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Orloski, Davies and Browne

When a Meteor Shock & Awed Chelyabinsk



I think Earth is supposed to hold pat in space,

I am here on a little dirt-patch, holding on,

and like Governor Palin long ago, I saw Russia one evening,

existing beyond my apartment picture-window –

A sip of Yuengling beer, sudden-scene of disobedient matter,

it was more than I could take that night.


Seated upon sofa, sky black, a couple stars visible,

maybe a lonely planet where life might be, T,V. was on,

CNN replay of lightning bolt strike upon St. Peter’s dome,

my bills were paid, grateful, knowing I too go off-course,

I held binoculars tight, gently focused east –

Atlantic Ocean first view, a Portuguese port,

brothel in Amsterdam, then a Carpathian Mountain traveler,

walking a shepherd-dog, they too saw something odd.


February 15, 2013, Russian-time 10:20 P.M. –

I called emergency 9-1-1,

wanted to inform local police department

about a meteor off-course, blazing across Siberian sky,

1,000 Chelyabinsk residents might be in danger,
9-1-1 Dispatcher requested I calm down, get grip, he asked for

a taiga-address, “are structures down, people hurt?”

A long white-cloud stream across Ural Mountain horizon,

I could not see inside Chelyabinsk households,

only heard a Russian Orthodox priest mutter about portents,

he remembered Chernobyl (Wormwood) radioactivity,

the priest occasionally sipped vodka, and like me,

he often disappeared into forest-places beyond reason,

and all I could say to the 9-1-1 Dispatcher was,

Sir, I believe you should contact Vlad Putin for more detail.


Another swig of Yuengling,

the 1908 Tungaska event went down smooth,

I worried about dark cloud formation over Taylor Borough –

Who shall be next Pope of Rome?

Will the Federal budget ever balance, return to solvent orbit?

Shall Lady Gaga recover from injury?

Is that a drone passing over Scranton?

To bitter-end,

I want to absorb all CNN news, comprehend my prescription plan, 

the happy passengers aboard Carnival Triumph are safe,

that’s all that mattered now, in small towns, meteors come and go,

talk of Hagee’ Rapture, life on Gaza, can this really be Dylan’s end?


At hypersonic speed, estimated 40,000 mph, freaky-noisy,

(where were U.S. Space Police Patrols and radar guns?)

a bus-size rock fell into frozen Chebarkul Lake,

likely murdered several fish.

FISH –  that is Christ’s symbol of Mankind,

my neighbors tread through dangerous and polluted water,

Mr. Darwin thought I come from Seven-Seas,

there are seven days created per week,

my Parish priest does not accept Mastercard, and here I am –

I look at sky, it’s calm, Big Dipper at tipping point,  

how high did Icarus fly ’til burn did he part,

how deep into living-water

fell irreverent rock from unfathomable space?

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa.  He can be reached at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.             



Ethan Alden Wonders



Ethan wonders if

in the mood he’s in now

if music might pick him up


not the aiaiaieeee violin

or orchestral brass

but a calm andante


say a haunting melody

I’ll take you home again

Kathleen, and she says yes


though this time he doesn’t know

he is so low

but at least he tries


and there’s a glow on his moonstruck face

as Venus approaches him

and she says yesyesyes.


Robert A. Davies lives in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net.



The Cocktail

At first,
She thought
His voice

Driving relatively
To the point
A point.

She noticed
The staccato speed
At which, His noise
Filled the room—

The way his hands,
Strangely bent
And waved about
In agitated motion..

“The size of them!”
She thought,
Against her generous will.
“So tiny.”
“On that huge man.”

Revulsion rose
She envisioned
Bound feet,
Jerusalem crickets
Or, Earthworms hot asphalt.

“It must be the gin and tonic,”
She said,
As she made her excuses
Went to bed.

Michael Browne lives in Sebastopol, CA. He can be reached at  karmanot@gmail.com.


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