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 Day 19

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 Sweeping the Beach             (for Karen) by PAUL LOJESKI   The island man extended the broom out and then drew it in, piling up last night’s seaweed on the white sand beach. He stopped and gazed at the calm, blue-green water.  A warm, morning breeze caressed him. He took a deep breath and began again […]

Three Poems by Paul Lojeski


 Sweeping the Beach

            (for Karen)



The island man extended

the broom out and then

drew it in, piling up last

night’s seaweed on

the white sand beach.

He stopped and gazed

at the calm, blue-green

water.  A warm, morning

breeze caressed him.

He took a deep breath

and began again to sweep

out and in smoothly,

at ease with effort

like a Tai Chi Master.

Another little mound

of ocean grass appeared

and he moved a few

steps down the beach.

It was so quiet, so still.

Just the slight ripple

sliding up the sand

the only sound.  He

looked out once more

and waited for the soft

wind to surround him

as he’d done every

morning for ten years,

while the world crashed on.

He was the richest man

she’d ever seen.



What They Hear



The old listen to a different music,

music that hangs like fog over


a busy highway, shrouding every-

thing in gray mist—that muffled


sound they drift into, resting in its

quiet aspect, in its slow, cool embrace.






Standing in front of plumbing

supplies on the slatted

wood floor that creaked

when walked on, I thought,

How obvious death has become.


I chose two half-inch washers,

frustrated by the old, upstairs

shower constantly in need

of repair. I sighed and headed


slowly to check out, listening

to the wood complain at every

heavy step, considering

whether or not to ask

the woman at the register


her opinion on the matter of our

dying but she had “bad day’

etched into her disappointed

face, so I let it go. I let it go.


Paul Lojeski’s poetry has appeared in journals and online, including at Counterpunch.

He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY.


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit Thanks!