Ray Greenblatt

September Frost

You walked out one September.
I could smell brine on the air
though hundreds of miles from the sea.

When I called you
a man answered.
Does she know you? he asked
slamming down the phone.
I put down my old phone
          softly in its cradle.

You returned one September.
We felt a new passion
agreeing we needed each other.
You showed me a poem you had written,
I couldn’t understand a word
          it was so garbled.

This is how I think now, you said.
I could hear the beat
of a marching band on the air.


Wide Open Spaces

This country is too wide
I can’t write poems about it,
the sky stretches over my head
          with no horizon
          to pin it down,
my poems grow into gigantic O’s.

When winds come
they are so powerful and howling,
as they whirl round the few misshapen bushes
          round the cracking houses
          round me trying to edge
          across open spaces,
until I feel like
a piece of rattling paper.

Even the people are too big
 I hear their large feet coming
I stare at what seems tiny heads
          way up there on shoulders,
they resemble the distant gray mountains
but the flat spaces between
them and me are huge.

          I can only write poems in
          the cellar by lamplight
          where I hear nearly nothing
          using a tiny notebook
          writing a tiny poem.

© Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt is an editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal and teaches a “Joy of Poetry” course at Temple University. His newest book of poetry is From an Old Hotel on the Irish Coast (Parnilis Media, 2023). Heh has written book reviews for the Dylan Thomas Society, John Updike Society, and Joseph Conrad Today.

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