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Thomas Praino


Reflections From a White Linen Isle


An old melody, ancient as the Euphrates

fans an ember's glow, a memory. 

Long ago that melody refrained onto this isle shore. 

Minor cords arpeggiated while we sat holding hands.


That night, the elfin votive candle 

sprinkled vanilla into the penumbras of my mind. 

Heightened thoughts waltzed in flaxen fires

like Dante’s eternal lovers, two flames intertwined.


Just a stock, stemmed rose in a long, 

thin vase veiled upright desire. 

We, paired wine glasses in a prelude

to a prolonged Song of Songs. 


You felt all silver could not glisten 

like the diamond that would dress 

your naked finger. Me, 

all the diamonds in dark Africa


were a coarse grain photo 

of your smile. Two adamant atoms 

in one forever setting, halves, 

even apart, rising whole. 


Sublime, how quick the present rimes

across the orchard of the past. Tonight, 

the amber votive beacons like 

an ice distant star. My claret 


half-full, and I, a long stemmed 

rose in a fine, glass vase.

The Ocean on a Moonless Night


On this moonless night,

a mydriatic black 

pupil gazes at me 

like a tiger might. 


Below these volcanic 

rocks, earth’s matriarch 

stirs in fathoms 

of dreams. She tosses,


sighs a lullaby,



Multitudinous surges 


breast onto breast

crashing the coast

in thunderous lust.


Brine mist sprays cold

off the crest below. 

In an insatiable jet, 

white explodes,

Circe's moans.


Out of the raven roll 

of cannoned waves,

a murmur resounds 

from the deep. 


After the fire 

ungirded me, life, 

my errant fantasy.

Thomas D. Praino is a doctor by vocation and a veterinarian by profession. His short drama, a fifteen minute play, “Memorandum For Theater: Northern Italy, 25 July 1944,” was published in War Literature and the Arts, 2012. His short story, “Carmen’s Blood Song, (A Siguiriya)” inspired by the poem El Paso de la Siguiriya, by Federico Garcia Lorca, and his fairy tale, “An Ancient Fairy Tale of Ista and Her Brother Asar,” based on the Neapolitan fairy tale of Giambattista Basile, but set in the Middle East, are both self-published on Amazon Kindle.

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