Andrew Oerke

Cyprus Aphrodite Revisited


The gouache of the moon whitewashes a darkness

that Mediterranean constellations can't lighten.

The chalk whispers, "Absence is here since she's not."

I wish the chalk wouldn't whisper so loud;

in fact it's like it's scraping night's blackboard,

then erasing its message.  I don't want to see it;

like blood in the bull ring, I don't want to see it;

I don't want to read the screed of the chalk

whose graffiti is so extreme it covers

the walls, the rock fences, the clock tower.

It's chalk on all blackboards till there's only chalk

some would think is unmitigated moonlight,

or great white rectangles like pages unwritten.

This chalk could even turn red blood cells white

as the moon broods over its legendary waters

sated with sea serpents and other scaly monsters,

and stuffed with legends and civilization's shuck

and jive, all of it blown off like mist

towards morning that serves up the lighter light

of day that blots up the richer shades of night,

so why aren't my feelings also whited out outright, right?

Andrew Oerke's poems his have appeared in The New Yorker, The New RepublicPoetry, and in numerous other magazines.  In 2006 two new books of his poetry, African Stiltdancer and San Miguel de Allende, were published jointly by Swan Books and the UN Society for Writers and Artists.  They have received the United Nations Literature Award.  His most recent book of poetry, Never Seek to Tell Thy Love, was published in 2010.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page


Indran Amirthanayagam

Nan Becker

C. Wade Bentley

Gigi Bradford on Hailey Leithauser

Patricia Davis

Stephen Devereux

Gail Rudd Entrekin

C.M. Foltz

Anton Frost

Paul Grayson

Hedy Habra

Patricia L. Hamilton

Maryanne Hannan on Suzette Marie Bishop

Donald Illich

Sonja James

Judy Kronenfeld

Hiram Larew

Jeanne Larsen

Sean Lause

Mark Mansfield

Laura Manuelidis

David McAleavey on Terence Winch

Mark McBride

George Moore

Christopher Norris

Barry North

Andrew Oerke

Al Ortolani

Jef Otte

William Page

Rebecca Parson

Beth Paulson

Patric Pepper

Simon Perchik

Heddy Reid

Oliver Rice

William Rivera

Joseph Saling

Dave Seter

Felicity Sheehy

Robert Joe Stout

Paul Tayyar

Jennifer Wallace

Robert Wexelblatt

Anne Harding Woodworth on Jody Bolz

Katherine E. Young

Sally Zakariya

Burgi Zenhaeusern















Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020 - 12:30:13 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2020 Cook Communication.