May 11, 2018

Three Poems by Douglas G. Campbell: "Kindness," "Hollow Dreams Still Waiting," and "Between Stones"

Douglas G. Campbell lives in Portland, Oregon. He is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is also the author of Turning Radius (2017), Tree Story (2018), Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect (2002) and Parktails (2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals including Harbinger Asylum, Nourish, Off The Coast, and Indiana Voice Journal. His artwork is represented in collections such as The Portland Art Museum, Oregon State University, Ashforth Pacific, Inc. and George Fox University. Visit his website at :


Kindness has been devalued.
Inflation has made it cheap,
it has become flabby and soft
reeking of cologne
and underarm deodorant.
Tasting of saccharin it clings to the teeth
leaving a sickening aftertaste
to dwell upon the tongue.

Kindness is no soft drink
it is more than lemonade for friends
sunning by the pool.
Real kindness has little to do
with just being polite
or smiling through the rain.
It is not just comforting syrup
to be poured upon life's scratches.
Though advertisements promise kindness
as part of the regular package
it cannot be bought
or rented for the day.

Kindness is a spring which flows
in the midst of summer's desert,
it is a door without eyes
always open to the suffering,
it cannot be buried beneath pride
for its hands are not afraid of dirt,
it cannot be pried loose from love
or detached from patience,
it is a gift to be squandered
for its source has no limit.

Hollow Dreams Still Waiting

Living ghost of my life
fire always staring
into my sunken brown eyes
shadows of your smiles
seep through my dark brain
your long nailed fingers
peel back my eyelids
when I need to sleep.

Mirage of grey-green eyes
bright with butterflies
quiet words gathering thoughts
among the minds paths
your indelible footprints
clutter the soft grey tissue
leading nowhere in my skull
hollow dreams still waiting

Reflections of ghosts
grey-green eyes pressing
burning brand against the skin
tissue sizzling within silence
your mouth printing secrets
upon my leather eyes
my hands never understanding
their long invisible chains

Living ghost of my life
taking away dead peace
bringing blood filled teacups
to pour into my empty veins
your eyes are never silent
they sing for my lost eyes
haunting my waking sleep
my hollow dreams still waiting

Between Stones

I fell into a worm’s tunnel
sluggish subway through the clay
a subway swallowed me
sliding through the sediment mortar
between stones
between iron girder roots
warmth digesting soil
subways digesting passengers
pulling chains of mushrooms
from beneath concrete boulders
aerator of the earth
channeller between birds beaks
sliding on cool steel runners
breaking sweet clay clods
fearing blind mole snouts
pesticides pull the cool wetness
from your stomach tube
you spit me out on a dry platform

~Douglas G. Campbell

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