“An October sky- a lattice of ink and light folded over and over upon itself-…” Waiting for Orion, Richard Gilmore Loftus.
Those first words of Loftus’ poem, “Waiting for Orion,” are a just a few in his new roughly 100-page book of poems. Loftus is a lifelong lover of mythology, poetry, written word, beautiful moments, and a self-described scribbler in his own right, “Dress Whites” is Loftus’ collection of roughly three decades of poems and written material describing not only his own observations of life, but also what he believes is a bird’s eye view of the life of a man.
“Dress Whites” is a collection of 80 or so poems, mixed ponderings of nature, to sensual moments with the opposite sex, reflections on other writings and texts, and more.
“Each of these poems I think of as a journey,” said Loftus.
To Loftus, the journeys of the poems are in some way a reflection of his own journey. As a world traveler from the time he was a boy, Loftus recalled living in Ireland as a boy, visiting Spain, living in New York for about 30 years, and how the many places he lived and visited shaped him as a person. As a boy, Loftus met famous English poet, Robert Graves, and remembered the event sparking his interest in poetry and mythology. After the encounter it would be many years before Loftus would engage poetry on a deeper level, but the event changed him nonetheless.
Most of Loftus’ career was spent working as a computer programmer, during which time he attempted various writing projects without publishing, or indeed finishing them. But as he entered retirement, Loftus found the time he needed to spend more time reading, and writing down the words that had so long been on the tip of his pen, or stored in notebooks.
Along with the longevity of the works, the subject matter is what is most valuable to Loftus. Each poem is an intimate glimpse into not only his own heart, but the unspoken heart of many people.
“It’s writing that’s really not on a mission,” said Loftus. “I’m not confessing other people’s sins. If there are confessions, their mine, but it explores different aspects of the human experience.”
Like so many poets, Loftus identifies poetry as the ability to name the nameless, express with words the deepest feelings, and to explore the inner, often unspoken consciousness.
“The power of words to confess and convey and be a balm for things that had come before,” said Loftus about poetry. “A poem that’s written well, you’ll want to reread.”
For his own words, Loftus hopes, neighbors, friends, and strangers alike will enjoy reading his first published collection of poetry as much as he enjoyed writing it. “Dress Whites” can be found on amazon.com, and will hopefully soon be available at Schuler Books, Barnes and Noble, as well as local libraries. Richard Gilmore Loftus spends his spare time reading and writing, walking his dog, playing piano and violin, and building wooden boats.