The Poetorialist
November 2011 Featured Poet

Christopher Reilley

Christopher Reilley
Currently the Poet Laureate of Dedham, MA, Christopher Reilley is a long time prepress tech, print geek and former self publisher, now a father and poet. He describes himself as a conglomeration of everything he has ever done, seen, felt, caused, experienced, observed and survived. He has held many jobs in his life, from working in restaurants for over twenty years - both in front and in back of the house - to being a freelance illustrator and designer, a print expert, a computer help technician, a door to door salesman, an on-air television face, producer, sign maker, delivery truck driver, stand up comic, and donut maker, but his favorite job is being a father to his two lovely daughters and his son.

He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal, a collector of both masks and comic books, and has recently returned to painting as a serious endeavor. He does all the cooking in his house, has acted in community and regional theater, and knows all the words to "If I Only Had a Brain". And yes, it is true, he did graduate from clown college in 1987. Once upon a time, Christopher developed the Book in Time print-on-demand work flow for Xerox, which eventually became the default system for Bertelsmann, the largest book printer in the world. He is currently preparing a full length manuscript of love and passion poems for publication next spring, entitled "Slippery Friction".

Christopher Reilley can be found on his own Facebook page Poetry of Reilly, or fronting the Facebook page of the Dedham Poet Society.


Though drowned for three decades

she steps fresh as creation
from the broken glass doors.
And then I remember, in that instant
that she is dead, and I am not,
this is another century, so
this must be another girl,
a newly minted stranger,
one with whom I will never speak.

I am awash in emotion -
not loss exactly,
but a very particular awareness
of my own duration.

I see a beggar leaning against
a jewlery store facade,
his head pressed against the windows.
In those windows are small, empty pedestals,
formal absences of precious things
now locked away for the night.

His legs wrapped in brown paper
look vaguely medieval,
a knight crafted from office materials.
He is the color of pavement,
his very race in question,
yet when he looks up at me
my own eyes peer out from his tangle of curls.

The girl who drowned so very long ago
settles down to my mind’s bottom,
swept down in a swirl of toffee hair
and less hurtful memories
to where my youth turns gently
in its accustomed tides,
and I am more comfortable that way.

In the glistening of Spring
young winds are born,
hatchling mouth gaping
for frozen bits of thermal carrion,
gleaning what nourishment they can
from the keening of last winter’s gales.

Summertime zephyrs are on their own,
casting themselves in currents of warmth,
deciding from moment to moment
whether they will caress or sting.
They move as they must
for only those most fit
may sail forward into Fall.

Late autumn gales dance in glee,
plucking the trees for adornments
to dress themselves, pushing
the dead scales of summer
through wild ranges
to line west facing cliffs
in hopes of spawning anew.

And in the depths of winter’s bite
they prance in waxing and waning strength,
mating with abandon,
showcasing the power of vernal rage,
cradling each other’s breezes
in the glacial nooks of high rocks,
Scattering truth in their wake,
waiting for Spring.

© Christopher Reilley * 2011 * All Rights Reserved


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