Tag Archives: Alan Toltzis

Alan Toltzis (series)

Goldfish

They grew waddling fat—
orange and white globes
gliding through green waters
to feast on insects and algae,
flakes and pellets tossed into the pond,
their own eggs and fry.


Beggars

Habit taught them greed
gulping at food’s satisfying promise
whenever I neared
sending shadows across the surface
that drew their pleading lips
into the alien air asking
more, more, more.


Binge

Where I saw thin and yellowing locust leaves
skittering through air like celebration,
they saw something that might be gorged upon—
swallow, spit, swallow again.


63.8 Degrees North

Earth angled into its inhospitable orbit
tilting farther from the sun
the water stiffened
as its molecules expanded, aligned, slowed,
crystallizing from the rocky edged shore
inward towards its core,
zeroing past zero.


Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

5 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

4 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

63.8 Degrees North

Earth angled into its inhospitable orbit
tilting farther from the sun
the water stiffened
as its molecules expanded, aligned, slowed,
crystallizing from the rocky edged shore
inward towards its core,
zeroing past zero.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.</em

3 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Binge

Where I saw thin and yellowing locust leaves
skittering through air like celebration,
they saw something that might be gorged upon—
swallow, spit, swallow again.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

2 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Beggars

Habit taught them greed
gulping at food’s satisfying promise
whenever I neared
sending shadows across the surface
that drew their pleading lips
into the alien air asking
more, more, more.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

Alan Toltzis

How to Listen

Cover your eyes
and listen to the wind,
not its complaints unsettling leaves
but its stillness—
an apology
murmuring through pin oaks
the moment it subsides.

Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of The Last Commandment, lives in Bucks County but likes Los Angeles more.

Alan Toltzis

Happiness

Their house filled
with dither and din,
misheard repetition,
and misrepresentation

as if they were on
some plaintive search
for a key
when

she remembered hers
—buried deep in her pocketbook
and he reclaimed his
—from the right-hand corner of the mantle—

just where they put them (for safekeeping)
every day for 65 years.

Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of The Last Commandment, lives in Bucks County but likes Los Angeles more.