Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt has lived in New England, the West Indies, and along the Eastern Shore. He has written short stories, essays, and poetry which have been published across the U.S. in periodicals as diverse as America, English Journal, and Joseph Conrad Today.

He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the Anthony Byrne Prize. He was also the editor of the magazine General Eclectic. A teacher for many years Ray Greenblatt has taught writing in the Philadelphia Writers Conference as well as spoken at the John Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California.

 
GOLDEN AFTERNOON – MENTON

From these hills we can view
down on the town to the sea.
Sun gives its eternal massage.
Chickens scrabble and gabble.
Warm vintage on the table,
wedge of fromage, slice of pate.
She filling the chair right there beside me.
-or-
Sour odor of scullery.
Email that does not come,
wind whispers non sequiturs.
Impending hollow evening.
Afternoon shadows
thicken into darkness.
Gold slightly tarnished.

 
FIVE ACTS AMONG THE GREEK ISLANDS

On Aegina
the Greek pulls his cap
down over curly hair
and the American goes to
American Express for money.

On Santorini
the Greek sips ouzo
under an awning
and the American tries
to buy a New York newspaper.

On Mykonos
the Greek fingers his worry beads
and the American discusses
with his wife in the straw hat
a deal on ikons.

On Rhodes
the Greek stands with hands on hips
counting the fishing boats
and the American vows
to see every museum.

On Crete
the American goes into
the kitchen of a taverna
to have them cook scrambled eggs
and the Greek scratches his chin.

 
BOLERO

Ravel was having
a terrible time–
what could he call it?
MORNING IN MARRAKESH?
nah
A SWIM ON THE RIVIERA?
not exactly
TO LOSE AGAIN AT BACCARAT?
that’s getting closer–
Wait a minute . . .
ah . . .
that’s it!
STRIPTEASE

 
RETURN TO THE MEDITERRANEAN

Each time I return
it is different,
even in the same place
with the same person.

Perhaps one butterfly
–as philosophers
enjoy positing–
can make the slightest change.

But we are also different
our lives change every day
no matter how subtle–
we learn things, we forget them.

I look for that butterfly,
that house in the olive grove,
that sparkling spit of land
daring the sea for ages.

And when I find any
of these I must adjust,
accept the crumbled remains,
try to build on the present

and give it a new life.

 
For other contributions by Ray Greenblatt, please follow the links below:

 
All poems on this post: © Ray Greenblatt
Published with the permission of Ray Greenblatt