Edge of Unspoken Dream

This poem was written to reflect that part of our nature that is so hidden away, so volatile, so soul destroying that we can only hide from it – and deny that it lives within us.  Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Mihn, Hitler,…..  These men did not kill millions of people.  No man could do that.  We,… did that.   If we ignore this nature then it will chase us in our dreams.

I wrote this long ago but only recently added my recorded voice to it.  I chose to present it as a dream, and I think that it works – somewhat….  I hope that you will enjoy my small effort here…  Thank you for visiting



Edge of Unspoken Dream

It lives.  Just beyond the face of normal.
Everyone denies it.
Everyone decries it.
Choosing to live in a dream.

But it lives.
Breathing the dust of darkest corners
Bleeding the lust of Hell’s mourners
Whispers of death on a moon beam.

A fly in the butcher’s case
Blood stained marrow on glass
Havoc hides in the deep crevasse
Of a child’s curdled scream.

Slice it thick
you fucking dick
or I’ll kill you where you stand.
I beg your pardon, Ma’am?
“We’ll have the leg of lamb.”

It lives in a crack of time
where dreams begin to end
where your closet shadows bend
And the covers can’t hide your soul.

To be offered up to the great poets at dversepoets.com “Open Link Night” on Tuesday, Sep 3rd………  Please join us some Tuesday

© 2012 John Richter


About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

37 responses to “Edge of Unspoken Dream

  • willowdot21

    OH! That was scary …. you actually frightened me! x

  • ramblingsfromamum

    I have tried unsuccessfully to do a voice recording on some of mine 😦 John this was Brilliant – your voice and the echo acoustics were just right for your words. Loved it..kinda freaky – but loved it 🙂

    • Gay Cannon

      @famblingsformamum – sign up for soundcloud- they allow you to add the html to your blog. They have it for both now blogger and wordpress now I believe. You can record your voice with free voice recorder which turns it into an mp3.

  • Mary

    Wow, I think we all have a dark side…hopefully not the likes of those you mentioned in your explanation….but it is there nonetheless.

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Mary…. It really is sad to think of what we humans are capable of.

      Willow…. Scary, yes….. Even I think this is way freaky and I wrote the darned thing… But “scary” was intentional… Real evil isn’t scary at all to the perpetrator. Most who perform evil acts never feel their acts are as bad as the punishment dictates.

      Jenn, I’ve discovered that only some of our poetry is really conducive to really good, emotion packed reading… Most of my poems will not come out right, no matter how I try. I can usually tell if a poem is a good candidate for reading after the first recording. But I have tried dozens of times on some poems without any success. I just re=-read your poem “Yawn” aloud and I would categorize that one as a pretty good candidate…

      Again, thank you one and all fro visiting. Your comments and advice mean a lot to me… JAR

  • Pat Hatt

    It is there for all
    Most refuse it at their hall
    But some let it lead
    Watching as all bleed

  • brian miller

    whew…gritty and intense….a fly on the wall is just as guilty in the watching…how poignant as well considering syria…

  • Susan Chast

    What evil lurks in the hearts of adults and children . . . . I try not to contribute to it, and thankfully haven’t had these violent image dreams … tho I might after this powerful poem and reading.

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Susan, thanks for visiting…. As Brian so poignantly expressed, Syria is quickly becoming the next monster in our history of monsters… We saw what the terrorists did in Iraq and Afghanistan with the explosives that they stumbled across: they monkey-engineered ied’s to indiscriminately murder anything in their path. What will they do when they come in control of Syria’s massive stockpile of chemical and biological weapons? It boggles my mind to wonder of the excrutiating nature of death that may accompany that… They don’t see it as evil. Just as the murderers of Jews in the 1940’s didn’t truly see that as an evil either. I believe it is evil, and I also think poets are responible for painting evil in evil’s true colors…. Though I apologize for the graphic nature of this one, I feel it is necessary. Thank you, Brian and Pat too, for your thoughtful worlds….

  • Kerry O'Connor

    Your audio performance of this poem adds an amazing dimension to the words. The echo effect made me see the speaker as one declaiming his dreamscape to an empty theatre – very surreal.

  • Anthony Desmond

    like that you actually “went there” and not tiptoe around to be less scary and *brute*… I believe some people are just evil no ifs and’s or but’s… just turn on the news on any given day of the week… great write

  • Victoria C. Slotto

    You performance is so masterful, John. I see you as a Shakespearean actor, can almost picture you as Macbeth. This poem rings so true. We all have that darkness within us. For some of us, that is why poetry keeps us sane. I often write dark stuff, perhaps for that reason…call it channeling darkness, as a friend once said to me. Kind of a spooky thought.

  • Audrey Howitt

    The reverb makes the piece reverberate in my gut John—The audio really adds to the horror of this part of us–

  • ManicDdaily

    Hi John, I’m not in a position to listen to the recording, but can see the power of the poem. I’m not sure if it’s just evil that lives – but anger – vivid self-interest – they can get to the point of evil. Such sharp contrasts here, and especially clever to use the leg of lamb. Thanks. k.

  • Talicha J.

    Very dark indeed! Nice job!

  • Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Wow.. this is amazing… and so in sync with some in the thoughts I had when writing the article for the bar. Indeed we are all guilty more or less. A really strong poem

  • Linda

    The devil lives in that second stanza. I can see his breath. Wow.

