A Writer Writes — “The Overwhelming Question” by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria)


The Overwhelming Question

By Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65)

I grab the butt-ends of coffee spoons,
roll up the bottoms of my trousers,
drag my red wheel barrel along the shore,
and dig for salt-washed shells tossed
onto the sand; waves slap the shore,
codes from lonely mermaids’ whispering.

whistling winds from woods nearby
wrinkles on the moon
thirteen blackbirds observing.

flashes from another world
pillows of gray sky
ancient gnarled oaks cast shadows.

tear-drops squeezed from willow trees
maelstrom of colors
La Mer’s quarreling white caps

Singing dolphins’ lure me out to dance.
Leaves of grass float past effortlessly.
Yes! the brain is wider than the sky and I dare
disturb the universe, incite another Big Bang,
hurl stars and spin the moon like a top; hunt
white whales with Ahab in the South Pacific.

This poem originally appeared at andreazurlo.wixsite.com/andreazurlo/blog


Tony in China

Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65) is a poet, fiction writer, and retired professor living in Arlington, Texas. He has taught in both Nigeria and China, as well as several colleges in the U.S. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in more than one hundred and twenty print and online journals.  He has published ten books on African and Asian nations, and three books of poetry.  Tony’s book The Mind Dancing, a collection of his poems related to his experiences in China, won the 2010 Award Peace Corps Writer Award for Poetry.

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