Alan Altany

An Old Poet: Alan Altany

With memories of

Basho’s journeys,

an old poet writes

useless poems

like this one

not knowing

how it will end

until the final lines

toll through

the silence

like a monastery bell

during a spring snow

upon red tulips.

Wizened poets

are most wise

when living

their poems

before ever

writing them,

and hearing

in the cry

of the loon


a calling

to sacred

love as old

as memory.

An old poet

patiently waits

for the golden sun

to rise one more time

upon the calm face

of death dancing

with divine life

as the melting snow

reveals the

fresh flowers’

ancient beauty.

Alan Altany, Ph.D., is a septuagenarian college professor of religious studies. He’s been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, small magazine of poetry editor, truck driver, novelist, etc. He published a book of Christian poetry entitled A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. His website: