Issue 45 — 

Stanley Niamatali

Stanley Niamatali

Featured on ArLiJo


I bring you a papaya; you call me
your sailor. The knife lays bare symmetry
of halves, once one. Succulent sienna flesh,
germinated from a hard seed of this earth,
melts with a delicacy unlike this earth.
Pulpy seeds release savory fire.
The sky is full of birds.
You put your hands over
your eyes. Jude, your hound, howls
at a spiraling leaf. The blue
shell in the fallen nest oozes
liquid time. I reach for your hand.

Copyright 2011 by Stanley Niamatali.


When peaches, heavy with juice, break
from their stems, she leaves the hollow
in the blue Camaro.
Beside the tilting trailer, her mother stands
under the green hickory with the rotty-mix
growing smaller in the side-view mirror.
Refugee in a strange land, her tomato plant,
arrested in its pot, spreads branches
for sunlight that does not shine its way.
On a morning beset with thunder, she kneels
on the linoleum and goes into labor
for the man biting into another peach.

Sixteen was previously published in Anthology of Appalachian Writers, 2011.

Copyright 2011 by Stanley Niamatali.

The Cursed Tree

From the germ and wet
blackness of this dirt,
you sprout, golden.
Frail, you uncoil with the day. Feel
the weight of atoms multiply.
Burrow. Rise. Flower.
Stylish crepe petticoat,
stigma to bees dusting
and brushing receptacle.
Petals fold. Dry.
Fall. Seed
tell me the sin
of my branch.

The Cursed Tree was previously published in Full Circle Nineteen by Guild Press in 1998.
Copyright by Stanley Niamatali.


Stanley Niamatali, a Guyanan poet, is a professor of English at Montgomery College, in Rockville, Maryland. His poetry has been published by Oberon, Full Circle and Anthology of Appalachian Writers and The Caribbean Writer. He lives with his wife and son in Martinsburg, WV.