August 24, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Lee Friedlander



Abigail Rathbone






“Have a blessed day” comes easily to me now after

8 years in Virginia; I can finally say it without any

NY smirk. I’ve come to love this Tidewater town

Whose crops of late 20th Century planted buttons

Sprout provenance as Civil War relics thanks to

The blood soaked ground yielding them up to

Beeping metal detectors. The Romans did it too

Faking Greek artifacts of ancient conflicts

Scarcely recalled but for these artifices.

Today far more Lenin Prizes float around Brooklyn

Than ever were awarded in the USSR.

If Picasso had doodled on that many napkins

Sold round the world, his 90+ years would have been spent

24/7 in cafes, his studio door left unopened.








Able Was I…



We each have our own Elbas–way stations from which

We emerge to fight again even if it’s just for those

Final 100 days like Napoleon. The sweetness of the penultimate

Leads naturally to that palindromic turn of mind reminding us

That the end is identical to the beginning. If you’re lucky enough

To truly believe in reincarnation, you may find comfort in the

Thought of your return. But when I indulge in the Karmic fantasy

I think I was once a dog chasing my tail,

Living pretty much as I do today, almost always

Barking up the wrong tree.








Caruso’s Valet



The great San Francisco earthquake struck and

All men were equalized before so mighty a

Natural force –but, as has been noticed before,

Some remained “more equal than others.”

Though Caruso sang with feeling in Carmen just hours earlier,

There was no libretto ready for such a catastrophe.

Caruso, led to safety, waited dumbstruck

In the street, while the valet returned to drag 54 trunks down

From the fifth floor of their hotel.

Yet for the most part, such heroism remained


Saved by his servant,

Caruso went on to sing

With feeling,

Many another day.










Abigail Rathbone

Abigail Rathbone has been writing both short fiction and poetry “on and off” for 50+ years. A retired copywriter she now spends much of her time buying and selling old books, some of which she reads.


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.