Night Walking


We get lonely

We feel alone

It doesn’t really matter
In a world of a billion people
More than that inhabiting
The earth

It’s just a matter
Of the dark

And the light

We walk through
Cities & crowded
Streets but all these
People are strangers

You can get a drink
At the bar or just
Look into the eyes
Of passerbys

All with the same expression

Something missing
Within their souls
Their hearts

Or damaged

Homeless or

There’s something

There’s always
Something missing

Which no one
Even the people
Who walk these

Even explain

Like a hole torn
In the fabric of

So we wander
Walk at night

Looking for


~ R.M. Engelhardt

I Am The Door …

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Populist Manifesto No. 1.”

Poets, come out of your closets. Open your windows. Open your doors. You’ve been holed up too long. No time now for our little literary games. No time now for our paranoias and hypochondrias. No time now for fear and loathing. Time now only for light and love. Poets, descend to the street of the world once more and open your minds and eyes. Clear your throat and speak up.

Poetry is dead. Long live poetry. Don’t wait for the revolution, or it’ll happen without you. Poetry, the common carrier for the transportation of the public to higher places. Poetry still falls from the skies into our streets still open. They haven’t put up the barricades yet, the streets still alive with faces, lovely men and women still walking their lovely creatures everywhere. In the eyes of all, the secret of all still buried there. Whitman’s wild children still sleeping there. Awake and walk in the open air.

Long Live Poetry

On T.S. Elliot & The Death of Poetry. Another Opinion – R.M. Engelhardt

So apparently this article has been moving around a bit in Facebook groups. The writer is not the first to coin the term ” Poetry is Dead” or for that matter the poetic viewpoint that T.S. Elliot was the game changer. What is your idealism or belief? This is not so much a critique as merely a viewpoint ( *please read first). To me, as a poet his viewpoint is interesting but what he has seriously forgotten is that Elliot wrote Wasteland in a drastically changed world only a few short years after WW1. Hence why the poem & title “The Wasteland”

I see Elliot’s poems as the new siren, the almost near dead, broken muse attempting to somehow comprehend a vast amount of death & destruction in a new world trying to recover 100 years ago. This was the very beginning of our times. A fearful world which now after 2 world wars and the fear of possible nuclear war which we were born into. The old world of our humanity & our full relationship to the natural world disappeared in the fire. The constant is again the word ” Fear” which we still live with in our subconscious every single day. So it is of little imagining as to why we are poets of politics & protest, dark, brooding rebellion and of end times. Eliot was just the first victim grappling with this destitute reaction to a nightmare made reality and its horrors.

Simply put? The event of World War, destruction & the death of thousands was merely a razorblade cutting into the poet’s soul and the realization that we would all never be whole or the same ever again.

We are still broken.

We just don’t realize it.

~ R.M. Engelhardt

On T.S. Elliot & The Death of Poetry.



Some day
One day
You won’t reach out
For fame
Because it doesn’t
Exist never existed
Never came or stayed
or ever paid
The rent


Or real

Or yours

Or was ever

Like words

And then?

Sometime off
In a near distant future place you
Will find yourself standing up
On a stage older

And under the lights

All alone

Empty & Vacant
Like all the stars
You once dreamed of or
Wrote about

Yet still comparing
Yourself to all the
“Famous Ones” remembered & yet
Constantly complaining about how
Your genius wasn’t noticed &
Was over looked

By fools

As you wish to believe
You were a great part of history
The handful worth reading

When the truth is
Nobody & no one will
Even remember your name

In a month?
A decade or just a
Year from now?

And they won’t
Recall or remember
A single word you said
Or wrote

Finding that all
The mingling &
Sucking up and the fake
Didn’t get you very
Far in life

At all

And that this will
Be the sad day the infinite
Day of all days
And past

With no love
Soul or sentimentally


But perhaps?
The artist was wrong

And the lecture
Has ended

In your version

You believe that
Your handful of
Blind followers

Will think
That you have

Like Rimbaud
Or some other
Immortal legend

But instead
You’ll be found
In the drive thru

At McDonald’s


~ R.M. Engelhardt

© 2022

Talking Political Writing, Post-Pandemic Arts, and Finding Home with R.M. Engelhardt

*An Interview With Thom Francis of The Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

R.M. Engelhardt started sharing his poetry at local open mics in the early-90s and has since been a driving force in keeping the poetry and spoken word alive and well in the area. He has hosted a number of readings and events over the years and continues to welcome writers new and old to the stage.In this clip, Engelhardt reads “DeGeneration” at the Borders Open Mic on January 25, 1995. This poem was recorded for the CD, “Volume: A Compilation of Poets, Live”, produced by Mary Panza and Steve Clark chronicling the poetry scene at the time at such venues as the QE2, Margarita’s, and Borders.We talk about political poetry, what the arts community looks like in a post-pandemic world, and how he landed at Lark Hall for his monthly open mic.

Shadows By R.M. Engelhardt

Within each man a shadow exists.

The shadow of his past.
The shadow of his future.

And the shadow of all the things he
Could have been.

