PoetryWorld Literature

Alone – A Bouquet of Poems from America

Ray Whitaker, an eminent poet from Colorado, USA has shared his three poems

Ray Whitaker

Ray-Whitaker-USA-Poet-SindhCourierRay has been writing both prose and poetry since he was seventeen. What Ray is writing now is very different from what he wrote those so many years ago. All writers and poets are writing out of “the Self” however there are directions that the self speaks into, that change. Now Ray’s writing is to put foremost in his work, just who he is writing for. He intends on writing for the everyday man and woman. He firmly believes that poems need to reach into the everyday person’s pictures in their minds, and engage with those. This is where he aims to make a difference in his creative writing. He’s fulfilled when he sees that his work is provoking thought in his readers.

Ray has read around the state of North Carolina [USA] and Colorado [USA], and has been a member or the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Winston-Salem Writers, and The North Carolina Writer’s Network. He has thrice been a ‘Writer-in-Residence” at the North Carolina Center for the Arts and Humanities, at Weymouth, in Southern Pines, NC. He is the father of two daughters, and lives in Colorado Springs, USA.

He has three books published by Newness Twoness Books:  “ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Poems from the Nam,” 2 volume set, and “FOR THE LOST AND LOVED”.  A chapbook, “THE SCUPPERNONG WORKS” is published September 2022. He has one other book he is presently seeking publication for: ‘WHITE DOG SPEAKING.”

Due to the pandemic, most of Ray’s public appearances are mostly via electronic medium. Some of his work has been published in online American, Irish, English, Belgium, and Bali Literary Journals.


Somewhere, an Arab singer’s voice cries

Lilting, soaring, a single line of melody wafting,

Climbs and reaches the tonality of Algeria


The Arabic translates to

“The long, long night without you”

The sad melody is crying

He is looking for the companion

That has forsaken him

For another, this another is independence


The crying singer resonates the depth

Of his sorrow,

He is dreaming of the skies above

That rained on both him and her

An event welcomed in the desert

The words are rueing the missing.


The wound has been reopened

He wonders if it will ever heal

Maybe if he does not pick at it

Keeps clean, fresh bandages on,

The scar tissue will form again

He knows a re-injury takes longer to do so


The wound is fresh

As if only yesterday that occurred

The listener remembers, tho

Having had a full year of disappointment,

So many sad events one was his wife dying,

And then another dear one nearly a year later


Those fires tremendous, singed

His shirt, then chest hair burnt off,

Exposing his heart to the flame

Now there are only empty skies above

Walking the earth, sand in his worn sandals

There is a heart stew cooking on the stove of life.


He hears the Algerian singing again

Off towards the dunes, somewhere over the sand

The desert sand seems to cry along with the Arabic incantation


Three women had captured his heart

He has lost all three over a period of years

To divorce, to death, to independence

The impeccable, unrelenting pain of loss again, he will survive

Learns a new pace, a new gait, that of walking alone,

Stepping away, walking into the beclouded future


His dream of Love never leaves his head

This gives him the strength to keep on to the horizon.


The faces of his past Loves in any mirror,

And knows his heart was not wrong for trying.


Combat Medic 

A reflection on a cold winter’s day

From a quiet and warm abode

Where the lapping sea of information

Is held at bay outside the door,


Perhaps in the warm cabin in your deep woods of life

There is smoke pouring out of the chimney

Rising above the foot of snow up on the roof,

Next to the heavily laden boughs of the tall pines


Who goes to the snow-covered woodpile to keep it warm inside?

Possibly, if you are far enough away from the lit woodstove

Are you close enough to examine the cordwood

From the front lines?


Who commands the security patrol

At the fortress gates?


Perchance you are in a trench, head ducked against

The explosions and the shrapnel

Cleaning your rifle and

Looking at the Red Cross on the other warrior’s uniform


Fighting against those that wage war with the egomania of dictators

All the while fighting the bear on the battlefield

Even as we wonder about the statistical basis for

Their assertions (those that are expected to be believed),


Are there enough folk that read in Russia,

That their youth now are used as cannon fodder

It is a oligarch’s rabbit warren cleverly dug by furry paws

Fleecing the populace of the right to live freely.


Do we want our tears while standing idly by

As our loved, brave Ukrainians die from this winter’s war,


Where is the Combat Medic that is willing

To go over the muddy top of the sopping wet trench

Risking his or her life

To save ours.


With Every Breath 

Slowly the beat catches a rhythm

Gradually moving faster until an a-tempo

Is reached

And the other instruments join in

Presenting the magnificent ensemble

Of a pulsing rock band, moving you to breathe in


The drummer is giving an unmistakable snare drum beat

The horns sneak in and we are alerted to the climax of a verse


The beat of life continues, and that drummer,

Those guitars, the lead singer singing the lyrics of a needed change


We in the audience are elevated into that higher place

Reflecting on the lyrics that moved us to stay there.


Even if there is a frozen nature

Perhaps cold winter is just outside our door

Or even inside our minds

We are left with the song’s breath

Nourishing, washing, livening

Rewarding, increasing the oxygen


This song from our hearts, capable of

Stimulating the inhalation


Pushing the used, spent air out with each exhalation

Where our carbon footprint changes


Perhaps it is all building up to something

That has the need to change

From something that is of yesterday’s changes

Not coins in your pocket

Nor coins of the realm where you may chance to be

Facing the reality of what we as poets can do




дихати  [dykhaty]

Træk Vejret

نفس      [nafs]            

Nefes Almak.


Whatever language you speak

It is all the same, it never rests


That exchange of fresh for spent

Good winning over evil.


Climbing up the slope

With the snow gently hitting his face

A soft reminder of the cold this day

Reaching the peak

Standing atop a hoodoo

Facing the wind

With hands in his pockets



Looking out over the wide-open spaces.


How do we push this breath

Our exhalation of carbon dioxide


Into a new inhalation giving a resurrection

A fresh resuscitation of seemingly nearly forgotten ways


Into a fragile security

Even within the pain during the depths of wars

Or immersed in the dearth of compassion

Avoiding the inferno of dragon fire

And walking without panic

Down the city streets

Not having to look up for drones

Intuitively knowing tonight that the terrorists are sleeping.


The word “breath” in other languages…

Numfasawa – Hausa (Africa)

Respirar     – Spanish

Huminga     – Philippines

дихати        Ukrainian

Træk Vejret – Danish

نفس            – Arabic

Nefes Almak   – Turkish


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