Alison Stone

Faith Ghazal


Mixed couples with kids must decide – whose faith?

Doctors scan the brains of monks for clues to faith.


I envy Pagans’ skyclad dancing,

Catholics’ confession and stained glass, Jews’ faith.


No harps. Angels blow saxophones,

strum Fenders, croon the blues of faith.


Police force the water protectors from

Standing Rock. In tears we watch the news. Faith


failed. I’d rather hear a drunk hurl curses

than a mega-church pastor who spews faith.


With prayers and pilgrimage, fasting,

the god-hungry skeptic woos faith.


Ridiculed, his words unheeded, the shunned

prophet stays in his room, stews in faith.


Nights the soul squirms and past failures run

laps in your mind, do you reach for booze? Faith?


My friend wore crotch-length skirts, laughed loud and long.

Now she’s “saved.” Her glassy eyes ooze faith.


You can run from love, turn your back on regret,

decline gratitude. You can’t refuse faith.


After days of cranky busyness, the way

you moan my name in wonder renews faith.



Alison Stone has published five poetry collections, including Ordinary Magic, (NYQ Books, 2016), Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.