Joseph A. Psarto
2011 Ohio Senior Poet Laureate

Joseph A. Psarto, 79, Westlake, is retired but now enjoys a second career as writer of fiction and poetry. Two of his novels have been published, “Zohar and the Fox-girl” and “The Fox with the White Scarf.” A third novel, "Please Don't Kill the Tiger," will be published in 2012. His poetry has won awards, including the Ohio SPL award. Joe's favorite poets are T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, and William Butler Yeats. Joe was an American businessman living in Korea for twenty-two years before returning to America in 1979 with his wife, Sunae, and his daughter, Nancy. His dear wife passed away in 1994. Joe retired from the business world in 1999. He is a prolific reader.


One cold night the moon rose full
in perfect periodic roundness
--of course, she is a lady--
and bragged that peoples and nations
have worshipped her, and she liked it,
and that was her sin,
and why she was in exile.

Oh yes, the way it is,
it’s in the Book.

I wondered,
does my dog worship me,
I’d like that,
and is it that my sin?

He looked up and said to me
--in hushed barks--
that he knows nothing of theology,
that he loves me,
nothing more, nothing less,
and I knew my dog was holy.

Joseph A. Psarto