Green Hills Literary Lantern



Quake at the Cathedral                                                                                        


As the candle lanterns sway

on their trapezes, the gargoyle,

heavy-lidded and deep in thought,

feels a curious thrill as the first cracks

stream veins through his stone pose.

He shivers and grows giddy as he wobbles

like the priest who, too fat to strut,

sweats, slips and spits his way up

to the belfry, then returns cursing

for what the job knocks out of him.

The gargoyle rejoices as his bench

crumbles into spinning chunks.

He thinks, I’ve sat with my passion

and musings for hundreds of years,

fangs wasted on observation.  I loved

when small birds nested inside my nostril.

I dreamed I was one of them, twitchy

and hot with song, then flying.

How I lusted for tussle. In my favorite

fantasy, (oh, there were many),

I was a loud, wild whirligig

sustained by the ringing of bells.





Sunrise at Inspiration Point                                                                                                        


Like travelers we rise

at unnatural hours.

The glow of numbers

from the night stand,

the only light we want,

summons us out of bed

as we pull on worn jeans

and sweaters for the trip,

skip eating and slip

quickly into the chill

of your old Toyota.

As it wheezes awake

the coffee thermos joins us

in a steamy chorus.

We chug a cut of freeway.


On the trail we hike.

Our soles crunch faster

into the path to keep up

with the retreating dark

ditching us like a phantom.

I can smell the metal

effort of my breath.

At the summit’s clearing

we turn toward the east.

Over an altar of mountain

starts the labor, buttering

the sky with all the colors

of an American breakfast –

a single egg over easy,

poked until runny.


The city seems idle below,

unmoved by our judgment,

but from this point we hate

nothing, not even the tall,

bald structures taking over.

You point to the tail of a deer

on a neighboring hill waving

in and out of view, only

the tail. It’s more than we

deserve when our ambition

lies elsewhere – down there,

within the bald (that’s sure

to break us). I reach for

your hand and wonder

how long you will let me.




M. Nasorri Pavone’s poetry has appeared in River Styx, Sycamore Review, New Letters, The Cortland Review, DMQ Review, Cura, Rise Up Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Chaparral, Poemeleon, Wild Goose Review, The Citron Review and elsewhere. She’s been anthologized in Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach, 2014), and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.