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.

Twenty Years on Graysheep Bay: A Microcosmic Look at a Macrocosm of Human and Natural Life: Chesapeake Bay - Ray Greenblatt

Twenty Years on Graysheep Bay:
A Microcosmic Look at a Macrocosm of
Human and Natural Life: Chesapeake Bay

by Ray Greenblatt
Sunstone Press (7 Jun. 2017 / 28 Jan. 2019)
(Both Paperback and Kindle available)


We sit
in a circle of light
in Carcassonne
the wine glass green
red lettuce leaf
pats of blue butter,
on the periphery of light
a jibing waiter
sniggering waitress.
Beyond the circle of light
streetlamps are shields
astral guardians
in the compromised darkness
          as it climbs
trying to do what it should,
the square glow of window
hangs like a moon
and in the light she said yes.


Here I am again!
lying on a couch.
I once was firm and rippling.
          Where was I all winter?
deep sleep in a cave
in jail
in an institution—
complete black out.
          Immortality is such a heavy load
I’m the rare god
whose parent was human,
why can’t I follow
the bloodline of my mother.
          I pant and palpitate—no stroke,
nymphs throw themselves at me
would a man say no,
yet never a disease
to finish me off.
          I can identify any vintage
across the room and
I can strike you blind,
yet I’m sentimental too
I love the rain
which makes things grow again.


We are not pretty air-headed things like the Graces
nor pretentious art-lovers like the Muses
          let alone Olympic swimming champs
          the water-logged Nereids claim to be.

We do not swivel our hips
          like Hawaiian Sirens
nor need turn you to stone
          as the Gorgons do
not insecurely lacking a tooth or eye
          of the Gray Sisters.

Pronounce our names carefully
for you see us as strange foreigners:
Clotho—not a difficult proper noun
          I spin, which feels like stretching out
          pretzel dough or tossing pizza crust

Lachesis there—is the assigner
          no, not the assassin
          think of a tax agent
          or friendly lawyer on your case
          even a doctor with long-waited results.

Finally, Atropos—yes,
          that one with the large scissors
          wrapping a gift for Xmas?
          about to shear the hedge?
          or maybe you’re due for a light trim
                    holding a trembling hand
                    up to our throat
                    (the perfect place)
                    do not be afraid
                    time comes for all of us.

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

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