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.


We make love in each hotel,
dine on their finest dishes,
sit at outdoor tables
learning simple patience
patience of cordiality
all over again,
try out our broken
Italian which makes
them laugh then applaud,
we sit into the cool hours.
And when we return home
highways and buildings are
so ugly we can’t stand it.


We sat at a table under umbrellas
sipping bottled seltzer water from France.
The distant view was mountains of rock
while in the valley below us carefully
irrigated rows showed lustrous dark green.
We both agreed that Martin Buber was
an important contemporary philosopher and that
Amos Oz had informed the world about
what was really happening today in Israel.
          A modern complex stood just behind us
with a tourist center in one wing,
people with towels and Brooklyn accents
passing on their way to the swimming pool.
At times we could barely hear explosions—
giant guns shooting missiles for miles—
as we argued over the present cabinet
which would have to alter its strategy
or be faced with greater problems to come.


Unsettled I was dozing
in a barren place when
—in a fit or reality—
a marble fountain burst
forth to quench the hot sand,
a mosaic floor uncovered
to reveal in bright colors
animal and human life,
a pillar seemed to pierce
the air where was written
—in a chiseled helix
that climbed the granite—
a history of the world.

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

Poetry in this post: © Ray Greenblatt
Published with the permission of Ray Greenblatt