  • Colleen@LooseLeafNotes

    Eerie. I like a “fly in the butchers case.” I think of it as trapped but also capable of wreaking havoc. I like the second to the last stanza. It’s so Silence of the Lambs.

  • Katie Mia (@KateMiaAghogday)

    I believe this to ring true as we cannot more fully embrace light without at least equally embracing the dark…

  • Heaven (@ScarletVerses)

    The echoes and reading made the words more ominous & darker ~ Well done on the emotional undertones ~

  • margaret

    …the echoes, the singing – the obvious enjoyment of “performance” here makes this really creepy. I read a book “Sarah’s Key and then watched the movie. It perfectly describes what you are getting at…The Vel’ dHiv Roundup (France) how people are often like sheep – if we DONT CRY OUT and say STOP – are we not guilty – maybe not equally, but surely a part of the evil in some way.

    I, ashamedly, had never heard of this until I read this book. The French people did this, not the Germans… Wow. We must all watch out, remember, because we are ALL susceptible to falling in that “crack”.

    Powerful, disturbing poem. (and thank you today for one of the kindest compliments I have ever received on my blog 🙂

  • Gabriella

    You have addressed an issue we usually prefer to ignore John. We do have a dark side yet how we deal with it is our own choice and responsibility.

  • kelvin s.m.

    …and i always think that man is like the night — its greatest horror is not in the darkness of its skin but rather in the absence of light from its spectator’s mind… smiles…

    …i like the smooth, deep tone of your voice but find your reading a bit strange or maybe i am a fan of plain reading in poetry… what you did is more like a declamation where you tend to express emotions in the tone of your voice… that is somewhat acting on a theatrical play… if that’s the case i like the reading quite a lot…. thanks… i really appreciate your effort… smiles…

  • ayala

    John, I feel the message and the intensity that you express it with. A brilliant write.

  • kaykuala

    Fantastic read John! You brought me up standing on to a higher level transfixed. You perfectly varied your tone at the right places and kept the listener spell-bound. Great job!


    • johnallenrichter

      To all: Thank you so much for visiting and for the kind comments… It is so wonderful to see some of my old friends faces, as well as a couple of fairly new ones.. All of your comments are so kind and thoughtful, and as a fellow poet I truly appreciate that. We are such a diverse grouop, I think it is quite appropriate that we gather under the name d’versepoets….. Wishing you all a wonderful week….

  • joanna

    yes, there is a dark side to us all, i think. you do a powerful job of bringing light to it here.

  • paintswithwords

    Reminded me of the late Vincent Price listening to your read this eerie poem..A touch of horror well written, excellent read

  • Beth Winter

    Powerful and frightening. Excellent.

  • Pamela

    Spot on, John. Man is the greatest offender of life.


  • apshilling

    Hey John

    a dark exploration indeed. and your recording really adds layers,
    bringing it all to life with an energy and theatricality which holds
    the whole as we walk the tightrope.

    all the best

  • Alana

    Very powerful. We often think of these atrocities as being part of history, in the past, when the horrible truth is they are happening right now.

    • johnallenrichter

      Very well put, young poet. Evil doesn’t only exist at the end of a gun or the extermination of an entire race. It really dosn’t have a tail, or horns, or a pitchfork… There is nothing easily recognizaeble (or initially scary) about it. In its most basic form it is just a little, tiny thought in the back of one’s mind, discernible only by a lack of social connect, a disregard for the spirituality of humanity. (Like the woman at the butcher’s case, who feels that the attendant is just a fool who should pay the ultimate price of death for not getting her order done properly.) But like her, often a second thought on the matter will bring her back into the realm of decency. The designers of the Jewish Holocaust knew this very well. And although that is history to us, it was their “now,” and evil can only ever happen in the “now.” They used this knowledge to plant the seed of hatred in the hearts of the nation against Jews. Joseph Goebbels was assigned that task and he did it enourmously well. Among his tools were radio, motion picture reels, Public Service Films, and the use of political correctness to stifle anyone not falling in line. PC is a phenomenon normally considered recent, but no, Goebbels was an absolute master at it. When the time came to start gathering the Jews and eliminating them, the public was fairly amenable to the idea. Those who weren’t were hanged in the street for all others to see. The average citizen under German rule never saw any monster with horns or tails, they never heard scary stories or eerie recorded voices. There was really nothing but fear to clue them in on the pure evil that my own pen or recorded voice could ever replicate…… When one’s survival is put into play any bit of evil is possible. And that was the level reached by Goebbels PC. I hate PC. Regardless of it’s intended use, whether it is seemingly admirable or not. A poet should never stifle himself and should always scream loudest when the king is naked…

  • vbholmes

    I silently read your poem before I listened to your verbal rendition and had two very different responses to your words: both powerful and provocative, with your dramatic emphasis adding nuances I did not pick up before listening. So well done and a real treat.

  • Mark Kerstetter

    Even without preface and audio your poem would sing loud and clear. it’s very powerful. Last stanza is especially great.

  • Gay Cannon

    Powerful truth here. The use of rhyme and meter accentuates the message rather than coyly hides it. It also mirrors what you note that mankind does – tries to wrap the ugly truth in something presentable – and yet the truth stands. It’s my whole argument against guns. Guns in the hands of humans who can barely control anger, rage, craziness kill and they kill every minute. One has to live in the realization we have only exchanged one jungle for another.

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