—Super Powers—

I imagine again the power

to move the pavement with my mind

on my walk back from the ATM

and stop traffic by willing

a Volkswagen out of my way

just as I am about to cross.

In today’s fantasy I am burning

up all the trash along the road

by a telekinetic muscle 

that grows stronger in my daydreams,

and hovering over the otherwise

indifferent crowds in angelic glory.

It is an enchanting temptation

to want to ease the anxiety

of uncertainty and fragility

with power to shape reality,

making your circumstances 

match your understanding

instead of the deeper work of changing

your understanding and being shaped

for the way the world should be. 

As if with secret codes I could

push the right buttons and withdraw

from the world of becoming.

But the universe is not a machine

for dispensing lessons or blessings

at auspicious times when planets align

by hidden mechanical rules.

We are made for being and being here

now and with the properties that make

the world temporary and on its way

by a path that requires us to learn

to cross in person from control to trust

in a maker and mover of muscles

and roads and angels and buttons

and codes and persons and magic.

—Morning Has Broken—

Morning has broken

my spirit and the blackbird

crowing over the corpse of its prey

has magnified the injury

and the noise on the sidewalk

when I open the window.

There is still light 

in the shifting clouds but the rain

dampens the hope of heaven

falling down today to muddy earth

and the garden statue of Jesus

where something might grow

if a better word were spoken

to fix the morning and the light

my spirit and all the birds 

scatter with darknesses

that are supposed to be

temporary like the sunset.


Cruelty spreads in the field out there

As natural as the kindness where

Both buds and thorns, dirty, green

Spring alike from deep roots unseen

Untended earth for now gives way

As mean vines shoot up holding sway

Over good seeds destined to win

Through virtue’s slow cultivation

The mortal fix a guarantee

That unkindness can only be

A temporary thriving thing

Till death plucks up evildoing

And life enduring spreads in me 

Overtaking inhumanity

Whose roots corrode in restored ground

And all the kindness lost is found

—A Narrow Fellow—

After Emily Dickinson

The road sighed in relief

A mud puddle fills the void

A few hours after raining

And leaning from the sidewalk

I can’t see myself at first

In the still and shallow murk

And didn’t try to look again

Wondering what I would have felt

To see my dirty self look up 

A narrow fellow in the street

Lying still but still aware

With suspicion in dark eyes

At my feet as if from death

Or swimming up from deep beyond

The boggy waters to the ground

So I take a shaky breath

Keep my reflection to myself

And step inside at home alive

Ryan Keating is a writer, teacher, and winemaker on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found or is forthcoming in publications such as Saint Katherine Review, Ekstasis Magazine, Amethyst Review, Fare Forward, and Macrina Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s