Beyond Love

The following poem is about the loss of love.  Or the absence thereof.  Some would call that hell.  So deep, so stark, so completely enveloping the narrator’s soul that he only wishes to close his eyes and never open them again.  But the world will not allow that….. 

Beyond Love

Another day starts its glory
upon the froth of tortured stars.
Sliding into the lighted heavens
ripped from bellies of celestial scars.

And you, your filth, your disgusting way
can find little else or more to say ….
then scourge the Earth this unhallowed day
kneel before me scoundrels and pray

that life becomes your mortal slayer
and your dreams lose all memories of love.

Open your eyes once again
for God chooses not to end
this hellish world
……… play within.

Nigh, my friend.
Your eyes shall open every morn
as ever fails your rotting flesh
and your chattering skull plays the tunes of hell
to the darkest dusk of every night……

Your plight, my friend,
is life, my friend,
after love……


© 2013 John Allen Richter

This poem will be offered as fodder to a wonderfully talented group of writers and poets who gather at every Tuesday evening for “Open Link Night.”  I hope you can join us sometime.



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

21 responses to “Beyond Love

  • Mary

    The darkness of this poem is palpable, John. Playing within a hellish world would be a dreadful prospect indeed.

  • Pat Hatt

    Ugg dark and dreary
    Can make one weary
    But such is the way
    Sometimes gracing our bay
    Eyes open to it
    Can sometimes prevent such umm spit

  • katiemiafrederick

    Yes I agree and from what i seaseyes death is life…

  • annotating60

    Your vehemence of feelings come through the language loud and clear as crystal shattering. >KB

  • margaret

    Without hope is darkness – no memories of love? That to me, must be what true insanity is…

  • brian miller

    a world without love would certainly be a kind of hell for me…the emotions come through strong in this…and the darkness felt….anguish man

  • shanyns

    A darkness here that both clings and seems to ache for redemption. Nicely crafted.

  • ayala

    Sad and powerful. I feel the way Brian does..a world without love would be hell for me.

  • hisfirefly

    powerful emotion, I can feel the pain, reminds me of Job

    • johnallenrichter

      Thank you for that analogy….. that is very much what I had in mind here.. Not Job specifically, but a tortuous world, without love, without any reason to exist, yet existence continues… never ending agony of waking up every day in the knowledge of “Oh my God, why am I still here?”

      Paul told a story in the Bible about a man he and some other Christian slayers came upon as they rode horseback down a road. The man was disabled somehow and needed help. But he watched several of the men pass by, and when Paul passed the man stopped him and asked “Sir, can you help me?” Paul stopped, looked at the man, and said “Several men passed you before, yet you waited until I came by to ask for help. Why is that?” And the man answered “Because you looked at me, and I could see in your eyes that you were seeing my soul. Not just a broken man.”

      Though it may be clouded by paranoia or perhaps some other underlying issue I have but am not aware of, my observation has been that there are fewer and fewer kind eyes found in this world.

      I think this poem is about hell. And I think that people who go to hell are those that do not share the love God has given to them and asked them to share with others. And I think that is the true key to our spirituality: not adopting some religion, or adopting a set of rituals expecting either to be some sort of recipe for salvation. I think Heaven is about love, the one unique thing about us – and God. And I believe hell is the complete absence of love.

  • Laurie Kolp

    Somber and well-written. Love is the most important thing of all.

  • Colleen@LooseLeafNotes

    Kind of like life imprisonment rather than the death penalty for someone unhappy. Wait for this too will change. Funny when you left a message yesterday on my blog you (your poetry) had just turned up in a dream. So did I call you or did you call me?

  • esther

    wonderful flow, clearly written.

  • Dorianna (paintswithwords)

    Wow, John..dark, tormenting and stunningly worded causing the reader to feel the pain of loss all over again. The first stanza so aptly expressed the horror of a new day without love. Your imagery is amazing. well done

  • Gabriella

    A dark poem where torment is tangible. Not something we could wish upon anyone.

  • Gay Reiser Cannon

    The poem stands on its own, but written (or posted) after yesterday’s tragedy (in a string of yesterday tragedies) I wonder if it isn’t directed at those who would take other lives, steal goodness and love and promises from others senselessly, stupidly. If this poem is dark, life is dark, taking the light away is dark.

