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Nolo Segundo Poet


By Nolo Segundo

When the warm day dies
And the cool night sets in,
Then I’ll be there, beside
You my love, feeling the
Heat of a beating heart,
My arms wrapped round
Your empty shoulders as
I whisper silent words of
Love and longing in your
Lonely, unadorned ear….


We went to visit our old neighbor
after they moved her to a nursing home,
an old English lady of ninety-one,
still with that accent of east-end London
and the sweet pleasantness of the kind.

She was too old, too alone to live alone.
She would forget to turn off the gas range
or how to turn on the thermostat or TV,
She had trouble following a simple talk,
but remembered the Blitz, 75 years past,
as if the Nazi bastards were still at the door,
and London was in turmoil: as though Hell
had crashed through the gates of Heaven.

So her family moved her, leaving empty
the house next door, empty of our friend
of 30 some years, empty of her lilting
English accent and her sharp sense of
good old fashioned English humor…
and it seemed like someone had died.

After a few weeks we went to visit her,
my wife and I, taking some sweets and
a small plant—oh yes, and our sadness
too—though we made sure to leave it
outside, unattended to for the moment.

We entered a very large and rambling
sort of building, with pleasant lawns
and locked doors and intercoms for
some voice to decide if you can enter.
It was like sort of a prison, you think,
but a very nice and very clean prison.
Our neighbor was in a special wing,
called rather romantically, ‘Cedar Cove’
and as we entered through yet another
set of stout doors, we greeted her and
she smiled back, but very much as
one might greet a total stranger….


I miss the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange will do when I really want to see God.

But it must be done right, this seeing, this apprehension of the
Lord of the Universe, Lord of All the Worlds, both seen and

First I feel how firm the orange is, rolling it in my hands,
the hands of an artist, the hands of a poet, and now the stiff
and cracked hands of an old man—
then I slice it in half and look at its flesh, its brightness,
its moistness, its color—
if the insides beckon, urging my mouth to bite,
I first cut each half into half and then slowly, carefully—
as all rituals demand—I put one of the cut pieces between
my longing lips and gradually, with a sort of grace, bite
into the flesh of the sacrificial fruit.

I feel the juice flow down my throat and recall the taste of
every orange I ever had, even in my childhood—or so it
seems, with this little miracle of eating an orange.

As I finish absorbing, still slowly and gracefully, its flesh,
the last bit of what had been one of the myriad wonders
of the world, I look at the ragged pieces of orange peel
and I see poetry—or God—it’s really the same thing,
isn’t it?


Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.j. Carber, 77, became a published poet in his 8th decade in over 190 literary journals in 15 counties on 4 continents. A retired teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia], he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and thrice for Best of the Net. Cyberwit.net has published 3 collections: The Enormity of Existence (2020); Of Ether and Earth (2021); and Soul Songs (2022). These titles reflect the awareness he gained when he had an NDE whilst nearly drowning in a Vermont river: That he has—IS—a consciousness that predates birth and survives death, what poets since Plato have called the soul.