Rick Harrienger

Rick Herrienger

Rick Harrienger, currently a Schenectady resident, began writing poetry as a way to ‘purge the demons of war’ but continued, at the persistence of a muse to include his recovery from the results of “better living thru chemIstry ” and an indefatigable love of nature.With the exception of obscure publications, he is content to pursue what his Skidmore professor, Larry Peterson helped develop, which combines his photography, stained glass, and poetry, which is closest to what is known as Photo Journalism



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Two weeks ago I’s A Cabin Boy
our voyage almost done
the Gulls screamed a welcome
to this new land that we’ve come

The Highlands of my homeland
as distant as the Sun
South, we marched thru Jersey,
and on thru Maryland

another wee one such as I,
was taught to strike a drum
I’d say “you play it brilliantly”
but he speaks another tongue

I am butt the standard bearer
nothin for ‘to play
but all the Men form up on me
so it’s more than just O.K.

Once outside of Washington,
the Reb’s are rumored nearer
the cannon fire belays the truth
the bleedin battles here!

some Ladys in their finery
tag behind the troops
but I’m busy with the colors;
alive! she dives and swoops

“parasols and picnic box
ain’t that a cryin’ shame”
(that’s me mate from County Cork)
I think his name is Shane.

there! just beyond on yonder berm
the Reb’s we’ve come to fight

we form into a battle square
the Capt’ yells ,”Wheel Right”

The pipes & drum fall silent now
me flag snaps in a wind,
a thousand men or more t’once
a charge’n in the din.

somethin’s took my legs from me,
mustn’t let the colors fall:
I spin & sit right up against
this fine built stony wall

another,, drops his rifle
and grabs m flag instead
I’d thank him but he’ already gone…
Damn that Johnny Reb.

The man who said this land was Free
I say’s a bloody liar.
tell it on me tombstone too
‘here lies Shane McGuire’



I stand in awe
before the thaw
that means the wheels in motion

They beat their wings
but not one sings
at Mother Nature’s notion

This may be Franklin’s Hospital
but Eleanor owns the garden
that’s if the host that shares this post
should kindly beg my pardon

Amid this monarch midnight
the flocks that spend the night
no longer sleep by cricket peep.
It ended here last night.

Scram your feathered freeloaders
don’t linger with the jay
leave this crag like we’ve the plague
‘fore you’re possum prey

Barred by the breeze
October’s sneeze
November’s winds of change

Cleaned by the breath
from a north northwest
from the grip of the gardens grange

A time for true thanksgiving
for all who gather round
crescendoing your glory
oh how I love the sound

Of rustling leaves beneath my feet
the wind passing my ears
sear with strength my soul’s full length
diminishing my fears.



I never thought I’d see the time
When my own name, bound in rhyme
Sickened through, reminding me
Of a place across the sea.
The sound of it still often spooks
The smell and sight of dying gooks
The days when fear formed who I am
The days I spent in Vietnam.
I’ll change my name and when it’s
done, I’ve one to go; my only son.
But that will superficially
Appear to some how buffer me
For more than just my title
Sickens me on sight
Of what’s left inside me
For what? I went to fight.
You say the war is over
It’s only just begun
The battleground is different
The conflict now within
Will we come full circle
To love and live again.

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