Jack J. Chielli

The Whim Museum, St. Croix,
February 2020

The trade winds swept through the turpentine trees

scattering my brother’s ashes across the sugar plantation


I had traveled to this Caribbean island 

because while living Dominic wanted me to visit him here 

and so I was 


He practiced piano in the rotunda— 

though the docents and grounds keepers

liked to think these were private concerts—  

and he worked to raise funds to preserve the property 


Hurricanes Maria and Irma changed all that 

and shuttered the estate— 

the dome remained covered with blue tarps

the piano ruined by rains

and the grounds held their shape despite neglect


But between the tamarind trees and stables

a hen roamed with her chicks

the roses and jasmine flavored the easterly breeze

with red and white blossoms 

and on occasion a Dutch couple

would arrive expecting a tour


From the Dark Lips of the Horizon

The moon rose from the dark lips of the horizon, 

its aperture widened over the sleepless fish


The gray light blinked on the waves 

and silver shells spilled over 

the under currents 


Follow the path 

of light out to sea; or remain 

in the shallow gullies of the heart


I stood listening to the waves 

spit sea at the stars

Jack J. Chielli is a writer living in Frederick, Maryland. He has an MA in poetry from Wilkes University and a BA in Writing from Roger Williams University. He has been writing since he was very young, in fact wanting to write is his first memory. He was editor of his collegiate literary magazine, Aldebaran. He also was a journalist for many years before working in politics and is currently in higher education, where he is a vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications. His poetry is forthcoming or has been published in Plainsongs; the anthology project Keystone: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania; Martin Lake Journal; Schuylkill Valley Journal; EcoTheo; and Coal Hill Review.