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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Poems by Richard Luftig

Three Poems by Richard Luftig

About Face

her memory leaves
                   him without a trace of hope
of holding on day
                    to day. Pushing her away,
still the same as holding on

                     so tightly that rocks split
under the weight of moonlight
                      and trees impose
their will on the solitude
                      of a sky best left alone.


“The perfection of art depends on the correct distribution of light and shade called chiaroscuro.”- Leonardo Di Vinci

For her, the darker shades
are always in the foreground
like those low-hanging clouds
that seem to crowd out the stars.
But there are times, so brief,
when some unexpected happiness,
so surprising,  appears like
background in a landscape,
here, a cut of sunlight, there, off
somewhere,  a brief ribbon of remembered
summer. But mostly it is winter
shadows, evening cold, the steady
crosshatching of his touch, his smell,
what’s left of his clothes still hanging
in the closet. These memories ranging
from black to gray to perhaps. Still,
though, a sure sign of progress.


These Buddhists,
finding the perfect
Zen; whatever is done
to one side must
happen for the other.
Here is the middle path,

the brotherly art
of negotiation,
renouncing power, never
taking sides. They have
reached the Nivana

of negative space,
that place of bliss achieved
through the balance
of adding by subtraction,
becoming, complete by
perfect compensation.

Author’s Bio: Richard Luftig is a professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio (US). He’s a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and India. His third chapbook was published by Dos Madres Press. He can be reached at:

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