No Quiet Silence

There is no quiet silence.

there’s the turning of the page,

a peal of laughter,

a snatch of conversation, innocuous and inane,

the rush of wind over the ears,

the rustling sway of wind-dancer branches,

the susurration of the sea,

the cracking of the baking soil,

the buzz and click and hum of droning insects,

the sizzle of fires

the churning core of the world birthing mountains

the hiss and patter of the blizzard’s snowfall

the wail of the newborn,

the dying sigh of the old.

And death itself is only sleep,

as restless spirits manifest to tell us all:

There is no quiet silence.


Poet of Shadow

I write

in the

shadowed places


cold, bleak

and dark


Stepping on cracks in the sidewalk

full of cigarette butts,

phlegmatic spit

and on occasion,



There are crevices

in the fences too,

where the wind whistles

off key,

enticing me

to emerge

and share.


And I want to,

I so very want to,

and know that I

so very

never will


The silent shadows

comfort me,

drape their darkness

across my shoulders

like the powerful arm

of a strong friend


I shift and settle,

a  bag of  garbage

kicked in the corner,

under a wedge of dim, flickering light

from a faulty streetlamp,

the wires humming in

off key harmony

with the whistling wind


Come out to play, poet…


‘No,’ I reply to the invitation,

now no longer content to be in

the shadows.

I melt into them.


My words spin

out and away,

beyond my control,

into the vast, black

void of heaven.


And I write

in the

shadowed places


Night Roads

This is a WIP currently being written in serial form at the link below.

Please check it out, and feel free to comment.

Be honest, but kind.

If you troll me, I will send zombie vampires to hunt you. In a novel, of course….

We all know there’s no such thing as zombie vam– (OW! Get back down there, you stinking–!)

Anchors Away

See the sun set on our longing

to invade a distant shore.

See the dimming of desire

to go sailing off to war.


Harbored safely and securely,

anchors lowered close to town,

we will speak no more of killing,

and with families settle down.


Though the noble masts jut proudly

in the darkened twilight sky,

Hear the cannon’s silence softly

Sing a sailor’s lullaby


See the sails tied to the rigging?

They’ll no longer catch the breeze.

And there’s no more pipe and jigging

On the rolling, dancing seas


And the whales will give birth again

to calves beneath the moon,

fearing nothing from the surface

be it net or sharp harpoon.


And the lighthouse keepers

get to leave their cold and noisy


for there’ll be no more ships coming

in the darkest morning hours.


And violent storms that claimed

the lives of those who’ve gone before

will have no plunder for their crimes

that leave this happy shore.


So weep no more, my lovely bride

The tide is standing still.

And I’ll face the sunset with you

Til it sinks beneath the hill.



I Look Forward to Spring

This seemed to strike a chord…let me know what you think. Enjoy.

Beyond Panic

I look


to spring

I look


to run

I close my


when walking

and try to guess

what I



I look



waiting for

the bus

I look

up at the stars

in the winter



I look


to spring

© Alfred W. Smith Jr.

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And Yet He Guards the Ruined World

And yet he guards the ruined world,

hearing echoes of long-dead men,

the clang and rattle of long buried swords,

the screams and moans of pleasure and pain.


He smells the candles in the temple,

And the perfumes of the maidens,

And the poisons of the traitors,

And the flesh he’s burned in battle.


The laughter of the children rings

through the cavernous passages.


The hawking of wares in the marketplace

shout in abandoned streets.


He is king over ashes,

and ruler of rubble,

with broken towers his castle,

and cracked and blackened bones his subjects.


The scavengers that remain

give him obeisance, and

bow and scrape for leave to

hunt scraps.


But on the watching wall he stands,

constant as the cosmos,

unyielding as stone,

unchanging as what has been

written before…


Unfettered, he is free to fly

and soar and kill and burn


And yet he guards the ruined world,

Until it stops to turn


The Orb of Life

Look! my friend.

See! and weep no more

I have them here,

preserved by

your perserverance


Inside, they mill in

tranquil expectation that

you will see them all,

and claim them for your own.




Your dreams

Your longings

Your desires

Your loves


They are here within

The orb of your life


But you must reach in



Your doubts

Your fears

Your rejections

Your hatreds


And be able to tell

the difference

for they are double-sided

but they are


all yours.