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Best Famous Richard Jones Poems


Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Richard Jones poems. This is a select list of the best famous Richard Jones poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Richard Jones poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Richard Jones poems.

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by Richard Jones |

The Road

 I, too, would ease my old car to a stop
on the side of some country road
and count the stars or admire a sunset
or sit quietly through an afternoon....

I'd open the door and go walking
like James Wright across a meadow,
where I might touch a pony's ear and
break into blossom; or, like Hayden

Carruth, sustained by the sight
of cows grazing in pastures at night,
I'd stand speechless in the great darkness;
I'd even search on some well-traveled road

like Phil Levine in this week's New Yorker,
the poet driving his car to an orchard
outside the city where, for five dollars,
he fills a basket with goddamned apples.


by Richard Jones |

Sacrifices

 All winter the fire devoured everything --
tear-stained elegies, old letters, diaries, dead flowers.
When April finally arrived,
I opened the woodstove one last time
and shoveled the remains of those long cold nights
into a bucket, ash rising
through shafts of sunlight,
as swirling in bright, angelic eddies.
I shoveled out the charred end of an oak log,
black and pointed like a pencil;
half-burnt pages
sacrificed
in the making of poems;
old, square handmade nails
liberated from weathered planks
split for kindling.
I buried my hands in the bucket,
found the nails, lifted them,
the phoenix of my right hand
shielded with soot and tar,
my left hand shrouded in soft white ash --
nails in both fists like forged lightning.
I smeared black lines on my face,
drew crosses on my chest with the nails,
raised my arms and stomped my feet,
dancing in honor of spring
and rebirth, dancing
in honor of winter and death.
I hauled the heavy bucket to the garden,
spread ashes over the ground,
asked the earth to be good.
I gave the earth everything
that pulled me through the lonely winter --
oak trees, barns, poems.
I picked up my shovel
and turned hard, gray dirt,
the blade splitting winter
from spring. With hoe and rake,
I cultivated soil,
tilling row after row,
the earth now loose and black.
Tearing seed packets with my teeth,
I sowed spinach with my right hand,
planted petunias with my left.
Lifting clumps of dirt,
I crumbled them in my fists,
loving each dark letter that fell from my fingers.
And when I carried my empty bucket to the lake for water,
a few last ashes rose into spring-morning air,
ash drifting over fields
dew-covered
and lightly dusted green.


by Richard Jones |

Tree

 When the sun goes down
I have my first drink
standing in the yard,
talking to my neighbor
about the alder tree
rising between our houses,
a lowly tree that prospered
from our steady inattention
and shot up quick as a weed
to tower over our rooftops,
where it now brandishes
a rich, luxuriant crown.
Should we cut it down?
Neither of us wants to --
we agree that we like
the flourishing branches,
shade like thick woods.
We don't say it,
studying our tree in silence,
but we know that if the roots
get into the foundations
we've got real trouble.
John goes back inside.
Nothing to be done in summer --
not to those heavy branches.
I balance my empty glass
on top of a fence post.
In the quiet early dark,
those peaceful minutes
before dinner, I bend down
to the flower beds I love
and pull a few weeds --
something I've meant to do
all day.


by Richard Jones |

How Did You Meet Your Wife?

 Swimming the English Channel,
struggling to make it to Calais,
I swam into Laura halfway across.
My body oiled for warmth,
black rubber cap on my head,
eyes hidden behind goggles,
I was exhausted, ready to drown,
when I saw her coming toward me,
bobbing up and down between waves,
effortlessly doing a breaststroke,
heading for Dover. Treading water
I asked in French if she spoke English,
and she said, "Yes, I'm an American."
I said, "Hey, me too," then asked her out for coffee.


by Richard Jones |

Letter Of Recommendation From My Father To My Future Wife

 During the war, I was in China.
Every night we blew the world to hell.
The sky was purple and yellow
like his favorite shirt.

I was in India once
on the Ganges in a tourist boat.
There were soldiers,
some women with parasols.
A dead body floated by
going in the opposite direction.
My son likes this story
and requests it each year at Thanksgiving.

When he was twelve,
there was an accident.
He almost went blind.
For three weeks he lay in the hospital,
his eyes bandaged.
He did not like visitors,
but if they came
he'd silently hold their hand as they talked.

Small attentions
are all he requires.
Tell him you never saw anyone
so adept 
at parallel parking.

Still, your life will not be easy.
Just look in the drawer where he keeps his socks.
Nothing matches. And what's the turtle shell
doing there, or the map of the moon,
or the surgeon's plastic model of a take-apart heart?

You must understand --
he doesn't see the world clearly.
Once he screamed, "The woods are on fire!"
when it was only a blue cloud of insects
lifting from the trees.

But he's a good boy.
He likes to kiss 
and be kissed.
I remember mornings
he would wake me, stroking my whiskers
and kissing my hand.

He'll tell you -- and it's true --
he prefers the green of your eyes
to all the green life 
of heaven and earth.


by Richard Jones |

What Do You Do About Dry Periods In Your Writing?

 When the writing is going well,
I am a prince in a desert palace,
fountains flowing in the garden.
I lean an elbow on a velvet pillow
and drink from a silver goblet,
poems like a banquet
spread before me on rugs
with rosettes the damask of blood.
 But exiled
from the palace, I wander --
crawling on burning sand,
thirsting on barren dunes,
believing a heartless mirage no less true
than palms and pools of the cool oasis.