Green Hills Literary Lantern



August Poetry



Summer in Miami is no time to be ambitious.

The heat flattens “great” ideas, melts goals,

evaporates projects. Basic daily chores,

a walk to the drug store, the post office, hauling

a fallen palm out to the curb, drink you up.

Not to mention the mosquitoes that pinch

and itch your calves in the time it takes

to pick up the paper from the driveway.


No, the only thing to do is be inside, the AC

churning to keep you from bubbling in sweat.

Sit and read Neruda’s “The Sea and the Bells”

the last beautiful songs from Chile, understanding

the great darkness in all of us and still believing

in our burning brilliance. On the table a white bowl

of green grapes, gold mango and yellow banana.


Read poem after poem and suddenly realize

you may not have the bells but you’ve got the sea.

This may not be the long, thin land of Chile but

it’s long and thin enough. Why dream of

his water when your water awaits? Why not

trade the electric hum for the slush of waves,

the sip of the ocean breeze? Sit in the shade of the blue

umbrella and stare at the horizon till dusk then:

“sit on the rim of the well of darkness

and fish for fallen light with patience.”






Clifford Paul Fetters has poems published or forthcoming in The Tampa Review, America, The Main Street Rag, Cross Currents, The Oxford American, Poetry East, Appalachia, The New York Review of Books, The Seattle Review, The Willow Review, 5AM, Ibbetson Street Press, and many others. He lives in Miami with his writes-like-a-dream wife, Debra Dean.