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Robert S. King

rskbingoRobert S. King lives in Athens, GA, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Diary of the Last Person on Earth (Sybaritic Press 2014) and Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014). His personal website is

Night Shift

mountains beat like hearts
and roads are veins
pulsing beneath our feet

only in such a dream does grass
adorn its jewels of morning dew

do stars fall as dewdrops or diamonds
charming our peace

then night shifts and dawn crawls
into beehives of squinting eyes

alarms buzz off
into another restless day

Shell Hatch

In the new birth that karma rules,
may my heart soften its armor
and no longer beat a war drum.
Let me peck myself from the shell,
by wing or foot pass from darkness
to bright horizon. May the cold and hungry
join the journey, charmed by a cult
of conscience and guiding light.

Let empty shells and hardened hearts of gold
dissolve like greed in holy water’s compassion,
nourishing the free spirits of paradise
of which old souls have always dreamed
and dreamed, and dreamed . . .

Leaving a Broken Home

In a leaking lifeboat, under shattered stars,
I row from the island,
followed only by a string of window light.

The house I abandon is glass.
My fingerprints are clues
on every transparent wall.

Glass hearts break
on the walls become mirrors:
Like a moth against the storm,
I watch myself drift away,
my lantern a dot on the horizon,
across the wave attracting me still.

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