John Allen Richter
Biography of John Allen Richter
Third person narratives are somewhat pretentious, I think, at least for we poets who are still living. If I would start this by claiming " John Allen Richter" was this or did that or the other - then I would feel a little silly. As Abraham Lincoln once exclaimed after viewing a photo of himself - 'So here is the creature itself! ' And so too, here am I before you - no mystique, no mystery, no great intrigue as might be conjured by a narrative from someone else. I am he, John, the simple man who has been given an insatiable desire - sporadically - to sit and write things down. You will either like them or not. But I hope that you will.
I was born in a small Indiana city of about 40,000 souls called Richmond in the late 1950s. My father was Frederick Richter - (as is my youngest son) - and my mother was Valerie - a beautiful aussie from Melbourne. Dad was stationed there during WWII and once told me that he won her in a game of cards. I always thought he was bluffing. I rarely felt he deserved the winnings of that card game. I have also been blessed with five beautiful sisters and one very admirable brother.
At 17 years and one week old I joined the United States Army. While growing up we all watched the Viet Nam war on television every night - good old Walter Cronkite and the news. There was no way that I would miss it. Unfortunately it was too late. They had already pulled our soldiers out before I enlisted. So I went to Germany for three years and found the best beer and women that I've ever tasted. And in that order.
I was married twice - once to a friend - Tawnya Jester - a match which resulted in our son James Cody. And a second time to Betsy Scott - resulting in another son - afore mentioned Fred - and daughters Sarah and Chelsea. I divorced in 2012 and am happily entanglement free at the moment.
Now for the meat and potatoes. Poetry. I write poetry because I have no choice. It wells up within me and simply must come out - as well as any other bodily function or pus-filled pimple. Poetry is just a little less messy. Edgar Allen Poe said that 'With me poetry has not been a purpose, but rather a passion.' I feel exactly the same.
I don't think my poetry is very good. I read other's poetry often - and find myself sometimes comparing it with my own. I rarely win those comparisons.
I've been writing poetry as long as I can remember. And by that I mean my earliest memories at 3 or 4 years of age. My mother used to write it down for me because at four years of age I was illiterate. She once showed some of them to my father, which quickly initiated an eye-roll. My mother always beamed about them though, as mothers will do, I suppose.
My poetry was pretty well hidden until grade 6, when a teacher - named Pamela Smith Snyder - encouraged me to pursue my writing. She introduced me to Emily Dickinson - who soon after became my soul-mate.
I'd like to thank you for visiting my page and hope that your brief stay was pleasant. And as always I will encourage you, and everyone, to be someone else's Pamela Smith Snyder.
John Allen Richter Poems
The brown tipped grass peeked through the snow - With stems quite cold and forlorn. The north gale came and so winds did blow and nodded their heads in form.
If Heaven's path were made for one and ne're a choice but to walk alone then I wonder what should become of my absence in God's lovely home…
As I stood there, wondering “Who am I” and what should I tell you about myself an angel touched my shoulder and said “Excuse me sir,
Story book dreams, feathered seams, glory finds comfort by two’s; Zeros and ones, petticoat suns, the best of life to lose……
The Old Walnut Tree
The blackened burl of charred remains - stands the gnarl of great walnut tree. Stretching his arms into the blue - as though his very life to plead.
Odd Little Man
The world didn’t stop – street lamp glowing – throwing – hues of light upon the corner’s darkness. Walked I – walked I – right on by – lest the man say “You there, odd little man –
They don't tell you, you see about the things the inside things the real things
I often felt that Robert Frost - was in my own inflamed heart - For when all else seemed harringly lost - my pen had no trouble to start…
A Dorothy Parker Kind'A Sexy
If ever I should fall in love, t'would be a gal of your vortices - the only hope I'd pray to find is one without rigor mortises…
Love Is Not Alone
Love exists, we all aware, yet evil lurks in every lair - To find one is not to dismiss the other which can not exist -
Ode To Poe's Love
Within a moment, can solemn worry - from a care-free life loving lore, foresee the grieving wretch of me, with the great loss of dear Elinore.
Milk and honey flows through our lives - not hearing those others' caged cries... Laying gruffly in our silken gowns - complaining of our tarnished crowns -
Mr. Cat-Head Funnel
I saw the dog house while rowing down main in my pancake boat. It was kind of soggy,
I Speak, Sometimes
I speak, sometimes when life gives cause but sometimes, sometimes winds of whispers drown me
I often felt that Robert Frost -
was in my own inflamed heart -
For when all else seemed harringly lost -
my pen had no trouble to start…
And when I oft did wonder aloud
if his spirit was slinking around -
the words simply came - proper and proud
as if he were I - pound for pound.