Richard P. Krepski


Invisible Man

I consume;
Therefore I am.
What if I didn’t consume?
I would be an invisible man.

I’d take a vow of poverty, and find I owned the Whole;
Embrace a fervent celibacy, enraptured with the World’s Soul.
Divested of the visible, I’d come to see myself again--
Disconnect to reconnect:
Turn off
Tune out
Drop in

Ah but I am consumed
By routines of desire;
Slowly turned to cinders
In a heatless fire.

I choose;
Therefore I am.
I choose to be who I am.
I will be the Invisible Man.






In my life I have leapt
to faith from fear
and have always found myself falling…
from marriage, religion, career
Dreams became fragile flying machines
then shattered debris
tumbling through the stratosphere


I truly fall away
From future and from past
I hold the fruitful moment
Let its skin slip from my grasp
Take in its scent and flavor
Let its seed sow unto me
Savor it the way
A drop of rain
Takes in the sea     takes in the sea      takes in the Sea *


* The idea of a drop of rain taking in the sea is from Bill Moyers’ interview of Huston Smith for the PBS television series The Wisdom of Faith.  Smith in turn was quoting the words of an Islamic sage.




Perfect Stranger


Evil is Genesis backwards,
Sucking out spirit to make life only clay.
Light and dark unseparate to gray.
Animals unnamed devour their kill.
"…eB erehT teL ,eB erehT teL"

I was there, I saw it all—
Peering from behind window blinds
As they piled and burned the minds.
I could have been the moment's creator,
The chooser, the sayer, the perfect stranger,
Taking the place of the shivering girl,
Lifted up, spreading my arms to hold the whole world.
Instead I went about my business, souled in a fetal curl.

This time around, the victims are stuffed not starved,
Amused not abused.
Childhood is not destroyed—it never ends;
But the same backward suction enforces again;
The sacred buy and sell, creating a comfortable hell.
"…eB erehT teL ,eB erehT teL"

Only show me the way to serve,
To be the perfect stranger.
Converge the superhuman crew*
And let me be the danger.
My sirens will be sounding,
The curious crowd will gather
To see the hypnotic, flashing lights
Like a holiday display—
This time I will not turn away.

* “Superhuman crew” is in a line from the Bob Dylan song Desolation Row.
(Bob Dylan, Lyrics, 1962-2001, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2004, p.183)




Transubstantiated Sand

fulgurite:  an often tubular vitrified crust produced
by the fusion of sand or rock by lightning


These rarities lie concealed in desert sands—
Rough tubes of glass,
Sometimes strangely appendaged;
Mandrakes of fused silica.
Called "fulgurites" in the jargon of geology,
They are the fingerprints of lightning strikes;
Outcome of eons of natural process—
Quartz crystals formed in the ancient igneous,
Freed by erosion of the softer matrix,
Then driven to accumulate in dunes
And await the cataclysmic light.
Is this not what we're supposed to be,
Our rugged evolution transubstantiated
By a rending spark of heaven?

These, on the other hand, are hidden everywhere—
Wafers of pure silicon (a metalloid extracted from sand),
With other bits diffused in certain spots.
In technology's charming terminology,
They are designated "chips."
Produced with elaborate precision
At the finest of scales,
In chambers devoid of the slightest impurity,
They are sanctuaries for the electronic ceremony
That creates and maintains the new reality.
Ingest this host and lo and behold!
You will indeed be transubstantiated—
Become a creature with skin of glass,
Devoted to throwing and dodging stones.





Richard Krepski is retired from a 30-year career as research scientist and educator. His work has appeared in Oberon, Mobius, Bolts of Silk, Fickle Muses, Jesus Radicals, Parody, Still Crazy, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Tiferet—A Journal of Spiritual Literature. Krepski's essay "Center of the Universe" was awarded the Tiferet writing prize for 2009.