Richard Lawrence Harrington

Richard L Harrington



You Don't Choose the Message of Your Actions


When the form you wear
embodies not the shape of your heart
but rather a pattern of harm,

then strip it from you
- let it burn away;


should you hold that emblem close,
you'll find you bear it
in just and inevitable shame.

Threshold to Intimacy


When you speak my name,
do you breathe who I am?
How long I have ached,
down my road of years;
Can your lips move the same,
as delight in my hands?
when my heart doth quake,
who regards my fears?

Transcendent Song


Sing to me through broken teeth,
with limbs as shattered as younger hearts.
Sing in littered, filthy back alleys
or from a face unknown to me.

Sing to me your beauties been,
through every torture you've endured.
Sing me out across your sea;
your song is most what raptures me.

Sing to me in perfect notes,
or soundless warnings of all your fears.
sing of intentions more thought than decree,
and still you'll find a listening me.

Understanding Autumn


Ol' Midday Sun,
my own reliable glow,
strains more each morrow
to rise from bed
- lone, beyond the horizon.

In shifting time,
we gleam upon common ground;
a first-dawn fervor
for great unknowns
- joined, gleaning fickle longings.

Our radiant beams,
assumed naturally fixed,
discovered nurtured
to wax and wane
- free, plastic since genesis.

Oh Midnight Moon,
your faint, ethereal shimmer,
transfix your passion
not chore-of-night
- craved, amidst eager study.

Intimate Recital


You, Silence,
who draws my affection

in your moments of hush,
I am my own,
clattering composer.

When you speak into another's darkness,
it's best your lungs be drowned in light,
and that both respire where the air is clear.

note by note,
I devise each chord;

it is mine,
and my being,
this modern opus.

If freedom is authorship of tones,
and connection is an intimate recital,
then Love, we are our only refrain.

You, Sweet Voice,
now clear in certain reprise

by my every lone thought,
this hymn is me,
played like it's yours.



Winter hath made me forget you;
those who would'st not weather the storm,
nor act upon,
nor chase,
the hope for warmth.

In Spring, though,
I keep welcome to your face again;
as am I when ye follow not my feet,
thou art invited in all my seasons.

For the sun of summer,
we are united in joy;
yearning neither for what was,
nor lost in what will be.

And in fall,
when my path veers treacherous again;
I may always be found,
ready for embrace,
though ye may find me unreachable.

Solid Ground for Solid Feet


I am a stone for you,
a mountain of will,
and as I, from new vistas,
revisit the geology of my past,
I am known better in my canyons
from my peaks.



I find strands of your hair
woven though my shirts,
my hat,
my heart.

Like paraphernalia
of the spaces through
and between my own being,
where I still remain vulnerable to love.

And with each wash
I find these garments cleansed,
yet agreeably fettered, still more
with you.

And I know,
should we become apart,
my wounded hands would endure,
powerless to unstitch your fibers from me.

I would stretch my fabrics
to find new spaces,
and fearfully rethread the old
- tattered and doubtful as they may be.

Still a shirt,
a hat,
a heart without you,
but happier with your inlaid embrace.

Your Chicago


You showed me

in the windows of a little house;
how it was perfect,
in its time,
behind snow-laced trees.

where your slithering hands,
in hunger,
spoke coyly
in that paved-over shop
which tempted you those earliest apples.

how you curled in wisdom's pain,
shivering in the brush,
drawing scarcely
the innocent warmth of a still-tame wolf.

His damning trickery,
His cruelty as He cast you out,
still possessed
by remembrance of that garden.

those plastic-sealed joys,
dispensed surprises,
and the youthful taste of ignorance
- perhaps an Arcadia of its own.

the perpetual violence of Cain,
safety renounced,
as your nomadic heart
wandered jealously across his world.

the stained light of morning,
seated alone,
in that temple of empty pews;
and oh, dear Eros...
a glimpse of heaven through your voice.

a feeling thought unattainable,
a realized love,
a long-abandoned perfection,
tenderness in friendship,
and touch.

how the prodigious city skylines,
cathedrals in a way,
bestow some coveted peace
and entrance our hearts as He once did.

life, from which we ever steal
that flawless wilderness;
where the lost innocence of beasts
sleeps sterile on display.

those renderings of your powerful heart,
rituals of your hands;
how I'd fall willingly into your marks and curses,
and embrace the inevitability of pain.

beautifully worshiped sins in the darkness
advertised desires,
there to be seen,
but demanding devotion to be known.

how we've all reached back desperately
for that lost orchard,
whilst our feet strode on,
losing their way in the definition of myth.

sadness for memories that stay behind,
not lost or abandoned,
but whispers of ambrosia
forever fixed in time.

through the perfect trees;
my favored forfeit of a better harvest
for the trees you grow all around me.

Filled with an abundance of your light,
I know I'd let you be last,
and I'd carefully tend,
to our sacred garden.

The Flames


It burned through our hearts;
destroying the land
the town
the safe homes
where we've warmly nestled our love
where we've grown through our pains.

Our memories
still within our minds;
and our keepsakes
lying in rest
woven together as ashes
- we continue.

We will be whole again
in time;
our hearts repaired
our burns treated
- we can be whole again
in time.

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