My Newest Poem in the Lyric

Here is my latest poem in Lyric poetry magazine. This one appears in the Summer 2021 issue. Hope you like it.

Song of the Plague Stone

By Robert Crisell

Put a penny on the plague stone,

I’ll leave some bread for you.

Put a penny on the plague stone,

I’ll bring some barley, too.

Your parents never cared for me,

But now they rest beneath a tree.

Put a penny on the plague stone,

In summertime we’ll wed.

Place your sins upon the plague stone,

I’ll say a prayer for you.

Place your sins upon the plague stone,

And pray for my soul, too.

Our trespasses were mild and sweet,

But bitter is our love’s defeat.

Place your sins upon the plague stone,

A reckoning is due.

Shed your tears upon the plague stone,

And I’ll leave mine for you.

Shed your tears upon the plague stone

With rosemary and rue.

Our days grow dark, our lives are stale, 

But bright light shines beyond the vale. 

Shed your tears upon the plague stone, 

May death our love renew.

William Sockespeare Presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Shakespeare in the Vines, led by artistic director Preston Helms and board member and actress Sarah Gibbon, have created a sock puppet version of four Shakespeare plays. The first one–an hour-long version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”– was released this week. I’m honored to be one of six voice actors who play multiple characters in the shows. In MND, I play Duke Theseus, Demetrius, and Bottom. I hope you like it. The shows are aimed at young people ages 8 to 18, but I think everyone will find something to enjoy!

Two more poems from The Lyric (Winter 2021)

Here are two more of my poems published in Lyric poetry magazine. These are from the winter 2020 issue. I hope to submit more work to the magazine soon.


By Rob Crisell

I rest here on the ocean floor,

But once I rode upon the foam,

And carried soldiers off to war,

And bore them safely home. 

Now light drifts down to me below

As I gaze up at sapphire sky.

Upon my back bright starfish grow,

Within my chest dwell octopi.

An icy current weaves its way

Across my bones of rusted steel,

Reminding me of thrilling days

When gallant captains turned my wheel.

But I don’t mourn my damaged pride, 

Nor for my mortal labors long. 

I dream the salt and sigh the tide,

And sing the sea’s eternal song.


By Rob Crisell

A plot twist—Hamlet reaches middle age:

Claudius is killed at prayer some years before, 

Allowing Gertrude’s son to take the stage

With bride Ophelia, at Elsinore. 

He trades his scholar’s eye for Denmark’s throne,

His antic disposition vindicated;

His people prosperous, his children grown,

His father’s spirit well propitiated. 

And yet he wonders: Did he miss the point?

Did easy living dull his poet’s heart?

No tragic flaw; no time that’s out of joint;

Not even players move him with their art. 

He drinks his wine to spur the years along,

Suspecting someone, somewhere, got it wrong.