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.


An average pair of eyes but
surrounded by debauchery
they seemed innocent.

Among the dust and filth
white and black slaves danced
          without chains.

It must have been high tech
to place the Acropolis
          up there

like an exquisite
golden phoenix born
          once again.

Music and mathematics
floated in the air
innate as the soil itself.


We had come to Monaco
because you had grown up
where Princess Grace had lived
in Philadelphia and you
felt her regal presence.
But moneyed Monte Carlo
was poised and cold,
embalmed ancients in black garb
playing at casino games.
Back in our room the shower
had no curtain but for us
newlyweds it only made
the game of love more exciting.
There you stood in your young
simplicity half emerging
through the swirl of warm mist
Aphrodite from a clamshell
Amphitrite on her chariot
your nakedness my gift
cherished over all these years.


The monks in their niches in the cliff wall
resemble birds in their aeries
bees in their hives
or wasps in their mud daubs beneath the eaves,
but these ancient Greeks do not
fly out into freedom
they lower long ropes
to acolytes for food
their clothes rot off their backs,
theirs is an inner life
their minds grinding
on the manifold nature of God
which can take a lifetime.

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