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.


From a plane the blue sky
resembles the sea,
clouds like the surf.

Day is just waking,
heaven not sure.

I hear a train that isn’t there—
too much travel cramming my brain
(ferry in the channel?)

Heady odors: pine, cooking, peat,
burbling birdsong of many in the shrubs,
sun heats me just enough to serve.

Some flowers no matter
how beautiful should not
be mentioned because
of their ugly names.

On the bench beside the inn:
a bag, a basket, a bowl.

While she moves round the courtyard
she bends her spine as
graceful as a willow in the breeze.

Yet being new here
I must remember:
turtle eyes
or ready to snap.


White buildings are flattening
the hills, the ancient scrub hills
underpinned with jawbones
of Prophets, windy wisps
of Psalms echoing through
millennia of Orthodoxy;

grandmothers hang over
balcony railings
—underwear and cleaning rags
drape like bright pennons—
miming to the like-minded
the day, the tribulations;

crying to grandchildren
below playing baseball
in the golden dust
in never-slackening sun,
proud aromas of brisket
stuffed cabbage, corn fritters

simmering, always simmering.


the Light—
                     X-ray dazzles my vision
                     Laser makes me reel
                     Sunlight renders me blind

the Gods—
                     Cavafy & Apollo
                     Seferis stomps with Orpheus
                     Kazantzakis whirls with Poseidon

and You—
                     Out of the glade or submerged in a spring
                     Blue or black eyes
                     Night curls or sunrise blonde

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

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