Poems by Max Reif - Boy looking at circus

A Greeting for the Day

Good morning, new day!
Through the birds you relay
news that makes
me smile.

I open our door—
your fresh breath I adore
as it whispers, “all life
is worthwhile!”

We’ve only just met
and yet I would bet
you bring something like
no other,

Though resembling each day
in a family way.
(Every day is your sister
or brother.)

If I meet you all present,
then sour or pleasant
I’m certain to get
your full taste;

And savouring each day,
well, what can I say?
This life’s a true life,
not a waste.

Wonders Await You Inside This Tent!

(Preface to a Book of Poems)

In here
I’m blowing bubbles,
special ones like dreams
to show you
something wonderful.
I want to say, “come here
for your salvation.”

I want to show you
what only the eye
of the heart can see,
secrets and wonders
hidden on pathways,
completely invisible
until the moment
you come upon them,

and some of the things
nobody told us
when we set out,
some of the fine print
in the contract
we all signed
before we remember.

Beauty, too,
I want to show you,
which stills the mind
and silences all need
for explanation,

and truth
as it is lived;
and also the pain
which is the tension
of maturation
that yields to new
innocence.

I stand on this corner
in a checked suit and hat,
pointing my stick and barking
the wonders in this tent.

Of course you have
your own eyes, you
have insights, and your
heart is paying dues,
gaining access
to secrets, as well,

but I can’t see them.
You’ll have
to show me.

Sooner or Later

Sooner or later, you go
through a door and things
are not what they were.

Look back as though
with a flashlight
at all the passageways
that led here.

There is waiting, often,
as well, so that epochs
seem to go by
in the same
place;
but that too
passes.

Of course, it works
both ways: a door
can be an entryway
into a treasure-room,
or
there’s nothing there
and you fall
down a well.

And in the process
so many masks,
each feeling real,
appear and slide
off your face.

Blank Page

Turn from all of that,
face the blank page.

Dozens of years of research,
a mighty collaboration
has created the world’s
electronic
juggernaut,

only to augment
the pricelessness
of these

white prairies.

Another Nature Poem

Third day home sick, and
it’s school prep week.
Worried about not
pulling my weight,
tired of bed,

I took a book
and went out to sit
on the balcony.

The sky rested
blue merciful hands
upon my head.

After that benediction,
no worry
had ever been.

image: Abstract closeup via Shutterstock