Posted by: tsopr | January 26, 2010

Craig Shay, American Poet

Craig Shay’s work has appeared in recent issues of the Bitter Oleander. He has poems forthcoming in Skidrow Penthouse and Counterexample Poetics. He lives on Long Island, New York with his wife Rebecca. To read more of his works / poems, click this link:

Featured Poetry of Craig Shay

Abandoned Storybook

A book is bleeding
by the overgrown river.

Underneath a serpent coils in a spiral,
like a rubber belt torn from a machine.

My footsteps awaken it.

Stripes glow from its back
white, red, and black.

As I read, I notice a bride across the river
and a man in a goat mask
following her on horseback.

He seems to be guiding her down a forbidden path.

The serpent closes its eyes
seasons immediately begin to turn.

Greenery drains from the plants
leaving everything black and rotting.

Reality begins to decay
as the center vanishes.

Naked tree limbs tumble down
into dissolving rivers.

Myths break apart like disintegrating leaves.

The sky turns red and erratic
foreshadowing a violent tempest.

Meteors descend from above
causing the ground to erupt.

Only a lone empty pillar stands in the distance.

I place the book
back over the creature
whose body has begun to char.

Reflective Pool

A boy kneels beside a pool of rippling water.

In his reflection, he sees a stranger
in a cage staring back.

The stranger asks him to contemplate
the meaning of existence –

The boy imagines himself within
the calm of a watery fresco.

He imagines becoming a stranger
and walking through the vast cities of the underworld.

The stranger promises the boy immortality
if his cage door is opened.

The boy looks into the wild eyes of the stranger,
and feels as if he is swimming over a dark abyss.

They become one being
as light is removed from the sky.

The boy fall through the traffic of spirits
and into the underworld.

A flutter of rainfall begins,
causing the surface to blur.

The boy watches
as images dance in the water,
formless and hypnotic –

He sees the stranger
come to life on the other side

It stretches up in his new body
and flees into the mortal world –

Trees and Undergrowth

Leaves twirl
into pockets of grass
which cover up
a path, now invisible –

Spiders work
among the branches

The rustling of small animals
walking over the carpet of moss

Yellow speckles of sunlight fall –

Lanky trees spread and surround
making an office of branches

The Recovery

I carry the soup so carefully upstairs,
never noticing the generations of photographs
staring out, completely perplexed.

I know what they are trying to tell me,
but I don’t pay attention.

Sometimes I am so distracted by the music
that I leave my bed, and walk towards the ocean.

When I wake up,
my wife and I
are alone on the shore,
we are naked
and cannot recall a single thing.

The hypnosis is strong,
it pulls me into the black currents –
Where I am not me,
but an ominous version of me
walking underwater in a trance.

* * *

My wife and I start to panic.
We load the babies into their car-seats.

We take off
leaving the house empty,
the bills unpaid,
and the groceries unpacked.

It was more than a million miles
to the Walden Pond of the mind,
but there’s still a chance
we’ll get there
with our suspicions intact.

Dream Sequence

I belong to a place
where strings buzz
on fishing boats
through dry afternoons –

When I close my eyes
I glimpse the world
as it arrives – uncooperatively.

I find, I am moving away from myself,
further into cordial ballrooms
filled with expensive carp and salmon –

Elegant piano music plays
and in the center stands a statue –

It’s a woman of stone,
naked, her shackled hands outstretched,

She looks as though she possesses
the ills of the world.

I go outside, to remember
the song the fishers used to sing
in those dry days by the river.

Copyright © 2010 Craig Shay



  1. […] 26, 2010 The Sound of Poetry Review is an international online poetry journal for contemporary […]

  2. Thank you,beautiful work,Please visit my sites.
    Thank you JasonScotPatrick

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