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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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CHILDHOOD

 

The center is the eye moving

as if it were a crab cart wheeling

across the Bering Sea-floor of the mind

kaleidoscoping out of control.

 

The way you saw the colors

of the sun when you were young;

the way you danced in slow motion,

an astronaut on a spacewalk

tethered by the strings of the blue Danube.

 

You remember your bare feet

buried in the tall summer grass

of morning where the blades caressed

the dew between your toes.

 

The eye was a spiraling slide

downward into the exploding

red sunshine of childhood

even as your limbs extended outward

with open fingers tracing

 

the cotton-candied clouds of discovery—

those ships you boarded gliding by

toward the unbounded, unmeasured,

and unrehearsed moments of the world.

 

—Samuel Salerno

 

 

THIS HEART

 

It is good to remain silent and listen,

to let others break themselves over you like waves.

 

In the evening the iris closes itself;

its colors sing for the sunlight.

 

There are several doors before us—

the voice inside of you is not lying.

 

Green jade is rising from the ocean

to perch on your heart as lightly as the sparrow does.

 

The anger you witness in cold eyes

is the one voice longing for God.

 

In the early morning stars are a landscape;

you walk on them as a child at play.

 

We live with so many faces!

The quiet one is dancing in a forest.

 

We are travelers in a desert:

hope is our caravan, water our love.


The heart is a closely guarded fortress—

underneath the turtle’s shell, blood is a river.

 

I want my life to be honest,

even if my words are sometimes not.

 

—Samuel Salerno