Richard James Allen – The Rebirth of Doubt

Profile Richard James Allen Live Encounters Poetry & Writing 8th Anniversary December 2017

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The Rebirth of Doubt, poems by Richard James Allen

Australian born Richard James Allen’s ten books of poetry, fiction and performance texts include Fixing the Broken Nightingale (Flying Island Books), The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl & Schlesinger) and Thursday’s Fictions (Five Islands Press), shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry.  His writing has appeared widely in magazines, journals, anthologies and online over thirty years.  Richard has had a unique international career as a multi-award-winning writer, director, choreographer, filmmaker and performer, with screen adaptations of his poetry and other films shown at over two hundred and fifty national and international festivals and other screenings as well as on television around the world, and live readings, performance adaptations and appearances presented at over one hundred and fifty venues on three continents. The recipient of numerous awards (including three ATOM Awards) and nominations (including the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award and the Griffin Award for New Australian Playwriting), Richard won the Chancellor’s Award for the most outstanding PhD thesis at the University of Technology, Sydney. Former Artistic Director of the Poets Union Inc., and director of the inaugural Australian Poetry Festival, Richard co-edited the landmark anthology, Performing the Unnameable: An Anthology of Australian Performance Texts (Currency Press/RealTime).  Website: 

The Physical TV Company:
Fixing the Broken Nightingale:
The Kamikaze Mind:
Thursday’s Fictions:
Richard James Allen at the Australian Poetry Library:
Richard James Allen at IMDb:

A strange hypothesis

When I was a landscape,
you asked me to write a poem
in the old-fashioned way
about people I didn’t understand,
including myself,
a study in brittle magic.

In sudden hibernation
while I sought for words,
sometimes I thought I was
the reincarnation of
Boris Pasternak –
a strange hypothesis since
mostly I felt that his poetry
was lost in translation
and he died twenty-six days
after I was born.

But we were both
at the mercy of:
why is the wind.
Equally fell in love
with the epic:
what makes the stranger sense.
And, coeval across time,
found ourselves left with:
whose inside are you on
when you say goodbye
with your eyes.

Today I am
far from the ground,
a storm brewing,
waiting for
a heavenly translation
of my brother Pastnernak’s words
to whirl into the fields
like immaculate snow.

The Rebirth of Doubt

You once wrote,
“To confess is not unusual”.
But actually,
to confess is unusual
if by that you mean
to tell the truth,
the whole truth
and nothing but the truth.

The truth would take
more volumes
than you could fill
in an entire lifetime
and by the time
you got to the end
of the whole truth
you’d have to start
all over again.

Maybe that’s why
was invented.
A nothing but the truth-
telling daisy chain.

Winter Times

the little girl
it is snowing

but has no idea
of the winters
that await her

“Nearer than knowing”

Even though you are far away
I feel you in my heart.

Is this what Krishna meant
by “nearer than knowing”?

Is it blasphemy
that we have become

for each other
as precious as gods?

Or do perhaps
the inner

-present drops
of our personal worship

divine our way
towards the universal ocean?

© Richard James Allen