The poetry of Paul Bernstein

A Day At the Races

A racehorse is a mystery
incarnate in a miracle of grace
condemned to run around
in circles for the sake of sinners
lining up to lay out
all the faith they can afford.
The gates open, shouting colors
of the jockeys’ shirts
kaleidoscope around the course
to the final judgment of the finish line.
We who prophesy in vain
can only pray in numbers
like Pythagoreans:
exacta trifecta quinella



Heaven’s Gate

I’ve served my three score
years and ten in full;
the bars are down,
gates open, heaven lurking
just outside the walls, but I
choose to linger
in the prison of the flesh
cell to cell with you
till my old bone raptures
me to paradise, released
from guilt and sin and a life
locked up in righteousness
to reap my happy ending.

Paul Bernstein is a self-taught poet living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At various times he has been a political activist/weekend hippie/aspiring poet, left-wing journalist, medical editor, managing editor, and freelancer. He resumed writing poetry some 15 years ago and has since published several dozen poems, most recently in Muddy River Poetry Review, Blue Lotus Review, New Plains Review, Third Wednesday, and Front Porch Review.

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