Poetry from Rick Hartwell


Foggy Dawn


I love these foggy dawns of

spring and early summer:

mornings of limited visibility,

muffled sounds, water

coating every surface.


These are quiet mornings,

made for contemplation,



I do not need to deeply analyze

to know these are mornings of:

certain limited sadness,

unfulfilled expectations,

intentions set-aside,

uncompleted lives,

lost causes


However, they are mornings of

promise still, if not for me,

then perhaps for you.

Highway 1, Big Sur


Captured, momentary image;

brilliantine setting sun, merged,

melting with the waves.


Bursting kaleidoscope of waves;

upwelling from a distant focal point,

shattered against purple cliffs.


Waves collapse and coalesce,

funneling down a limited horizon,

ending apparent diminution of day.


Prism in eyes spread on air, spray.

spectrumming possibilities layered on;

rainbowed anticipation of another day.


Verbal sharing sometimes only lessens

impact of blurred images on open minds,

naming what should be only softly felt.




Seemingly slow crawl of ivy

up the wall belies the rapidity

by which works of man will be

overcome. Ivy insinuates

itself into cracks and crevices

created by natural forces or

errors of man. Regardless,

vegetation eventually wears

down, belittles, breaks the

backs of all that man has built.

The end need not come with

fire or ice, but only by ivy’s


insidious, perseverant creep.


The Last Outpost


Happy Trails –


Yearning for lost heroes from

bygone days of yesteryear,

long since ridden off into

the sunset of youth.


Replaced by icons of the newly-young,

those heroes of the aging-old lie dying,

or dead;

but the laughing is not yet over.


Where are the heroes of yesteryear?


Silver screens of media-mandated

imagination may resurrect them yet,

clothed in alternative realities,

conning the bridges of starships

instead of astride muscled horses.


New heroes to be born another day.


Hi Ho,

                        And Away.

The Reading

I’ll take a few old poems,


if I dare to share and they care.

On the road too much this morning,


Kerouac caffeineation.

My streams of consciousness are


my banks of subconscious containment.

Say, this could be fun / in the sun / on the run,


replenishment for my ego depletion.

What’s more impressive? —

Big Sur by Jack K. or

cover photographs by Allen Ginsberg!

Richard D. Hartwell
When hate is in the seeds, you can only harvest weeds. Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
In joined hands there is hope; in a clenched fist, none. Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea
An eye for an eye only ends up making the world blind. Mohandas Gandhi, The Mahatma

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at rdhartwell@gmail.com.