Poems by R.W. Haynes

Hard-Bitten Dramatist Fishes Down South

The relaxed metaphor of this warm, dark stream

Washes my long-frozen soul of all

Its characteristic ice, its fatal dream

That ice always returns, that a colder fall

Always punishes summer laxity.

And though I know the truth, the flow of time

Recalibrates my instincts fittingly

With immersion in this peckerwood sublime.

You don’t always have to be cold to be wise,

Or dead to be alive; don’t misread me.

I haunt the tragic place where Juliet dies,

And I learned most of love in Italy:

Unreflection drowns us unaware,

Dispersing our shocked ghosts everywhere.


Derision of Thrift

“Yes,” she said in her low frictive voice,

“Moonlight on old temples is the best

Mental experience, if you have a choice,

But time has us now, won’t let us rest

In such contemplation, we must move on

To seek some new neurotic adventure. If not,

Won’t the thrill of our hope be gone,

And won’t our appetitive freshness rot?

So fuck the Acropolis.” There was a tinkling sound.

She opened her phone, then glanced at me,

Looked toward the ocean, and, turning around,

Walked some steps, as gods rose from the sea,

Whispering, “O children, you will never die,”

And Ophelia murmured, “ἔρχομαι.”


*Note: The Greek word which concludes this poem (transliterated erchomai) means “I am coming.”



R. W. Haynes lives and writes in Laredo, Texas, about a mile from the Rio Grande y Bravo. He teaches early British literature at Texas A&M International University, where he has been a faculty member for twenty-three years.