~ R.M. Engelhardt

The Outsider …

“…The Outsider is doubly a rebel: a rebel against the Established Church, a rebel against the unestablished church of materialism. Yet for all this, he is the real spiritual heir of the prophets…The purest religion of any age lies in the hands of its spiritual rebels.

The twentieth century is no exception.”

~ Colin Wilson

nOpE ~A poem by R.M. Engelhardt

In the beginning was the word, the word
That from the solid bases of the light
Abstracted all the letters of the void;
And from the cloudy bases of the breath
The word flowed up, translating to the heart
First characters of birth and death.

~ Dylan Thomas,
In The Beginning


The 1st poem wasn’t
Written in English
In fact it wasn’t
Written in any words
At all

The 1st poem
Was a flower that
A hairy cave man gave to
His beloved

Who thoughtfully
Pondered it’s meaning
& then ate it
And without emotion
Left him

For a muscular

Named Chad

So the first poem
Was actually a failure
A gesture

Of heartbreak & love
Loneliness & longing

But not enough to
Convey it or even
Reach it’s destination

The heart

Or the soul

And on the cave walls
Were painted crude
Drawings depicting mating
To let a woman know
That she was desired

To which their response
Was ” Ew” and a new
Word which they created called

” NO”

But the art approach
Didn’t work
Quite well either

(*See Bathroom Poetry
History of)


But once humans
Could speak? Talk?
Well the game
Was on

Hunter gatherers
& Future jock types
Started getting angry
Because skinny guys
In fur beret hats starting
Stealing their women

But they couldn’t figure out how
And to this day

Still cannot

And that’s how it
All began

Poets & artists
Being treated
Like outcasts
Unwanted & disliked
(Musicians soon to follow)

Because they had
Higher IQs
And first somehow knew
That words could be turned

Into “Magic”
& Into light

Spells that could
Invoke what feelings
They held urges they felt
And the things they could see
Or could not

Like the silent moments
Of trees swaying in the distance
Like the beauty of colors in the air
And sea, animals & nature

And within these words
They worshipped all
The mysteries which they
Couldn’t fathom or understand

And turned them
Into something
Called poems

And gods

So in the beginning
Poetry wasn’t really popular

And still isn’t

But without it
We’d all be lost

For it is the whole
That makes us all human
And what it means to be

And that
Is all we know

That and that throughout
Human history that muscular guys
Named Chad and with similar names
Still hate us

And want to beat us up

Without knowing


~ R.M. Engelhardt

© Copyright 2022


art*poem by r.m. Engelhardt ©2022


So let us now all
Sing or if you believe


Not of these golden days
But in this dead choir of reprieve
Of anguish of suffering of days

Let us all sing of the 21st century
Of all our failures & the false
Triumphs & of the true progress
Of men




Watch &
See how we
So easily destroy



Our own defeat

And on repeat
Like a bad news story
Like history
Still worship greed
And money
The holy dollar
And all the fat politicians
On all sides taking
Away what we once
Called ” Freedom”

As a quaint, dismembered idea

As wars are still waged
Poverty still a slave
We post all our success

But never our shame

As a dead earth
No longer of beauty
But of a violence unimagined
And obscene


Unimagined & unseen
The end of everything
The end

And the tragedy
The murder of all days

Like all the animals dying &
Loosing space

Oh how inconvenient

How 1980s
And Green

Our voices & our
Votes now all dead and
Useless worthless things

Without any real power for
Truth or change

Countries & governments
In decline still crumbling
And arguing, fighting
Killing over race

And over oil

A disgrace

A disfigurement a
World burning
Forests dying
No gods answering
No gods listening
No god here

No god cares
Or listens

This planet
This rock
Used up &



With hate
With rage

Now just
Another trendy word


So for thee I Sing
Of this body

Damaged by
Monsters & corrupt men
Fake patriots & grifters
Looking for trophies
And hiding behind a flag

And blaming
All other living beings
For everything
They’ve done

More convenience
More sorrow
More lies
The scapegoat
Followed by the
Image of the Tower card


As the seasons change
The leaves remain
But we never change

And never will

So for thee I Sing – Scream

For the impoverished
Families and their children starving
I Sing for the ignored
And uneducated the unemployed
And for all those
Guilty of being
Human beings

With hope
With dreams
With love
With faith

I sing for humanity
I sing for change

For Black lives
For all lives
For Suicides
And for all those buried
Beneath us in unmarked graves of
Unrest & genocide
And for all those who
Believe in a Jesus Christ

( Or not )

I Sing for
The Great Spirit
That once roamed
This land now a mere
Figment of imagination
Lost in the blood of
My ancestors

The flags all at half mast
Concealing the sadness
The truth

Of a nation
Once called America


I Sing of the body
The whole of the soul


Where Walt Whitman
Would now if alive
Weep over it’s reality
And in it’s sorrow
Walk away

Where Lincoln would
Crawl up into a ball
And simply

Choose to die

I Sing of A Nation of the
Body dissected

By cannibals
Who’ve erased all of
It’s glory

And where there
Is no honor, spark of
Democracy, decency
Or even electricity


~ R.M. Engelhardt