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Donald Ryburn

Donald Ryburn-----vitas Donald Ryburn is the editor of 4*9*1-----Imagination ( He is a neo-naïve visionary artist/photographer. He is co-author (with Aubrey) of the book Poetry Pathology. His poetry and photography have appeared in hundreds of print journals, anthologies, and on-line zines, including Black Moon, 4*9*1, Poetry Motel, Pacific Coast Journal, Bitter Oleander, Onionhead, Art/Mag, Möbius (print,) Poetry Superhighway, Poetry Tonight, Room Without Walls, India Journal, Archeflamboeth, Entropic, Grassroots Poetry, Electric Acorn, Wired Art For Wired Hearts, Bluff Magazine, /noserialmice, Some Words, Jitter-bug's Nest, Poetry Down-Under, The Poetry Kit, Poetry Life & Times (interview), Creative Voice, Vistula, The Miserere Review, Unlikely Stories, Lynx Poetry -Bath, England, Marmsweb, Poetry! Yes! Now!, 7th-Circle, (on-line).
His email address is He is a member of the Tvlvhvse Wokvkiye Ceremonial Grounds of the Mvskoke Nation. 

Links Supplied by This Poet 


Her blood became white tears.

Two mouths, the hands of astonishment.

She was fire where there was none.

She was children at play

With the dolls of death.

The blue darkness of birds

Who could not choose their color.

Her voice, the rope of democracy.

Black, lighted hills sang the sadness of leopards.

Metal hinges collided with absence.

Life became an unended moment,

The moment she waved

From the steps of a bus, gone east.

Above this land,

A large bird cried.

Donald Ryburn


Second version

Blonde hair in mechanical swing

Rosaries and wine

Once magic eyes now dull

Mothers' love a dark shape

From unknown crushed desire

Simple white garments

Fallen ribbons and lace

White poppies, empathy and a gray world

Distorted through stained glass

Winter, another and another

Gulf tides, imaged language

A curl of gold, tiny coffin

Putrid oranges, tangerines

Snow geese disgust with mathematics

Only bones.  Winter, another and another

Donald Ryburn


Useless human tears hidden

In untouchable stones,

In fires loosened

From shadows of pumas.

She said,  "There is an infinite hunger on the earth."

While she pointed with icy finger

At daisies, at gloved hands

During the sleep of September.

Her hands had once cultivated golden flowers,

Had been the comrades of cormorants.

Now they visit other worlds,

Grow diamonds in cloudless skies,

Gracefully lead us away

From the seeds of death.

Donald Ryburn


This place speaks only absence.

Candles cannot ring

With their temporary shadows

The empty bells of a Tower.

These shadows do not hunger

For your dark amber eyes.

The shadow's blackened tongues

Could only betray you.

Only this huddled framework

Of stolen bones knows you.

Knows your distant voice

That now as if a fog

Settles into an endless night.

Donald Ryburn


So we have encountered

The remains of horizons.

What was unknown became stone,

Would not yield to light

From foreign suns.

The death of black-tongued,

Blinded words,

Was glorious.

"Darling," you spoke,

At the dark edges of an abyss,

Remarking at their beauty.

You said, "Do not be afraid."

"Come, join hands

  In this quickened

  Flight of Destiny."

Donald Ryburn


"thou mettest with things dying;
                         I with things new born."
          ....The Winter's Tale 

And I offered evening, 
With its hidden lights 
That do not know their rhythms, 
Deny their ancient anguish, 
The sudden shadows. 

And I convinced you 
These shadows were unknown 
Reasonings for absence. 

That slaying dead goats, 
Their blood congealed, 
Void of the stench of death, 
Would not destroy us. 


Mount Meru exposed her tender thighs
To the dark incoming sea,
Pressed her legs
Against the sea's chest.
Movement of clear tongues,
Across the surface of beginning.

Things born anew:

Where I belong,
Where you begin,
We are.
The desire that throbs the ocean's floor
Does not deceive.
Stars crave her surf,
Bless our new bodies of light. 

Donald Ryburn


My love-- 
        (here are all my desires 5/9) 

This unknown fire that covers us 

Dispersed shadows from your beauty. 

Became twin dolphins of desire 

In an endless black ocean. 

We have walked the same wet shorelines. 

Been devoured by the same young lizards. 

Our numbers became one number. 

Confused mortals attempted the speech 

Of an almost absent God. 

But could not destroy the strange. 

Could not suspend the sacred. 

Donald Ryburn

Rhonda:/uk/shared secrets 

(the sun's melody, pale rays of light, musical, melancholy, beautiful....) 

You are as mother-of-pearl, 

First silver, grey and gold, 

Suddenly sweet pale blue. 

You quietly took my tears to your fingertips, 

Placed them into the corners 

Of your dark amber eyes. 

You said our tears came from the same ocean. 

A rising moon searched for us. 

Sent her melancholy mermaids 

To our separate shores, 

Where the scorpion night 

Became jealous of the mastery 

Of love's promised miracle, 

Of her final mysteries revealed. 

Tonight we will gamble 

At guessing the secrets we hold. 

Tonight we shall sing mantras 

To a new moon passing the face of Neptune 

There we shall begin a revolution 

Beyond all time. 

Donald Ryburn


We carry twin wounds 

Across a single heart. 

The same white light 

Shields us as pure stones 

In these villages of absence. 

This night will end. 

Your voice will emerge 

From sickening fog. 

Our bodies will arch 

Rapid, blinded and whole. 

This night will become jealous 

Of the white road of sleep we share. 

A sleep where nothing can ever end.

Donald Ryburn

Links Supplied by This Poet 

Poetry Super Highway

Grassroots Poetry


Poetry, Poems and Poets Tonight

Amrita Poetry Pages

PSH: Poets of the Week

Archflambeoth - A dreamworld of poetry, prose, and stories 

Donald Ryburn

Unlikely Stories

amrita new site

Indie Journal Presents the Poetry of Donald Ryburn

Poems Niederngasse

IndiaWorld Poetry

bitter oleander

Some Words - A Place For Poetry

Juan Beauregaard-Montez

The Dublin Writers Workshop:


Lynx: Poetry from Bath

Bluff Magazine

Vistula Poetry Journal

Pacific Coast Journal


Internationale: Poet of the Week

Poetry DownUnder

The Wild East