Photography © Karen A. Szklany


“What can be explained is not poetry”
– William Butler Yeats

5:58 PM, 8/22/2021

Are you soaked through
With the knowledge of another’s suffering
Which accelerates apologetically
The indication of a glimmer of fanaticism
That erase the beams that hold up
The structure that says, “A contempt of curiosity.”

A whale without a tail, writhing
Aboard a sinking ship, rioting in flames
Like a man in traction, a traveler who has been shot
In another country
Retelling the tale of Jonah
The whale recites his decline into the water

A shaman whose belief has atrophied
Carries with him a wooden bowl
In an unadorned room, speaking to a follower
“A road is nothing, a trail is misleading.”


Chris Mansel is a writer and artist living in Florence, Alabama. His work has been published by several different magazines and journals, including The Experiodicist. He is fifty-three years old and has been writing for many years.

Karen A. Szklany was born in New York and now lives in a New England co-housing community. She is the author of several collections of poetry, gardening books and Unitarian Universalist sermons. Karen also serves as a Life Healing and Transformation Coach on the labyrinth path.