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Poems by Douglas Larkins

Early 1960's
Doug Larkins
In front of
The Detroit Institute of Art



Nearing his end, The Buddha
wished to return home
I, too, wish to return home
Where that is, I don't know
Sometimes it's a jungle
with a lover in Mayan ruins
Or on a high hill
overlooking the Pacific Ocean
ground covered in yellow flowers
lark sparrows feeding and singing
A night freezing in a car
at Pointe Pelee, Canada
waking to net birds
Dancing at Alvin's Bar, Detroit
drunk and very happy
Are they all my home
as in memory they seem to be?
Special places locked in mind
Where I cycle back again
and again, with beloved friends.



Wind -- Ah!

 soft in dark needled trees

Earth smells and springing moss

Wooden clapper sounds

 carpenter bird

 aged noble pine


Behind your wicked eyes

 a knowing that makes

 wooly satyrs blush

Are you a flowering?

 clean stream in hidden woods?

Who are you -- just as you are?

 Turner of songs to cookies?

 Mistress of misty blueberries?

Sand grains obey falling

Lines form on youthful faces

But before the no-Beginning

 I loved you Now

Morse code sunlight calls

 on a pasture pond

Swift blue and white streak

 rattling kingfisher



(to be continued)




The joys in life

And the many pains

Strange in old age

they both bring sorrow

The loss of good moments

the recollection of bad one

All seems best forgotten

A life wiped clean

to enjoy the end of days

A cup of coffee, bath

a delicious meal

All that was faced

success and failure

no longer matters

and must be let go

So that Now can unfold

as it always does.


Up before dawn

birder slips from bed

his naked partner

covers herself in blankets

quietly he leaves

outside, a fog covers

the jungle and

the Belmophon River

mammals and birds call

but all is hidden

he and the world

seem to be dreaming.


We love others, but

seldom understand them

There is a kind of looking

apart from thought

Where the mind is free

Flaws and faults

have no place

The essence of another

naked and glowing

They just are.


While I sleep

She visits

Expressive brown eyes

gaze at me

Silent, smiling

Raven-black hair

I once wrapped

around my neck

She seems waiting.


My days are attenuated

and seem to slide away

A grand willow in the grounds

spreads over beach and park

Inland through cedars

swampy trails through woods

Calls of water-thrushes echo

amid smells of life and decay

Boots squish in wet moss

a lovely song for wandering

Too soon blue truck awaits

Loth to leave such beauty

She was once with me

Standing, wondering

what it all has meant

Willow, cedar, and moss whisper

But I can't hear what they say.


Roam the margins

enjoy limitless Now

Sleep tonight in peace

Don't think of

our candles burning out

For awhile we glowed

like small bright stars

Maybe we'll ignite

somewhere else again.


A voice on the phone

bravely conversing

Hearing pain, tears fall

A new widow's grief

reawakens mine.

Diversions beguile

A movie, a friend

Sadness hides, but

is never gone, ever

A part of living

consequence of love,

for us, left behind.


Sun and clear sharp light

Golden edges on colored leaves

The air a cool adrenaline rush.

Milkweed seeds,

 flotillas of small tan ships

 airborne on ethereal white sails.

The river relects,

 birch leaf yellow, pine green,

 and the maple's fire

 burning forever.

Pebbles flee from city boots,

 as this deep-hued fall

 blends with long ago

 memories of a captured owl

 a lover hugged through puff-coat down.

Now I imprint

 the rush and clatter of wind through aspens

The primary toned leaves

 escaping from trees

 like runaway rice paper kites.