Poems from Raphael Block’s book, Strings of Shining Silence

Strings of Shining Silence

When shadows lengthen,
our breaths grow closer, and
bundled bodies huddle against
drizzle-slanting snow and rain.
To warmth we turn,
the nearness of a cello heartbeat;
strings of shining silence
fill my chest with crimson tones.
Each in-breath spins me into soundness
while with each outward rush of air—
though winds may shriek and squall,
clouds flash and crack—
shafts of sunlight— somehow—
slip through my being and unfold.

Blazing Trees

You have only to see
the blazing sunset through
the trees to be
in that dazzling presence
and catch a voice saying
“Take off your masks!”
With a clatter they land
all around, but you barely
notice because the fire
in your heart is bursting
toward that bright glow
on the horizon.
And when its last
glimmering rays are gone—
from human sight—
you’re left with a gateway
that will open
even in your dark hour.

Book order for Raphael Block

Friends of Poetic Matrix Press.  Here’s a great way to support Raphael Block, one of our authors, in his 2nd book with us and receive an early copy of the finished book.  Please show your support. Thanks John

Dear friends,

I would like you to join me in releasing my new book, Strings of Shining Silence: Earth-Love Poems.
Due for general publication in January 2017, if you pre-order now at http://raphaelblock.com/  you will receive a signed copy by mid-November.
On my website you will also find a short documentary made by Elias Koch on my life and work, which has been accepted as an entry to the Awareness Film Festival, LA.
I feel that I’m one of thousands of seeds sprouted by the Earth in this time of need. You, no doubt, are another such seed.

Raphael Block

New poems by James Downs


Stems lay flat when
first cut for display
we can play like it
is not a big deal
or it will grow to
full size of the sun
we tend to put
emphasis where
we already want
it to be…
all this change
it doesn’t and
then it does
it’s Shiva god-
head transcending
stems lay flat when
first cut for display
and then they don’t
and then they do


Day after day
Day after day
things fall from heights
and land with less or more force
and a light whoosh
something gets in the way
and we may have to
shove it aside
our hide is thick
indications of sterner stuff
if we make a plan
and keep it close…to the
vest…we will know
what is best to do
the vines creep around the edge
of the river…its flow sustains
all it goes by
take a tip from nature
take a deep
breath in…then let it out again
Day after day
things fall from heights
and land in our


The larks exalt
around my head as if they
are not ready to leave
who said it was a lark
a gambol
to go off half-cocked
cattywumpus and
whomperjawed…a fool’s
errand if ever I’ve seen one
maybe if we do go away
it should be full cocked into
the  night…I assure you
it will be a big gamble then…
the larks exalt… fly with
praise and we must
follow fearlessly

growing up fast like
……..summer grass sprouts ready to
grasp hold…give a shout
for my grandsons
Alex and John
We go to a place that
makes sense
the sound it takes
is like deer god
and bear god banding together
open my heart with
a belly knife
find a thread—pull it
see what
is raveling…what
courses take courage and
answers ache
of wine
and remembrance
if you have a dime
the time it takes
to use it
no regrets…everything
is fine.
Ophelia why
why did you throw yourself
in the river?
despair is so finalizing
couldn’t you have just
gone someplace
solutions present themselves
to those who see…you didn’t have to
relinquish control over your life
just because someone
couldn’t handle the arc of his own
knife cut sharpness of the waves
tore you up and water filled your lungs
no chance to heal
no chance to breath your secrets
or any other breathing cut short
Ophelia why did you throw
yourself in the river?



one is brewing up {from the waves}
brace yourself
we are from stars and water
and nothing stays the same
and nothing
changes from the sky
if we choose from among
a spoon and
a fork and one sharp knife
it all depends upon the need
the want or
any aesthetics we may find
turn around and see what’s
a building and build it
storm is here soon…one is
brewing up
{from the waves} brace
yourself….we are from
out there and
there be dragons in the sky


The short hills undulate
comprise a falling off as
well as rising up
we keep walking
upon the grass
the storm builds up
like a wall…like
poem pieces
if you dive in
one end of the pool
surely you will
come out the other
a  wet thing
get a handle on it
in your hand
what befuddles
you will wash
you clean
and you do not die
anytime soon
the short hill undulates
the storm builds up
and rains upon the grass

James Downs is this presses dear friend and my dear friend.  He lives with his wife Joyce in Sonora.
Soon we will have out another book of his poetry with these and other poems.  Find his first volume,
Merge with the river on our website and at Amazon.com.