Max Reif

Rookie - 18 Points (1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

.08) Queens Vision,1983 - Poem by Max Reif

Somewhere in the bowels of Queens with my crazy 2nd wife,
going to meet her grandpa. The insane traffic
last night, some kind of Puerto Rican parade,
and her brother who’d just found God in the car with us,
shouting out the window, “Jesus is Lord, baby! ”

Today sunny and quiet, the regular rhythm of the New York streets,
bagel and pizza shops, pedestrians, trees, subway entrances, and delis (the ones with those paper coffee cups that show a Roman discus-thrower) .

Parking, we walk up the stairs in an ordinary brown, brick building.
An old thin man with glasses sits in an easy chair,
a devout Catholic, Cindy’s told me. An hour we sit
and talk of practically nothing, the Yankees and St. Francis,
how he worked in the shipyards, went to church all his life.
A Presence slowly grows, beyond what’s said.

Walking to the car I turn, look back.
A tree sheds red and golden leaves.
Traffic noises disappear in a silence
that swallows up their worldly sound.

The brown, brick building isn’t ordinary now.
A kind of halo suffuses it,
body of the silence,
lending more beauty to the red and gold
than even autumn leaves should have.

On a busy New York street, time stops
in homage to the saintly man up there.
Is there an angel ladder here, that I can’t see,
or just his prayers, kind thoughts and deeds
raining peace and beauty, as from a living shrine?

Comments about .08) Queens Vision,1983 by Max Reif

  • (12/28/2005 6:42:00 PM)

    This poem is fantastic, its written in such a way it makes one truly feel like they're walking along each word, visualizing everything (Report) Reply

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  • (8/5/2005 12:01:00 PM)

    Max I think this is a truly lovely poem. So well done. I enjoyed it immensly. (Report) Reply

  • (7/20/2005 10:33:00 AM)

    Okay...I love this! Made me miss home (NY) so much. Great stuff. I wish I could tell you which line was my favorite but I can't because they all flowed together beautifully! Great stuff! (Report) Reply

  • (7/20/2005 10:05:00 AM)

    Max, this poem supports my theory that quiet miracles happen all the time and people don't notice. Poets do, and I think you for sharing this beautiful moment. I loved every word.

    (Report) Reply

  • Linda Hepner (7/20/2005 9:52:00 AM)

    I loved this! Intense quiet in the the midst of chaos. How gifted to have recognized the holy moment and lucky us that you put it into poetry.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/20/2005 9:41:00 AM)

    Max, this is quite beautiful, one of your best imho. I like how it changes as it moves along. It starts out as sort of a cute vignette that you might find in the NYT's 'Metropolitan Diary' but then it gets deeper and full of imagery. Regards. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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