the season.

So rest ye merry, gentlemen,
let nothing you dismay
as the Wassail Bowl is passed
within the halls of power,
and the rest of us whisper
“Libera nos a malo”
to a god refusing to be born
into this world.


leaving it

i watched you
for a long time


before i plucked you from
the soup of supplicants

later you said i ambushed you
but that’s a lie

you were in there swimming with the rest

sleek seals with trick routines
all of you trying to outjazz each other
without actually saying

pick me

i liked your nonchalance
you never balanced a ball on your nose
all your energy
was directed toward a different kind
of dexterity

i knew you could deliver

and did
for awhile

you tasted me and liked what you tasted
never fawning
always cavalier
i liked that too

jungle drums killed tv

you set me on fire with your rough tongue
rougher hands
injecting just the right amount of ferocity
into those horizontal sambas
we danced in chords of purplegold

we were a pair of take its or leave its
i thought you understood that

later when the needing began
and i couldn’t give what i didn’t have
and wouldn’t fake it
you cried foul

i shrugged
you had no promises to collect

i delivered nothing but a kiss


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