by Andrew Levine

As the heaving van shuttles

into the dark morning

the ragged bluegrass banjo and fiddle,

haunting Appalachian harmony,

accompanies the swinging cross

behind the rear-view mirror,

a song of faith,

trials, and poignant resolve.


The Ethiopian  driver

not wanting to be mistaken

in this troubled world,

for a Muslim,

his radio turned

to southern arcana,

the bluegrass tales

of love lost and lives too short

from harder work

than a man ought to do,

in this world.

yes, in this here sunny world.


As the cross swings,

a pendulum passing through

all the quarters of this world

and perhaps the next,

the breakdown banjos

above the din of the world

rattle past road repairs

in the dart swerving morning.


Three hours of sleep

never felt so good

against the grateful voices

ripe with the sorrows

of the mines in West  Virginia;

this sweet life

slipping away

in the cool damp

of the rattling of the van,

as salvation

and meetings on the other side,

and the sweet by and by

resolve all and any anguish

pumping high speed

as the airport approaches.


Andrew Levine was born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1947.  He has been writing, drawing, and playing the sax since child hood.  He has practiced Tai Chi  since the 70s. He has published nine books of poetry to date as well as six comic novels written with a friend under the pseudonym Jug Brown. He has also published a novella, Bagman’s Soup. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Master’s degree in nutrition. He spent twenty years running his own business manufacturing herbal extracts and formulating herbal products. He lives in Oregon. He is currently looking forward to making a cocktail.












and perhps

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