Curtain Up!

Sunset and the robins sing, nightingales reply
song that summer evenings bring, weeping willows sigh
from lawns and from thickets a chorus of crickets
____serenades but remains out of sight
as we stroll hand-in-hand while this heavenly band
____entertains in the silver moonlight.


The Dance of Life

Performance of unending grace,
the dance of life proceeds apace
to rhythms played throughout the years
transcendent music of the spheres,
exquisite movements intertwine
their choreography divine,
a work in progress, parts for all,
the never-ending curtain call.


Dancing Whitecaps

Down the great river wide
many whitecaps did dance
and the wind and the tide
their technique did enhance.

Some leaped onto docks
others burst into spray
some chased around rocks
like young children at play

Some danced in a line
never turning to look
at the rolling grey brine
or the buoys they shook

And one stowed away
on a passing red tug
but long did not stay
and rolled off with a shrug.

When the storm finally passed
and the waves were no more,
we collected sea glass
as we walked on the shore.


The Youngest Rose

Photo by Joe Tessitore

The youngest rose,
a single tear
the pain she knows
that draws me near.

Within me grows
the need to share
Should I expose
how much I care?

And so it goes
this summer morn
emotion flows
pricked by the thorn.



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.


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18 Responses

  1. Fr. Richard Libby

    “Curtain Up!” is a very fitting title, considering the wonderful display of poetry that follows! I enjoyed all of them very much. Congratulations, Mr. Tessitore!

  2. Sally Cook

    Hi Joe –
    Nice! I enjoy seeing you not afraid to try different things in your poems. You are one fast learner.

  3. Amy Foreman

    These were a pleasure to read, Joe, as always! “Dancing Whitecaps” reminds me of the well-loved Robert Louis Stevenson vignettes in “A Child’s Garden of Verses,” the favorite poetry collection of my childhood. And though you have crafted these poems to be accessible enough for younger readers, they remain captivating and pleasing for the rest of us, too!

  4. C.B. Anderson


    These are nice, but I know you can better normalize standard English punctuation — as in when to put a full stop (a period) or a half stop (semicolon). And don’t forget about commas. They are useful to separate clauses (especially restrictive ones) and to make phrases stick to the other clauses to which they refer. Let’s take “The Youngest Rose”:

    Would not this punctuation have better expressed your idea?

    The youngest rose,
    A single tear. [Apposition]
    The pain she knows
    That draws me near. [This is another sentence fragment, but so be it.]

    Within me grows
    the need to share. [a semicolon might do as well.]
    Should I expose
    how much I care?

    And so it goes
    this summer morn; [a colon would have worked here]
    emotion flows,
    pricked by the thorn.

    Joe, this is a really nice example of lyric poetry, and I hope that my comments won’t come across as too nitpicky. But English grammar is one of the tools we have been given, and I trust that any poet should make the best use of it.

    I also applaud your use of iambic dimeter, where the writer is forced to come up with plausible rhymes at a moment’s notice.

    Here is one example I came up with:

    So keep on keeping on and never lose faith, because someday your name will be written in the stellar constellations, as sure as Orion is the master hunter. But keep your dogs in line.

    • Joe Tessitore

      Thanks very much,C.B., but, truth be told, I wrote these with no punctuation at all. My editor suggested all of the punctuation that you see.
      I am grateful for your advice and do take it seriously.
      I will revert to punctuation in the future and do my best to
      “keep (my) dogs in line”.

  5. David Watt

    Joe, I enjoyed your lively and varied group of poems! I find the personification in ‘Dancing Whitecaps’ most appealing.


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