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
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.
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……
Milk and honey flows through our lives - not hearing those others' caged cries... Laying gruffly in our silken gowns - complaining of our tarnished crowns -
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…
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.
Mr. Cat-Head Funnel
I saw the dog house while rowing down main in my pancake boat. It was kind of soggy,
They don't tell you, you see about the things the inside things the real things
I Speak, Sometimes
I speak, sometimes when life gives cause but sometimes, sometimes winds of whispers drown me
Oh Mr. Sparrow, your song preceeds you so - the uproar from your belly - should find such pleasantness near. My ears do swallow it whole -
I never grind the pepper shaker, when shaking alone will work. Unless it's needed - as a salad needed seeded, then I'll grind it like a twork!
Not Just Now Dear
There was once a lady in my childhood library - with posture quite great but with arms very hairy..
They Know Not
Words, like rain drops, come as spear tips - ripping through the softness of my soul. Yet I lay still - waiting for an end - motionless - accepting the pain's fullness.
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…
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…
For surely I would stop on the path
to admire the birds and bees…
and dance within the machair fields
among cattails and other weeds…