The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Three From Sheri Fresonke Harper





Alexandria by Night



All I remember of you

after morning’s late start,

the fog and smog,

vessels anchored cockeyed

and a long bus ride

while night passed over us,


is your honeyed bass

half whispering passport woes.

You’re South African

without a home. Egypt

and Israel never stamp you --

you just talk your way in.


All to the clip

clop of a horse drawn carriage

plank seat sagging toward your side.

The cobblestone courtyard


under street lanterns


and off in the open buildings

on the floor, a pale pyramid

of flour rises high

almost to the moon.

I’m deceiving myself about romance

And you about your home.






Shanghai, Thirty-Fourth Floor



So long have I been far from home.

the nights seem electric

blue fading out light,

the moon solemn--

a blushing grape without wine,

and my tower seems a place

for watching insect life.

Do I rule here from this tower?

When all those condo cubicle

windows hold a flame,

and the churning of business

reverberates my soles

I stand high and dreaming

but fallen and alone.






Owl Watch the Night Pope Paul Died



As wind blew lowing boughs,

and dusks’ steam fogged the under story,

we examined limb by upward limb

the doug fir and pine’s steady stoops

to find owls -- screech, barred, gray

and great-eared hunkered down.


Our callings but sad imitation and lament --

oh, oh, whoa, pope, pope, woe.

And all the while our frozen toes

and mittened fingers and chilled cheeks

kept telling us wisdom had blown cold.

Yet we held wake and reveled


in holy silence and trapped air.

Waiting, waiting for movement, or call.

Clouds passed over moon.

Our hearts beat steady, steady, waiting

for the rolling toll of church bells.

Empty nests are better than lost hope.






SHERI FRESONKE HARPER is a writer and poet from Renton, WA. Her fiction has appeared in Tabloid Purposes IV; Dragons, Knights and Angels; Whispering Spirits and Kinships. Her poems most recently in Yellow Mama, Shine and Kaleidotrope.


"All three of the poems were based on real experiences I had during travel. I like to delve into the sensory pleasures of the moment and then connect it to outer events that happened around me, my date's experience with apartheid, the death of Pope John, and in Shanghai, the terrible weight of millions of people seen compared to my own ego. So I act as observer of self and of others and also as participant in world events."

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Email TSJ: Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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