Rick Christiansen

Wink Back

There is a poem in the hallway half bathroom sink.
I hear stanzas when I wash my hands in there.
The cadence stops when I look into the mirror.

There is a poem in the bird feeder on my porch.
It drops rhymes onto the ground with the scattered seeds.
The birds peck at each word as if searching for new flavors.

There is a poem under my pillow.
I can feel the lump when sleep will not come.
In my dreams the words wind around my history and make untangled knots.

There is a poem at the bottom of my bowl of soup.
It winks at me as I lift broth onto my spoon.
I wink back as I swallow.

Paradigm Shift

I hold within me an image of you
that is both crystalline and dynamic.
You are more than a fragment of my being.
I sense your dwelling and stirring within me.

You stretch out in the room I have built for you and
I feel the rhythm of your breath.

A void is filled where no void was known to be.
You are my choice without conscious decision.

I trace your intricacy with my mind.
I trace your form with my fingers.

You are known to me.


I dreamt that we were playing Scrabble on the phone.
Word games from a distance.

Arguing over the EXACT placement of each tile.
It was so important to us both
that no cheating occur.

I imagined your look of concentration as you searched through
your alphabet for the right combination of letters to unlock
the secret of the board.

Winning was not your goal.
You just wanted to make a good impression.

Rick Christiansen has been a stand-up comic, an actor, director, and a corporate executive. His work can be found in the archives of Oddball Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Raven’s Perch, The Rye Whiskey Review and other publications. His poem “Killing Bob Dylan” has been selected for a Fall 2021 anthology by Alien Buddha Press. He is a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Rick lives in Missouri near his eight grandchildren and with his basset hound, Annie.