Stan Crawford lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas with his wife Dawn, their cat Kismet and dysfunctional Chow-Labrador mix Java. He practices civil trial law when not writing poetry. His poems have been published in Poet Lore, The Comstock Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and Water-Stone Review, among other journals, and he was a juried poet in the Houston Poetry Fest 2003.
Holy oil was poured into a vial
sealed with wax as proof against austerities
of travel, thieves and heat. How to bring
a miracle intact to sway the Khan.
Bring me clear proof the law of Christ is best
and all other religions false and nought.
Alas, it was too difficult to prove the negative.
The Buddha kept on whispering sweet Nothings
in the ears of pretty girls playing with golden chains
in harem hallways. Captive nightingales
sang intermittent songs so catalytic
western metals changed to pepper, pearls,
silk brocades complex as algebras, long views
from latticed balconies to terraced fields
where chartreuse rice plants grew in silver water.
In the end, Venetians were the ones converted.
Coming home like wizards, conjured rubies in their sleeves,
thrilling their kin with distances. Each night
such longing filled their dreams, their infiltrated hearts
until dawn brought relief, and roosters crowed
to see the sun rise once more in the east.