The Damascus Cloak

When I was four my
beloved Grandma
gifted me a black
velvet Damascus cloak
with swirls of gold braid
in intricate patterns
as rich and bright as stars.
Last week I found the cloak
carefully preserved.
I sent a photo to my friend
who lives in the velvet
darkness of Damascus nights.
now streaked with silver missiles
instead of gold braid stars.
I wear the cloak for both of us,
hoping toward a time when we
can walk together, freely,
under real stars
brocaded into a peaceful sky.

Sunrise on the Beach


It seems a simple thing to see a sunrise at the beach
to walk along the sands when sky is close to shore at the beach.

Yet there is the waking from a warm soft bed to go outside
to don jacket, carry coffee in a paper cup and stumble onto the beach.

In that dark time when the sun is just appearing above the horizon,
eyes dart from sand obstacles to sounds of the slow small waves at the beach

Low tide waves. Waves of a calm warm day. The sky agrees.
Sun pulls himself up out of the water and sends shafts of light across water to the beach

Light, amazing glitter and glare fills the space above the water, purple, pink then bright blue
Now the walk is easy. A walk along the sands when sky is close to shore at the beach.


Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. Joan recently completed a month as aTupelo Press’ 30/30 poet. She has published or has work forthcoming in Gnarled Oak, Red Wolf, A Quiet Courage, Eastern Iowa Review, Hobart Literary Review, Silver Birch and Postcard Poems and Prose. Joan also performs folklore and one-woman shows on historic figures. Joan lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband Joe. She collects shells, pressed pennies and memories.




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