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Al Ortolani

Noble Silence

A fan squeaks throughout
the noon meditation session,
one of the eight that keeps

the Missouri heat moving
until the chime of the bell.
When we stretch our legs, standing
in our socks on the hard wood, eyes
search the rotating blades
for the culprit, but
the squeak has stopped, each

of us points in a different
direction while we circle
in and out through rows
of cushions, the welcome

silence well-oiled.


Al Ortolani has been a public school teacher in Kansas for the past 39 years. As a boy, he dreamed of being a second baseman for the New York Yankees. However, when they didn't call, he began writing poetry.  He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press and Wren's House, published by Coal City Press. He is an editor for The Little Balkans Review and works closely with the Kansas City Writer's Place.