Blind and other poems

by Jonathan Harrington


Old man, your eyes
the color of spoiled milk,
every evening we saw you
on the corner under the streetlight,
your hand outstretched, a few coins
sparkling in your upturned palm.
You must have known
the sound of our footsteps,
for one evening as we approached
you reached out and softly
put your hand on my shoulder
and whispered in my ear:
Pity the blind.
It’s beautiful to
be touched so lightly.
But we turned and walked
away—happy, in love.
When we got back
to our apartment I
could still feel your
fingers perched on my
collar-bone like a bird.
Much later, after
she left me for good
I’d go back each night
to the corner where you stood.
I could hear the elevated train rattling, clattering
and the bang of doors
as the shop-keepers locked up for
the night. But you were
never there. Every time
I pass that corner
I wonder where you are now,
old man, your eyes
the color of spoiled milk.
Wherever you are
have pity on me.


The Woman Below

A woman lives
in the apartment below me,
but I’ve never seen her.
I hear her at odd hours
stacking boxes or banging pans
and listening to JS Bach
and sometimes
the Fifth Dimension.

She makes beautiful noise downstairs.
I can tell by the way the china clicks
when she’s setting her table
that she has delicate hands
and is graceful.
We might be lovers
if I only had an opportunity
to meet her.

Once I left a note
on her door saying:
If you ever need anything…
Of course, she never called.
I can hear her downstairs now
watching reruns of “Seinfeld.”
I have a TV dinner
in the oven.

We have a nice life together.


One by one
I watch them go in
and file out again.
I overhear their stories—
as if Mr. Stevens could care
about their lives
as much as their typing speeds
and the way they wear their hair.
Their dreams are all so similar
(and so similar to mine)
that even after thirty years
it’s like I’m walking in
with each one of them
each time
and walking out again
of all we held inside.
No wonder they look so empty
when they take
Mr. Steven’s hand
and lie
that it was a pleasure
meeting him.
Then heave a sigh
and disappear
behind the elevator doors
like shells
of what they were before
they made this trip up here.
And they go
down, down, down,
to face the blinding light
of noon in Midtown:
the breathless air,
the strangled sky,
the next, and next, and next guy
with whom
they interview.
It’s how the world’s always been.
At least, thank god,
just one unlucky girl
will have to make this trip upstairs

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Jonathan Harrington lives in an 18th century hacienda which he restored himself in rural Yucatan, Mexico where he writes and translates poetry. He was an invited reader at the International Poetry Festival in Havana, Cuba in 2012. A graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Texas Review,Poetry Ireland Review and many other publications worldwide. He has published four chapbooks: The Traffic of Our Lives (winner of the :Ledge Press, 19th annual chapbook award), Handcuffed to the Jukebox, Aqui/Here (bilingual) and Yesterday, A Long Time Ago. His translation of the Maya poet Feliciano Sánchez Chan´s book, Seven Dreams, appeared this year from New Native Press. In addition to poetry, he has edited an anthology of short stories, authored a collection of essays, and has published five novels.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


detail of Pastoral Hours

acrylic, polyvinyl acrylic, rhoplex & interference, pearlescent & metallic medium on canvas

by Jane Gilday


3 thoughts on “Blind and other poems

  1. mikel miller says:

    VERRRYY nice poetry, Cher. If Harrington is on FB, do you think he would be interested in becoming a member of the FB group Mexico Writers? I’d like to invite him, and then post a link to his poetry in The Merida Review. Thanks.  mikel.miller09@yahoo.com LinkedIn: mikel-miller/39/587/544/ Amazon: Mikel-K-Miller Facebook: EgretBooks Twitter: @EgretBooks About.Me: mikel.miller MX cell: 52-33-3676-5897 USA VOIP: 619-400-6327 CallSend SMSAdd to SkypeYou’ll need Skype CreditFree via Skype From: The Merida Review To: mikel.miller09@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:20 AM Subject: [New post] Blind and other poems #yiv3779513037 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3779513037 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3779513037 a.yiv3779513037primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3779513037 a.yiv3779513037primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3779513037 a.yiv3779513037primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3779513037 a.yiv3779513037primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3779513037 WordPress.com | The Merida Review posted: “by Jonathan Harrington BlindOld man, your eyesthe color of spoiled milk,every evening we saw youon the corner under the streetlight,your hand outstretched, a few coinssparkling in your upturned palm.You must have knownthe soun” | |

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