kearns reads world AIDS day poem “skipping stones” to la city council . . . (011)

richardkearns.awo.rainbowmoi-1108081246[Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008, los angeles] my name is richard kearns. i am a 57-year old gay man alive with AIDS for more than 20 years. i am a long-term survivor. i am an AIDS activist. i am a medical cannabis patient and advocate. i am a poet and journalist and publish . . .

i want to share with you a new poem in observance of world AIDS day.

skipping stones
round flat dark
heart bones
cross the wide
waters to the far
shore of my
willow-wept midwest
lagoon lifetimes &
worlds & epics ago

skipping stones
round flat dark
heart bones
my nurse remembers
too from her life’s journeys
first light on the beach
at dominica’s true lagoon
spinning shale to
chase the sharks &
bigfish away

skipping stones
round flat dark
heart bones
slicking past the wet
aching to fly
never too high
lest i drown
low & sweet
braving depths ever
deep & deeper & as
i kiss & turn & lift &
rush ahead, only one
direction matters & it
ain’t up — it’s round & around &
perhaps beneath an
algae-green & unreflecting
wave, or just as perhaps
in leaps over
the cloudy mudmess

lacking wings, my straggling feet
weary-scrape along & i feel every
journey’s end approaching
how soon the shore? how soon?

oh, i am a skipping stone a
round flat AIDS-dark
heartbroken bone
sailing, sailing, maybe failing
maybe not, singing, wailing
trailing quiet waterwakes of
sorrow waiting to discover
the new world
to whose shore i will
rush to recover
what unlost love
remains inside & be
tempted to fling myself again into
swift, determined & uncertain


—richard kearns

from the achives at

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