The sky is gray – a cold, majestic, sun-shot gray

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by Slava Bart

“The sky is gray – a cold, majestic, sun-shot gray” – previously published in the April 2011 issue of Cyclamens and Swords.


The sky is gray – a cold, majestic, sun-shot gray. The sand sucks in the foam of the waves. The sky is mirrored in the restless water which would come ashore, despite impossibility. What wind or will or whim compels it to spread skin-thin across that nail-bed of sand, mirror the sky, and die with a sigh, white foam begging of the rain-laden dusk, clinging with slipping, pale fingers to the somber skirts of the indifferent dusk with its heaven-tall back to the heaven-wide sea?

Another effort – it sweeps a limpid limb across the blazing sand, over a log, round a rock, grasping at nothing. Imagine the despair. The pain of the awakened thing which lives and suffers, but which is no more than a ghost, less than a ghost, in a world which, for all its whorled fullness, might be, as well, a void.


White-knuckled, it pounds at the impassive shore, spraying sand, and recedes, with a whimper – a sea-gull somewhere – sucking at its raw-smashed flesh. It has moved nothing. A jelly-fish lies dying on the lightening wet sand – a lucent, almost luminescent dream, the sun that’s nowhere to be seen above. A startled crab’s stalked eyes scan the restless landscape but do not see the wave collapse onto its hands and knees, crashing chest-against-the-earth, the Earth.

But for that Earth, sea and sky would have been one.

Pity the earth-bound sea.



BIO: Slava Bart was born on December 2nd, 1983, in Kokshetau, Kazakhstan. In 1994 he immigrated to Israel. He is a graduate student in English Literature at TAU, writing an MA thesis about the negative reactions of creative fiction writers to academic criticism. Previous publications include stories and poems in Contrary Magazine, arc (IAWE), The Ilanot Review, Cyclamens and Swords, and Red Fez.