width=61 height=87> Varied Voices
Featured Poems


Max Reif


Poetry is the trail
Of discarded wine bottles
A drunken man leaves behind
As he staggers toward the Sun.

© 2005 Max Reif

August Spring

Smacked in the face by the sun, an angry 
conductor whose metronome beats
the life out of air, the blue out of sky
till it’s bone-knuckle white.
The dust is a dervish gone mad in its thirst.
This blitzkrieg’s gone on for two weeks.

People go outdoors only to get
from one cool place to another.
Walking to cars, they’re not really there, 
wills in a clinch with the heat, 

And then

today, spring blew in, 
spring born out of summer.
Faces are soft, they look at me. 
Some people walk slowly again.

My spirit roller-skates out through my eyes, 
That lazy bee floats toward a flower.
The flower comes halfway and gives it a kiss! 
Anything can happen today! 
© 2005 Max Reif


Sometimes I think real life 
only takes place in cafes, 
those reflective islands 
in the middle of the stream 
where living, we watch life go by.

Could we have all our meals in cafes? 
Do some job there between meals—
stringing beads, stuffing envelopes, 
writing novels? Then, when it's dark, 
the way the clerk in my Indian hotel 
put a mat on his desk for the night, 
we could put a mat on our table and sleep.

Ah, but then a cafe would be home.
Lots of people live
on the sidewalk already, 
and most of them don't like it.

Maybe what we need then is a home, 
and a home away from home, too. 

© 2005 Max Reif

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