Posted in  Mya Schneider, Poems/Poetry


1358915503p2230The morning is swallowed by its headlines:
an old man in Bosnia shot as he scurried
along a path to feed his pigeons.
I try not to see the open mouth
jutting from a black heap of coat.

Going into a room upstairs, I remember
two white pigeons I saw in Ravenna.
How they startled with life,
orange claws gripping the stone rim
of a bowl on a wall in a mausoleum.

For fifteen centuries one has dipped
its beak to drink cool aquamarine;
the other’s turned towards a cobalt sky.
What will soothe the cooped pigeons?
In a book I look at the hundreds of tessarae,

follow the shadow lines beneath
wings, the breasts shaped by fingers;
think of two hands blue-rivered
with veins, papered with skin, cupping
the feather softness over beating hearts.

Then I see faces grazed by fear,
slippered feet scrambling up a hill,
a bag of seed split and scattered,
birds’ wings frantic behind mesh,
an old man coffined in mud.

– Myra Schneider

from ‘Exits’ (Enitharmon 1994)
previously published in ‘The Observer’
‘Klaonica, Poems for Bosnia’ (Bloodaxe 1993)
and broadcast on ‘Stanza’ Radio 4 in 1994

© 2009, poem, portrait (below), and book cover art (below), Myra Schneider, All rights reserved and presented here with the permission of the poet.
Photo (Pigeon) courtesy morgueFile

IMG_0032-1circling core_22MYRA SCHNEIDER ~ is a poet, a poetry and writing tutor, and the author of Writing My Way Through Cancer and, with John Killick, Writing Your Self. Her poetry collections, Circling the Core and Multiply the Moon, were published by Enitharmon Press. She has eight published collections. Her most recent work What Women Want was published earlier this year by Second Light Publications.

Myra’s long poems have been featured in Long Poem Magazine and Domestic Cherry. She co-edited with Dilys Wood, Parents, an anthology of poems by 114 women about their own parents. She started out writing fiction for children and teens. We first discovered Myra through her much-loved poem about an experience with cancer, The Red Dresswhich she generously shared with readers here in our Perspectives on Cancer series in 2011.

Currently Myra lives in North London, but she grew up in Scotland and in other parts of England. She lives with her husband and they have one son. Myra tutors through Poetry School, London. Her schedule of poetry readings is HERE.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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