Cedars of Lebanon
by Richard Fein
Richard Fein

Richard Fein was Finalist in The 2004 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. He will soon have a Chapbook published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals, including Southern Review, Morpo Review, Danse Macabre, Smartish Place, Perigee, Skyline, Oregon East Southern Humanities Review, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review, Futurecycle, and many others. He also has an interest in digital photography and has published many of his photos. Samples of his photography can be found on http://www.pbase.com/bardofbyte.

Over the hill then down into the Cedars of Lebanon cemetery,
a soft breeze whispers over these somber acres while going
past stones placed ninety years ago, past stones over those who lived ninety years,
past stones standing alone, past family plots completely filled with stones,
and family plots yet only half filled but with the surrounding grass patiently waiting.

But most haunting of all, past stones very small with barely legible names
names that never had time to make names for themselves,
past those faded names on tiny stones many of which have fallen over
and all of them no longer mourned
for the ones who put long-forgotten names on these ancient stones
by now are forgotten names themselves

A silver balloon and attached string ride that summer breeze deep into the Cedars of Lebanon
till the dangling string is caught by the skeletal finger of an ailanthus tree
and twirled around and around that leafless branch.
And as the soft summer wind moves on, it leaves behind
this captured renegade balloon swaying against the gnarled trunk.
And painted on this party trifle rocking like a cradle
a yellow smiling face and letters in pink spelling
Happy First Birthday Amanda

What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.