    They say hell is a place where no light shines, where no love lives. I think you clearly defined it here. Interesting you start in space – the place of light and stars – is it the stardust that we are from, now ash burning on eternal suns?

  • ManicDdaily

    this is pretty darn scary, John1 A life without love both on the inside and outside as it is really not just loneliness here but something far deeper. whoa! Very vivid. k.

  • johnallenrichter

    Once again, thank you one and all for visiting my little world and this week’s submission to “Open Link Night.” I apologize for the dark cloud that seems to have permeated my writing as of late. I wonder when it will let up? I really don’t know what dictates that. But know that ever increasingly I am seeing less and less love in this world, Or perhaps that has always been the case and up until now I have been living in some sort of la-la land where my mind only thinks that we are all tied to one single spiritual community of brotherly love and acceptance….. If so, then I want that back.

  • vb holmes

    Sometimes life robs one of love and leaves him/her so badly damaged that they are unable to reignite the flame of mortal, or pious, love. Should they be doomed?

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi VB…. In the most basic theological sense that I accept, yes Now I am not a preacher or Bible thumper, but theology does play a large role in my beliefs as a human being. I don’t ask anyone to accept my beliefs nor do I ever hope to use them as a way to change anyone else’s belief system. I believe love brings us to God, not religion. (Though religion can be a good tool.)

      All I ask on this subject is to recognize the overwhelming fact that almost all religions center themselves around nearly identical core beliefs: chief among them love. In Christianity, (my own faith), our beliefs are that we were created in God’s image which is to say we have the ability to love. That is uniquely ours. Dogs and cats admire us, and they admire each other, but they do not love. We believe that when Christ died God placed the Holy Spirit into each of our hearts to guide us in love.

      Before He died Christ issued a warning that continually blaspheming the Spirit, or rather simply disregarding His advice again and again, the Spirit dwindles away until eventually He becomes absent from a person and that person’s heart is then considered “hardened,” or absent of love. When I read your question I read it as asking “At that point when the heart is hardened, can that person reverse his fate and learn to love again?” Yes. As Christ’s parable about the prodigal son returning home, yes, the father accepts his returning son with open arms and makes merry to rejoice his son’s return. Regardless of his past sins and transgressions. Love trumps all. But unfortunately it has been my experience that most people with hardened hearts never wish to return to the loving world. I think they are so entrenched in their hatred that they simply can not see that it ever existed.

      I have skeptical friends who say “But John, that’s all just hogwash. There is no God, no Heaven, no hell. What’s the point of wasting time believing in fairy tales.” And I agree with that: there is no point there.

      Because if we just for a moment assume there is no God, nor Heaven nor hell, I mean just to play the devil’s advocate (really bad pun for this example btw) then isn’t it still better to incorporate love into our lives as opposed to hatred? Even if there is no “reward” at the end, or afterlife? Won’t we still feel better about ourselves for having loved one another?

      And therein lies the beauty, and wonder, and I believe proof of existence, of my God. Although some offshoot groups say we must believe this or believe the other in order to reach Heaven, I don’t believe that. In fact I think those notions might be rooted in some sort of evil to cause strife in this world. I think it is not necessary to believe in God, or His Son, in order to reach life everlasting. Search the Bible through and you find the only words Jesus ever said on the matter are “Love one another. Love the Lord, your God. (Or the Holy Spirit within your heart). Do these things and you will be granted salvation”

      Free will is about love. We can either choose to share it, or not. I believe Heaven is a communion of love. Walking on this earth I find so much hatred and disdain, and often feel when some encounter me I am viewed as simply an obstacle in their way. There is no law that requires a person to look at another friendly, with an open heart, or as though our coexistence here is a loving communion of saints. But free will isn’t about law. Free will is about love. And I fear those who don’t understand that we are indeed a coexistence of God’s children, or that we are a single communion of His love, will find themselves in an eternity of love’s absence.

      Anyway, a bit long winded but that the gist of my poem above…

      Till next time, cheers…….

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