Something odd,
something different and curious
finally made her brave enough
after 3 intense years, to lift the fragile veil
of Lilith’s friendship, smiling back
at her from that familiar face.

Listening to Lilith’s sweet songs,
sharing, believing, allowing them into her heart,
lulling her own tongue
into singing its most precious tunes,
sharing her deepest secrets.

Hearing the devastating news
she could not digest it,
could not fathom
why Lilith would betray her
with those untrue, unkind words.

Lilith was not that kind of person!
It simply could not be true.
True friends do not go behind
each other’s backs with knives.
It’s an unspoken LAW!

Breaths became labored,
her heart rate elevated,
unprepared for the abrupt revelation,
completely depleted of precious oxygen,
the wind knocked out of her sails.

A smidge of skepticism,
a moment of hesitation,
a wall of doubt might have prepared her
for the shock of it all.

Betrayal revealed the ugly, ravenous beast
who had waited patiently
behind her friendly mask,
now freely expelling her jagged,
putrefied breaths.

Lilith had waited, calculating,
ready to consume
the fresh, vulnerable, trusting friend.
Only after the feast began
did the victim feel excruciating pain,
the intensity of the damage.

The chunks bitten from her soul
soon festered, refused to heal.
What remained was the shell
of her former self, disoriented,
doubting everyone and everything,
shaken to her core.

Diminished, broken, a mere shell
of her former self, vision blurred,
everything precious seemingly now lost,
everyone she held dear evaporated.
Only enough strength for a simple
cynical thought left inside her aching skull.

She asked her miserable acquaintance,
..“and will you have fries with that?”


When the slate black of night
turns to pale lilac, as the dawn
rolls over the forest floor,
the sky turns once again
into silvery whiteness,
like the glow that emerges
from an eclipse of the moon.

The leafless trees,
thick and tall, stand close together,
rooted in years of layers
of richly composted leaves.
Fog begins to waft through,
revealing the direction of an
elusive breeze.

Turkey hens and Tom’s begin
a high-stepping parade, single file in
their always humorous jerky-walk.
Undeterred by dangling foggy webs,
glistening with morning dew,
pointy turkey beaks lead them
along the trail and up the hill
from the Kennebec river.


Justin Richel – Artist – “ENDLESS COLUMN”


Sipping gingerly from each

heated receptacle, filled from

a stately teapot, shallow cups

formed of ashes and dust

spill family secrets,

personal mysteries, and

individual sufferings shared

during quiet moments.

Tempered by the accompaniment

of sweet treats, skillfully prepared

by patient hands, following vintage

recipes holding their own hidden

family histories baked inside. The

sacred cups appear static and silent.

Oh lovely teacup totem,

a shining beauty standing

proud and tall, on exhibition today,

gleaming in the sunlight,

vibrating, calling to me…

a woman fixated with wonder.

Please speak to us of the secrets

of heat and desire, grief and loss,

family celebrations, and of

the peaceful moments shared

over steaming cups of centuries,

all-inclusive peoples young & old,

consumers and lovers of

soothing exotic brews.

Centuries of proper afternoon teas

pass as the brew is sipped

from cups delicately made of china,

fine porcelain, or simple clay

pottery, sedately reveal stories

to those quieting themselves

enough to feel the vibration

distilling the historic memories

left by tender hands long ago.


Davy Jones' Locker - Wikipedia

Who keeps the tally of all the names

appearing on the list of those engulfed,

waterlogged below the shimmering emerald plane

brimming with secrets buried in Davey Jones’ treasure

just offshore where the mountains meet the sea?

Explorers from foreign lands,

Merchant Adventurers and

Masters of the sea,

disregarding weather cues,

weary widows walking, teary eyed

and overwhelmed by heartbreaking loss,

submerged now beside unfortunate pirates

who walked the plank into the

deep mystique of Davy Jones locker.

Lives cut short by –

the length of a glassine gangplank,

misstep on a slippery deck, or

an unsuccessful struggle

through stormy seas,

sending them drifting downward

weightlessly deeper and deeper still,

below Maine’s rocky shoreline,

endlessly swirling, churning

in powerful tidal currents

past where the coral gardens grow,

sole witness to schools of blind fishes

who swim throughout Davy Jones locker,

fathoms below, in icy green water

at the bottom of the sea.


Morphed now to silt,
velvety-warm mud, submerged
in a 12-hour cycle,
revealed only moments ago
by a receding tide.

Kennebec River vista
freshly kissed by dewy webs,
richly scented of musky earth.
Following an invigorating
pre-dawn swim, Swango Princess
wraps a familiar silky robe
around her damp body.

The wink of a new moon
sprays swaths of incandescence,
illuminating the sky canvas,
revealing Venus and Jupiter
amongst wispy clouds dissolving
in the distance, presenting pastel hues
in a water-colored horizon.

The flash of dawn turns muted tones
to brilliant crimson flames,
igniting the sky reflected in
the surface of the turning tide.
Fathoms below, sturgeon rise to arch,
slapping down upon the fiery surface
as if to extinguish the flames.

Deep below the Dresden-Richmond Bridge
arching skyward into the crimson array,
ancient turtles burrow in newly exposed mud,
instinctively knowing their gift
from the deep is brief, tidal-dependent,
soon to disappear, returning only
at the next incoming tide.