Sunday 30 June 2013

In Between the In-between Moments by Martin Willitts

“Yo no naka” means “the world of betweeness”in Japanese
Nothing has decided to Become. The lack of wind
wants to be heard. Before your heart blinks out, it must
shed cherry petals. It hesitates. It plunges
into the unknown where we all must go. It goes
expectantly. What does it know that we don’t?
The sky closes shutters, but some light comes through.
There is the smell of Always. A mountain laments —
fog. A hand tugs at leaving birds.
Before you left, you were here; and nothing listened —
the nothing was a pond of light. Light though pinfeathers.
A rustle of air against air.
Many moons were in many raindrops.
What is it that casts shadows in between the in-betweeness?
The impermanence flinches and falls.
Everything is attentive to the transient movement between.
There are words we must carry beyond what we know.
Before before there is nothing in the absence
loudly proclaiming in its silence.

Martin Willitts, USA

Sunday 23 June 2013

Chopin at Nohant by Askold Skalsky

Guests chat and smoke, pacing their day
with masterpieces until October.
They stroll or read, play billiards,
sprawl on sofas, hearing some chords
maunder through the keys
like the breath of watered roses
from his room.

It’s sunny and opens on the best purview,
a circle pond ringed with smooth stones
and two great oaks guarding white shutters
with tendrils of green vine curling 
around the recessed door.

You enter it—
the clock behind the escritoire floats
on its moon-phase calendar under a chandelier
with flaming finials where the summer sostenutos 
come to rest.

And in the evening, like a glimmery star,
the first uncertain version
of a melody. 

Askold Skalsky, Maryland, USA

Tuesday 18 June 2013

St Jane by Elaine Pomeransky

Auschwitz, the kiss you didn't have to take, lips eagerly pursed,
Inviting the Nazi tongue to lick
You with gas.
Amongst the mass of strangers you died,
Name almost forgotten, because of your gender.
Left .....................................................Right
Left Dumfries to end up on your knees for a race forgotten.
'I have found my life's work' your tune, but the world didn't dance.
No rest in Budapest as you sewed stars of yellow
Onto your chosen children.
Light of Scotland, rejected the Church offering of safe return
Held tightly the hands of those who yearned
Your protection,
Affection enough to lay down your life.
'Even here on the road to Heaven there is a mountain range to climb'
You whispered,
As you were gassed
With a mass of Hungarian women
Such a German chore.
Left.................................................. Right
Left the world on August 16th, 1944.
The only Scot to be slain...martyred Jane.
Remembered only by a sliver of Glasgow glass and plaque,
Yad Vashem, men declared you 'Righteous' 55 years
After you'd died.
No libraries, films, memorials, tutorials
Lest we forget St. Jane
And the day you were crucified.

Elaine Pomeransky, Edinburgh, Scotland

Sunday 16 June 2013

Refugees by Ray Sharp

We carry our sorrows
in tin cups
and leather-bound journals.

Ink tracks the yellowed pages
like foot steps
on a barren plain.

At night
we stir the red coals
of dying fires.

This is what stars
would look like
fallen at our feet.

Ray Sharp, Michigan, USA

Sunday 9 June 2013

Air Defense by Jenny Ward Angyal

Saint Francis’ Satyr—
so rare its cocoa-powder wings
flutter only across a few wet meadows
on a single military base, where fire bombs
lobbed into canebrake make a scuttle of  flames,
open patches of sun where the sedges grow
and the Satyr, guarded only by eyespots,
lays one by one her tiny eggs
the color of new grass. 
The meadow over the way
turned white with daisies the summer I was six,
and we wandered for weeks, the dog and I,
linked by garlands and lost
in an ocean of white.  
A man with a camera came,
and then a full-page photograph
in Time magazine—the daisies, the laughing dog,
and me—important reasons for effective air defense
in black and white. The year was 1956 but the war
was the one war always being fought
somewhere beyond the edge
of the field of daisies. 
Yet somewhere
among the leaves of grass
perhaps a chrysalis—