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Prayer for Jamaica

Lord of the storm, spare Kingston’s unkempt port, spare Spanish Town and even Montego Bay. Open your eye only on empty sea. Let vessels reach their quays unscathed, and lashings never snap. Let shantytowns stay roofed, and coconuts not cannonball through walls. Almighty, if it pleases you to rip . . . . Continue Reading »

More in Heaven and Earth

 Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher   by peter j. stanlis isi, 350 pages, $28 Poor Robert Frost. Nearly half a century after his death, he is still suffering at the hands of both friends and enemies. Frost brought much of this problem on himself when he selected a troubled young . . . . Continue Reading »

Horace’s Satires I:VI

When I am in the mood, I go explore entirely alone and ascertain the prices set for vegetables and grain. As evening falls, I often wander through the sketchy Circus and the Forum too. I stand beside astrologers, then troop back home to have some leek and chickpea . . . . Continue Reading »

Auto da Fe

1 The walls hear The windows see Inside I burn No one comes To rescue me It is my turn 2 Like a gutted house I am burned out By love — Samuel MenasheImage by Pixabay. Image cropped. . . . . Continue Reading »

Three Holidays in One Afternoon

A bloody handprint on a windowpane Beneath which, blood-scrawled letters spell Beware. Across the street, a pumpkin with straw hair Gathers his seedy thoughts like Harvest grain. Then, like an evening shadow, Halloween Spreads darkness down the block, and black despair. The bloody handprint on the . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Dip in the Rift Valley

We never heard what my mate heard descending to the Dead Sea by bus: a jet fighter far below him streaking north gomorrah and SDOM! Our trip was nearly in peacetime. I remember my surprise at my first view of our goal, not a white brine pan, it twinkled cheerfully blue like any sunny lake. It . . . . Continue Reading »

The Witness of Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz was born in Szetejnie in 1911 and raised in Wilno, both of which are in present-day Lithuania. His family was part of the large Polish-speaking population of that city. For this reason he identified himself as a Polish writer. Living there through his university education, he was . . . . Continue Reading »


When my fantasies, and these extreme regrets, shut my eyes in sleep, I discover, before me, the risin spirit of my lover, who was, even in life, always a dream. Then across some desert, where I can barely see the endlessly distant horizons, I pursue my love without success. She fades from view, by . . . . Continue Reading »


Like the weary sailor, the refugee from wreck and storm, who escapes half-dead, and then, in terror, shudders with dread at the very mention of the name of the “sea”; who swears he’ll never sail again, who raves he’ll stay home, even on the calmest days, but then, in time, forgets his . . . . Continue Reading »

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