One day I will flip out
and scream,
curse and bluster
in frustration
because I cannot
for the life of me
find my keys
and when
that happens
somebody remind me
they are hanging
on the hook
the bedroom door.

—Rick Baldwin ©2018

That One Time

If I could slice
a still instant
   out of moving life,
I would carve
an ample piece of
   that one time
and place it under
a crystal dome—
   gazing daily
at its deliciousness
until temptation
   finally breaks me
and I bust it
from its detention,
   devouring it
like a brown bear
at a honey tree.

           —Rick Baldwin ©2018

Don’t Crumble

Don’t crumble, my friend.
When the world hurls
A terrific kung fu
Punch to your gut
And tosses your home
With winds as
Don’t crumble, my friend.
Your job is terminated
And your best mate
Lured your sweetheart
The markets crashed
And your payment is due
Don’t crumble, my friend.
After the birthdays have
Accumulated (and they will)
Your body has deteriorated
Like the Acqua Marcia
The cunning thief has
Stolen away your treasure
Don’t crumble, my friend.
When your eyes dim and your
Mind becomes your enemy
Doubts foot-drag toward
You like zombies
Preparing to consume
When fears have convinced
You there are no
More better days
Don’t crumble, my friend.

               —Rick Baldwin ©2018

time Traveler

i can see you
     i can't
  as you stand
not in front of me

where are you
          now while i
    caress your
body days away
   and kiss
the distance
    on your lips—
              st  ay
           a rriv e

                dePar t
     hold on to
       my hand

      in the

               —Rick Baldwin ©2018


You traced in red line
     thick, paint outline
grasping for her,
     a specter in
       the green fog.
     What is that look—
          pleasure or
     grey death?

Mirror sisters
in ash gowns
hanging loosely over
translucent skin.

A bond deeper than
     skeleton— love
     and hate passed
   through haunted

                —Rick Baldwin ©2018

My View At Starbucks Window

Metallic ocean waves
will not overwhelm me in
this prevailing moment,

nor shaven-headed dude
with raven hound

on verdure plaza,
eagerly visualizing
shit on the verge,

under this devil sun.
Vociferous men
devoid of socks

converse about
investments in
rental living quarters

while evading a glance
at my overly-long
vert straw

properly delivering
my shivery
iced beverage.

                             —Rick Baldwin ©2018



While you are sleeping
     they are sharpening the guillotine
Loading their guns
Sheathing knives at their thighs

Tiptoeing while you snore
To tie the noose
And expose the poison
Planting mines where your feet will step

During your dream state
They are writing the nightmares

You have no idea
     what awaits.

                           —Rick Baldwin ©2018

The Realization

How disappointing it is to arrive at 56 years of life
     and not know what I am doing.
Where I am going.
What it’s all about.

I thought I would know useful things by now.
I thought I would be an expert at something.
I thought I would be enlightened or at least
     receive a handbook
     or rule book
     or guide book.

Some kind of book.

I thought I would be better.
I thought I would have major accomplishments that
     people would write about
     or discuss on talk shows.
I thought I would have achievements that
     changed lives or
     made the world a better place.

I thought I’d be richer.

Where are the young people asking me for advice
     and the business people asking me
     to speak at their luncheons?
Why are there no invitations to address the graduates
     at their commencement?

56 years is no different from 16 years
     when I wandered blindly through existence
          waiting for a future moment I would know
               my way around and be a more complete human.


                                        —Rick Baldwin ©2018


a wooden line of lovers
like weathered rotted fence posts
each stake more brittle and hollow
than the previous
until the last
completely broken and
serving no useful purpose

                           —Rick Baldwin @2018