The Old Buenos Aires’ Shoeshine Man

Pietro Grieco


When he shines shoes,
speaks and gestures watermarks in the air,
it is habitual that his hands
resemble dreams of dreams unfulfilled–
But, what customer knows or guesses
behind that smile what polishes and burnishes
the tough desires of his memory?


Now, unshaved for days
on the sunny sidewalk of Florida Street
he sleeps. Yes, he sleeps in his summer smile
wrapped by the golden light of the winter sun.


Who is going to ask him to shine shoes?
The million people that daily flows past.
How? He has an infinite dream…
In it he runs now!
Runs and jumps on a prairie,
following swallows and countryside doves,
blue doves
while drunken orange blossoms perfumes,
caress his hair.


Even if the wax melts, the flannels fly
and the brushes walk,     who?
But who can awaken him
from such exclusive chimeral treasure?


Sadly, I never knew his name



Pietro Grieco


 Pietro Grieco is Doctor of Divinity, has an OBD in Administration Sciences, and a Master of Arts in Literature and Writing.  He taught at the Buenos Aires University and Belgrano University in Argentina, and  at the California State University San Marcos, CA.  Mr. Grieco wrote academic essays, poetry and seven books. Some of his articles on spirituality have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. He resides with his wife Blanchette in Spain.



The End of the World

Pietro Grieco


Golden letters engraved in wood
tell travelers they have reached
the end of the Pan-American Highway.
A tranquil landmark lucid as the sun
leaving me speechless and alone.
the end…  the abyss…  the end…
the waves…  hypnotizing the silent
loneliness of moss, soul and stones
receiving the beat of the surge
a mantra for iris and retina
perplexed unknown at the end
of the labyrinth of this world.
Facing a gray and frosted horizon
imagining an ephemeral continent
behind the feared Cape Horn
and the mariners graveyard
whitens my mind.
Steps in long decades
drove me
to the world’s end:
Tierra del Fuego.
Stunned in this Land of Fire akin
to an original Patagonian Ona Indian
wide eyed to flames dancing
under the Southern Cross at
aliens coming from Finisterre.


I closed my eyes.
Facing an invisible threshold
        the temptation was nearby to
                embrace the cross or steal the fire or
                jump and be swallowed by the whale
                sacrificing for something bigger than
myself bypassing the line of madness
                to live not by bread alone, be
or descend into the darkness of time
                losing my being in the transformation
                while this epiphany plays an arrested
                rhythm between this instant and eternity.


Stepping over the end
of a global universe,
end and beginning have
the same meaning as
the end of winter or the start of summer,
in a meaningful and futile
temptation we define
the end as a lucid revelation
                where not a bird sings
and we draw the line
where we break our dreams
and we step over our hearts
where we decide to pass on
                        and awaken the next day
                where an end seems to be
                        is never an end but
                        a new stone to step on
                        a new path to transcendence
                where  the best Victory of Samothrace
                        flies away from the furnace
                        of our burning chest.
The end of the universe is not a destiny.
The end of the universe is not a place.
It is only a location in our minds where
We step upon immanence for a new experience


My sight stirs
the same pebbles resembling
faithful dogs at my feet. Similar
to those mysteries of life
the same small miracles that
keep us going. Thus
the end of the universe is not a destiny.
The end of the universe is never a place
It is an act of imagination!


Breathe in
breathe out
Breathe in
breathe out.
The horn honks
Disrupting my reverie
The head turned toward the empty
bus for our return to Ushuaia
walking this clear tear of joy
like a simple speck of dust
I realized we are all part
of a poem
the universe is writing with us


Pietro Grieco – please see author’s bio on author’s page, and in additional works.


At the Party (for Saad, In Memoriam)

Olga Garcia


no one knows the color of my panties
their blues a camouflaged secret

basmati with cardamon and saffron
–an erotic dance in my nostrils–

Arabic   English   Spanish  
mingle around the kebab.
mint   grape leaves   and   baklava  
thrash away my despair

an oasis of jasmine and orange blossoms
ravished by a golden cooked light
as we are introduced

his hand ignites the Lilith in me
his neck   an offering of psalms to kiss
his mouth   an act of honey and sweet almonds
the Song of Songs   a tunic on me as i hear his voice

fate——his sensual eyes on me!



Olga Garcia was born and raised in Torreón, México. A Physics and Mathematics major, she writes poetry in English and Spanish. Her work has been published in local and international anthologies.A member of the Advisory Board of San Diego Writers Ink, she lives seven minutes away from the Tijuana-San Diego border.