Two Poems by Raynald Nayler

The Telling of a Dream

Living the dream, two generations dead.
I’m sure this all made sense to you, back from
the wars, happy just to live and feel
winter up the sleeve of your car coats.
But starting in the gone heart of your town—
in ordered curves of roads that are not roads—
where do we aim? Your housewives in their best
kabuki faces driving past the quick-growth trees—
this town is like a telling of a dream:
it’s lost its shape, and what had once a meaning
to the dreamer, is just boredom hanging
in the drapes. Each house on its own well-tended
island is a void of hollow walls, where
we are asked to choose nothing at all.



Past the Trains
You can divide and subdivide in many
little ways: down in this part of town
the houses have sash-windows and the look
of being something in themselves: stained glass,
carved wood and lightning rods that cut
the moon. The trees are old and oak and hiss
their night-time leaves.  The paint on sidings peels
into specific histories.  The town
that was before, now decades under siege,
retains the traces of a town. Flags fade
and tatter under eaves. The white sheets bleach
behind the graying picket fence. We once
were boys who thought of nothing past the trains
and days again tomorrow as today.
About the Poet

Raynald Nayler’s poetry has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Atlantic Review, Potomac Review, Weave, Juked, Able Muse, Sentence, Silk Road, and many other magazines. Born in the Saguenay-Lac Saint Jean region of Quebec and raised in California, Raynald holds a Masters in Global Diplomacy from SOAS, the University of London and is a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan. He is a Russian speaker, and has lived and worked in the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union for over a decade. He is currently studying Albanian at the Foreign Institute in preparation for a posting to Pristina, Kosovo.