Storm Warning

Randy Blasing


                        Perhaps the system

            Calls for spirits.

                                    James Merrill

Last night my son, celebrating his marriage,
descended with his Turkish bride from a mid-
century Bel Air to U2’s “All
I Want Is You” & danced under the stars
installed, as if for them, where horses roamed
a ranch all bushy olive trees. Greek friends

arrived bearing gifts from across the water—
songs inspired, a poet’s son from Chios
announced in English, plucking them from his strings,
by a Greek translation of Nazim Hikmet’s
“The most beautiful sea hasn’t been crossed yet”
(my translation, unsung). Under the gun

of a sobering tomorrow now, in light
of Prohibition knocking on the door,
a dark river of Johnnie Black flowed
freely through the night, till a SWAT team shut down
–what—the last Turkish wedding to serve spirits?
I saw history made in the name of love.

RANDY BLASING’s ninth book of poems, A Change of Heart, was published last year. His recent books also include Sweet Crude (poems) and Nazim Hikmet’s Letters to Tranta-Babu (translations). When he isn’t visiting New Mexico or Turkey, he lives outside of Providence, Rhode Island.

image: Jean Baptiste Vanmour, Turkish Wedding (detail), circa 1720 and 1737