Imprisoned Knight

Listen my brethren and enemies,
what took place in my life I’ve done not for memories,
not for the fame (produced) on media airways;
but for the sake of my devotion,
of a zealous bent, to help the goo, and evil prevent.
Denied the chalice, now to rot in forgotten cave.
It’s cold and windy behind the darkened fence,
The midnight of broken men has long come hence.
Now I can state with grand confidence:
here I’ll live out my days, losing all my sense,
as well as my hair, teeth, and healthy consonants,
never to worry about the rent or payment in dollars or pence.
Aging for me is acknowledging Truth.
Of banishment, lord how discouraging; Pain.
A Burning ember, always annoying. Long lost is reason,
in others toying; life without logic,
simply blood that keeps circling.
For a soul too prideful to stop going.
This isn’t the howl of desperate distress,
it’s the species’ trip back to the wilderness.
More aptly, the first cry of speechlessness.

By Mark Richards, 1986

Other Road

Just for fun…

Some people like the freeways
Where they can travel real fast;
I like the country byways,
Edged with flowers and grass.

I’m not so fond of roads,
Built by engineering skill;
Give me a trail with no loads,
That winds around every hill.

I like roads where I can see
Trees towering in the sky;
Cattle resting in the shade,
A rippling stream nearby.

I want to look over fields
That flow with waves of warm grain;
Or vast forests painted green
And fresh from a summer rain.

I tire of long concrete roads
Although they’re smooth and wide;
Give me a path of loud toads
With trees standing on each side.

– Mark Richards, 2012


After a while you learn the difference,

Between holding a hand, or chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning.

And that company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn:

That kisses aren’t contracts,

and passions aren’t promises.

You begin to accept your defeats,

With your head up, and your eyes open.

With the grace of an adult,

Not with the grief of a child.

And you learn to build your roads on today,

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,

And futures have a way of falling apart in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So yu plant your own garden

And decorate your own soul,

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you the flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth,

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye…you learn!


— Mark Richards, 1984

Dark Self


In my dark self are glittering stars born from my emotions,

And in my heart shines a moon lighting the procession of my dreams.

In my sleepless soul, silence reveals.

The lover’s secrets and echoes the worshipper’s prayers.

My face wears a mask of magic, torn by the agony of death.

Mended by the songs of childhood,

As you, Night, are rent by the sudden fury of a thunderhead,

Calmed by the passing of a storm.

Shall I be considered boastful if I liken myself to you —

Both accused of being what we’re not?

I am like you tho’ twilight does not crown me with its golden clouds,

Nor morning clothe me in its rosy rays.

I am night, boundless and calm.

There is no beginning to my obscurity, and no end to my reach.

—- Mark Richards, 1984

Compass of the Soul

No thought of darkness could warn of the threat,

That overcame me before sails could bellow;

Waves from the lifeless deepness built too quickly,

The sky turning to ebony, lost the sun’s warm yellow.

Though seas stretched wide on every side,

Beyond my grasp to chart,

I found I had a compass

Hidden deep within my heart.

To find my soul’s direction,

I had but to remember our emotional cord;

And I had no uncertainty,

What point I had to turn toward.

Let storm and doubt loom on every side

I knew where I had to be –

Through any tempest I needn’t hide,

For your love is always a part of me.

— Mark Richards, 1998