Gypsum Girl / Woodland Pond – Poems by RICHARD KING

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Gypsum Girl


The gypsum girl is translucence.

Her powdery touch slides off

the skin, refraction of a shadow,

opaqueness in cubic dimension

arrived on the palest sunbeam,

circling the world counterclockwise.


Her feet are slippers of chalk

cast upon the dark matter

made from the world’s first

act of evil, zinc oxide covering

the charred measure

of deceitful potent stars.


Her curved spine is sacrifice,

blanched ivory and made

to express the thin blades of pearl

found upon

the ambitious soul of artifice

at the moonrise of belief.


Her jaw is milky titanium

filled with molasses and lies,

the warm, burning capillaries

of a false prophet’s tongue

exposing truths stolen

from the grip of divinity.


And her hands,

her pallid, infertile hands

we’ve all felt the tickle of

her transparent claws on our shoulder

usually in the night,

but never when we most expect it.

Woodland Pond


Through the stray ebb of night,

swirls of black water form her


in a meager grove

of orange-leafed trees.


She studies the bracken and reeds,

looks past the embankment


to figures standing in the distance;

the man in the straw hat


leaning on a grey fence

talking to his daughter.


In a few desperate sentences

he speaks of things to deny or embrace


the endless sky

the empty earth


ghosts of the north country

conspiring with fire.


The girl listens momentarily,

begins to drift away


floating through leaves

and tresses of moss


alighting on a small shoreline—

folding in, turning back.



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.

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