Photograph by Rolan Fajardo.

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1) The Edge by Frederick Feirstein
To set aside rage
And sit quietly at the water’s edge
At the edge of yourself
And go past it
And live in the body of the duck
And the water lily
And the crumbs of your own gift of bread

Copyright 1971 Frederick Feirstein

5) Prayer by Rosalie Calabrese
Dear God, what makes me pray
As if I had a line
Direct to heaven’s ear,
Why search the star-filled sky
As if to contact heaven’s eye?
Helplessly I cry out
But no one hears,
Hopelessly I wander
On this plot of earth
Seeking higher ground;
Logic tells me I’m on my own
But, dear God,
I could use a helping hand.

Published: Thirteen Poetry Magazine, Volume XI, Number 1, October 1992.

7) The Young Sleep by Ilsa Gilbert
The young sleep,
The old weep,
The coward will creep
Into the light,
But the brave will dive into the deep,
Searching for beauty
In the dark sea,
Wanting to bring up
A treasure
They can keep
As a memento
When it is time to weep,
When it is time to sleep
Forever more
In some dark sea,
Some far shore,
Where they bury the old,
Coward or bold,
And some will remember
The fright you fought,
And the treasure you brought
And passed on
To the young
Awake now with eyes open
To measure their world
Unfolding —
As the earth yields up
Secrets to explore —
Not time yet for feet
To march to an unknown grave,
Where the old sleep.

October 23, 2004

Copyright 2004 Ilsa Gilbert

Elegy by Frederick Feirstein
He danced like a black bear to Strauss’s waltz,
His lithe wife turning, turning on his arm,
In the circus of their sunny dining-room
That could scarcely contain his Russian charm.

He piled out plates with tired anecdotes
Of winter palaces and peasant carts,
Of gagging on his dog in time of siege.
He ate with a zest too heavy for his heart.

The snow could scarcely fill his mammoth tracks
Where his poodle shook off snowbells like a fool.
He loved the cold that wouldn’t let him breathe
And sacked his stilted body for its fuel.

Copyright 1998 Frederick Feirstein