Green Hills Literary Lantern




Pinocchio's Veneer


Come away from the woodstove, Gepetto.


Monstro waits beneath the waves

with spear-headed narwhals.


I am stiff, Jiminy, hard as a bat,

I never was a supple singer like you.


Once upon a time . . . I was a tree,

cousin to violins and writing slopes.


Whorls and stripes radiate from our centers,

coats of walnut oil varnish my green age.


All day I watch Master Cherry plane spruce,

maple and poplar for his cellos.


Figaro, where do you go in the night?

The stars are incendiary,


they frighten me with fire.






Sam Cherubin’s poetry has appeared in Old Crow, Wallace Stevens Journal, Del Sol Review and Palo Alto Review. He works as an Artificial Intelligence strategist in Healthcare. He enjoys blending humor, empathy, and curiosity to roll out human-centered ethical AI.