ICE-BLUE STARS by Peter Verbica

When time hammers

a horseshoe

upside down upon a hoof.


When wind and rain like

weeping gods

rip at your tin-thin roof.


When the trees,

your only neighbors

turn their backs to you,



When the angel

of death binds

your feet and hands


and doubts drop

from spiders

like silver strands …


It’s one of those days

when you bring out the spade

to bury your gold


in the weave of a burlap sack

under the sluff

of forest jade.


It’s that last flash of light

when the sun sputters

and runs out of rays


that you dry your eyes

upon your sleeve

and fall out

of self-pity and malaise.


So, down the hatch

and cup a match.


It’s time for the sweet stench

of Maduro cigars.


It’s time to bang

on bar pianos and

strum sorrow

from the souls

of old guitars.


Sit on some brick.

Wonder heartsick

and drink whiskey

from used mason jars.



in the West it’s best

to stop pondering


the infinite mind


those ice-blue stars.


Peter Coe Verbica, grew up on Rancho San Felipe, a cattle ranch in Northern California. He earned his BA in English from Santa Clara University, a JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married, with four daughters.

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