a poetry e-zine










Poems by Robert Vaughan

Bus Conversation


What I heard

was my childhood

and the cadence

of sunny afternoons

repeated and familiar

comforting and secure

patterns worn to furrows

frozen into bonds.


But the hearing

Was it mine or yours

and was the voice

that played the notes

singing remembered snatches

of dissonant melodies

or only stirring remnants

buried under circling stars?


Though your words went on

tracing familiar lines

I was gone

bounding away

fleeing the small sound

of my past.





Yearbook Photograph


The lines fade

tracing intended paths

breaking the surface

of sheeted memory

held under a placid surface

stirrings pressed beneath glass

years before revelation


Faint smile pulls

the corner of unkissed lips

calculated for response

from a world misunderstood

framing questions

in languages unlearned

to callous listeners


Small window

lost among rows

of clumsy necktied knots

and eyes frozen by the flash

of shuttered certainty

peering out at hopes

packed in labeled boxes.



Robert Vaughan is an Associate Professor of English and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Clayton State University. In 2001 he co-edited The South in Perspective: an Anthology of Southern Literature.

Copyright 2011  Chantarelle's Notebook