On the Spanish Coast

for Marcia, Terry, Steve, Ed, Heinrich, and Gregg

This little town looked out to sea,
and from our hilltop, so did we,
basking in rented ease. We’d get
to Barcelona—crowds and sweat
and Gaudi’s gaudy majesty—

and at the mountain winery
we’d drink red, white, and history,
but each day when the sun had set,
this little town

would draw us back to reverie
on coastal heights. We earnestly
attempted basic etiquette
in Catalán, and locals met
us halfway—as if home might be
this little town.


Crossing the Public Garden Footbridge in January


At twilight’s edge,
snow ravishes the air,
which blushes bluish-gray
and cannot catch its breath.
You dare not inhale too deeply yourself,
and you dip your chin
farther into your scarf,
but you keep your eyes wide open—
watching for icy patches,
tracking your progress by electric moons,
and peering through pieces of falling sky
at an unyielding city.
Distant buildings deflect the snow,
trees catch and hold it in their outstretched arms,
and you move through it like a voyeur,
nearly ravished yourself.


The High Line Park Paradox

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Above the traffic, walking through a bit
of green, past works of MOMA-worthy art,
but still not far from city noise and grit,
you occupy a sort of limbo: part
commercial infrastructure (redesigned),
part respite from the city it surveys—
a tenuous illusion undermined
by shoving crowds on sunny Saturdays.
Or choose a time when strolling folks are few,
and this is still no rural promenade;
it proudly showcases an urban view
that elevated distance has remade.
You half-escape the city, but keep track
of where the stairs are, so you can go back.


This work was first published as part of the Sage ~ December 2017 Issue, of the Coldnoon journal.



Jean L. Kreiling

Jean L. Kreiling

Jean L. Kreiling’s first collection of poems, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books), was published in 2014.  Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including  American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies.  Kreiling is a past winner of the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.