Dennis Maulsby

Dennis Maulsby

Dennis Maulsby lives in Ames, Iowa. His poems and short stories have appeared in The North American Review, Mainstreet Rag, The Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Briarcliff Review (Pushcart nomination), and on National Public Radio’s Themes & Variations. His traditionally published books include: Near Death/Near Life (poetry—MWSA gold medal winner), Free Fire Zone (short stories—MWSA Silver medal winner), Winterset (short stories—Eric Hoffer Award winner and Global Ebook gold medal winner), The Fantasy Works (collection), and House de Gracie (novel). Maulsby is an associate member of the SFWA and past president (2012 – 2014) of the Iowa Poetry Association.

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Mediterranean Tour

(A Haiku Chain)

Seagulls squat on piers
near gray wrinkle-skinned water.
Cruise ships eat tourists.

Sharp boat bows throw-foam.
Green sea, blue sea, purple sea.
Lava-black cobbles.

Four bronze horses nod.
Stiff-legged pigeons head-bang,
street dance at Saint Marks.

Cheese, bread, and apples,
foam-topped brown Corfu lager
adore nose and tongue.

Cruise ship salt-water pool
Red, black, floral print swimsuits
Pale arm-flab contest

Crowded street cafes
Brown pigeons explode upward
Wine spills into laps

White fast-canvas sails
Kinky green-leafed trees crowd shores
Pink marble cliffs soar


I see you near the whitewashed Pharos lighthouse.
A Mediterranean breeze whirls gulls
in mosaic patterns, their cries notes from reed pipes.

Outside Alexandria’s great marble library,
you buy blue and yellow from the flower peddler.
Idle eyes are attracted to your hip-sway.
Earrings, little pearl babies, swing in gold cradles.

Great brown eyes, Girl! Those kohl-shadowed lids.
Your dark, curled hair invites a man’s touch. Let my
fingers caress the warm flesh beneath.

We meet only in dreams. My sole relic of you
a painted Romano-Egyptian wooden burial board,

the bright colors of your portrait still locked
in the wax of ancient bees 2000 years dead.

At your end, was it Elysium with the old Latin gods?
Or, did jackal-faced Anubis weigh your soul
before entering the Neter-khertet netherworld
to pass the centuries with Amon Ra and Isis?

Even now, does your gentle Ka, a perfect little wren,
wing the earth each night to bless your progeny?

Poetry in this post: © Dennis Maulsby
Published with the permission of Dennis Maulsby