Rip Underwood’s Poems

Today I post some poems written by my friend RIP UNDERWOOD. We are in the same book club and writers’ group. Rip always has a gem to share but is very modest and so I thought that it would be good to air some of his work. He sent me three, what he calls ‘light things’. I hope that you enjoy them. He doesn’t often give his poems titles and so I have named them by his file names – perhaps you can assist with name suggestions. My favorite is ‘Inner Critic’!

Inner Critic

When I wake, he’s awake
my inner critic
next to me under a pile
of bedclothes, clutching
the TV remote.

Sometimes, first thing,
I’ll say boo to him, loud,
and jump out of bed.
Sometimes I’ll stay right there
and tell him a story

of when the fireman had to come
or the baby fell from a promontory
because of something someone did
ignoring their inner critic.
It makes him feel important

and sleepy. I’ll slip away
and it will take a few minutes
before he pads through the hall
rattling the doorknobs
looking to remind me

that after a commercial break
that thing I did at the blackboard
when I was twelve years old
will be rerun for the zillionth time
on channel four.

Rip Underwood 2013


Punch cup picnic bee, go away!
Find some other buffet.
The salvias have bloomed, the coneflowers thrive,
so much closer to your hive…

Are we pretty to you?
Have we a pleasant hue?
Perhaps it is our smell:
O darting pest, I cannot tell.

Ah! There she goes: where were we –
I’ve bread, a jug, and thee –
yet, O! she comes again, and O!
she’s brought a friend…!

Rip Underwood 2013


The Latin tropics hiker
jealous lepidopterist
wishes he’d been first
to put that frail morpho

under optics, to magnify
the needle serrates
in its stitch-row wings; first
to see the scalloped sunlight

skittering away; cubed, brighter
in blue than any dye.
He’d have said
in that best and simple time

Look here; look how God
makes His miracles, casts
them out over the winds,
on tiny magnetic currents!

Rip Underwood 2013

10 thoughts on “Rip Underwood’s Poems

  1. Dear Jane and Rip, I am so pleased to read these delightful “light things.” I’m especially taken with the rhyme scheme for “Bees”–really love the first two lines. Rip, this is a change for you and one that I hope you are enjoying! Please let Jane publish more, Lydia

    • Lydia; Thank you for your words – I am forwarding everything to Rip. I hope that he lets me publish more.

    • Yes, If I can persuade Rip to compile it will be a good “book of verses” Thank you for your erncouragement,

    • “Anonymous” was Hemingway’s favorite author and with good reason: he/she is concerned with art for art’s sake and give all of us non-anons a reason to create it. So thanks for the comment.

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