Winter Pastoral/ Cayo Largo del Sur/ At An Iraqi Restaurant

Winter Pastoral
By Mark Nenadov

Frost gathers on the roof,
which serves as a launching pad
for chimney smoke.
Rising to the stars,
while passing cars
waddle to the beat.
The midnight air
haunts the city street
and tourists coddle
cold pub fare.


Cayo Largo del Sur


Your hot stretches of sandy dunes and prickly plants
trace out a trail between gaping beaches–western ones
calling out to tourists with an ever raspy voice.

O Cayo Largo
you who the sun bakes,
hard land–limestone–meted out
into the ocean diving
created by the hand
of the One who gave you
a scorching sun.

Aloof from Cuba you wait in command with resort workers
flying around your shadow, defined by the dusty roads
the dusty place where I found this snake skin.

“Walk along” you cry out
to the horses that tourists ride
on dusty paths
as the seasons pass.
The storms rage on
but you settle in.

I’ll return someday..maybe.
Until then, march along, sand grain.
March along grain of sand by grain of sand.


At An Iraqi Restaurant


“Grub”, I thought to myself
while watching feathered creatures
as they dive-bombed their lunch,
“is what makes the world go round”.

I, the son of Serbian immigrants,
sat there in Canada
(with my American wife
whose descendants came over
from England on the Mayflower)
in an Iraqi restaurant
the place that had previously
out-shined hospital food
the time we had our first child.
What wonderful food!

Indeed! So we sat there leisurely
and filled our royal, craving stomachs
with fattoush
and fatteh hatummus.
and they gave us free soup, too!
The rest was, as they say, history.

What did that have to do
with the price of eggs in China?
I’ll let you be the judge.
Next time we eat together,
maybe it will be Sweet & Sour Chicken.

Category: Poetry