Regrets | Holly Day

Regrets

I feel I have failed my children
Because they’ve never been on safari
I’ve never taken them to the ocean
They’ve barely left this state. I comfort myself

With thoughts of children crying in airplanes
Getting seasick, carsick, memories
Of how poorly I traveled when I was a child. 
I’m saving them from having these memories themselves. 

Years from now, they’ll hate me
For not introducing them to elephants
Or whales, or seals in their natural habitat
Never get to see herds of giraffes or horses or antelopes
Loping across far-off arid plains.

©2022 Holly Day
All rights reserved


Holly Day…

…has worked as a freelance writer for over 30 years, with over 7,000 published articles, poems, and short stories and 40 books and chapbooks—most recently, the nonfiction books, Music Theory for Dummies, Walking Twin CitiesTattoo FAQ,  and History Lover’s Guide to Minneapolis, and the poetry books A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing),  In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Press), Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit), and Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press). Her writing has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, a 49th Parallel Prize, an Isaac Asimov Award, eleven Pushcart awards, three Dzanc Book’s Best of the Web awards, a Rhysling Award, and two Best of the Net awards, and she has received two Midwest Writer’s Grants, a Plainsongs Award, a Sam Ragan Prize for Poetry, and a Dwarf Star Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association.



Pandemic Learning | Linda Chown

Pandemic Learning

Dylan Thomas wrote "Death Shall Have No Dominion"
And we are learning how near it is, how uncertain life is now.
We need to stipple our moment,
Make every second resound with deepest glory,
tell that story double time.
Perhaps the fear will bring us nearer to writing a new story
To love each other obsessively and newly
With the desire of new hearts,  
undominated souls.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved


Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and currently finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun lover and dreamer. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.



Remember Me and Return | Isadora De La Vega

Darkness Together
digital landscape from photographs
Michael Dickel ©2022

Remember Me and Return

Darkness covers me like a blanket
Shadows surround my thoughts
My arms wrap tightly around me
Deserted, no one home

You keep me isolated 
My only friend, just you
Smiles ne’er intrude our space
With you, I’m safe and whole

The thorns of my emotions
Keep rising from deep inside
Always in your shadows
Always in your arms

I cannot see the rose
Only thorns of pain
Madness all around me
It keeps me huddled tight

Tomorrow won’t be different
It will always be the same
Fear keeps me shaking
My spirit is tattered, worn

Darkness gives me comfort
Forever, all alone
My prayer is you’ll 
Remember me and return home

©2022 Isadora De La Vega
All rights reserved


Isadora De La Vega…

…biography goes here, with ellipses in front. Link to known social media accounts, website, and / or blog. Delete the words if no links. Edit the Find the The BeZine button link to include the names where it says FirstName and LastName. If there are more than two names, add a plus-sign (+) and additional names, in order. Add Social Media links if we have (do not need to, but can delete the social media block if none). Replace art to the left with a photo. (Use the NO photo block if there isn’t one, not this block).

Website / Blog



Psalm 6 | Millicent Borges Accardi

I am worn out from groaning.
People: mother, father, baby, child, 
toddler, student, woman, man.
The grandmother who yells
In Russian at the young soldier
To tuck sunflowers in his front pocket
Because when he dies his body will sort
Out into new blooms on the land
Of Ukraine, that the yellow suns
Will redeem themselves, breaking
Through shrapnel and Molotov
Cocktail remnants, and disappear,
like cloth, the children’s cancer ward 
bombed out, at its corner seams. 
the teenager named Kira,
Waiting with her conure parrot for three
Days in line to get into Poland
Those underground like the sunflower
Seeds, hiding from the night afraid
And implosions of fear they cannot 
Show to their children as they clutch
Lego backpacks to chests and look 
At the blue for signs of sky and yellow 
For the wheat fields. We are kind, 
we are peaceful. We will feed you hot tea, 
the Kyiv men say, we will help you to get home.
Nightmare slumber, boyhood, February,
Winter, imagining, omen, flying sleep.

One Fish, Two Fish
Geli Print, ©2022 Julia Bentley- Mcdonald
Used by permission

©2022 Millicent Borges Accardi
All rights reserved


Millicent Borges Accardi…

…is a Portuguese-American writer, author of four poetry collections, most recently Through a Grainy Landscape (New Meridian Arts 2021). Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Covid grant), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana (Portugal), and the Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She lives in Southern California, in the hippie enclave of Topanga Canyon.

Website

The Poem in which I Run Out of Names | Adesina Ajala

Tonight bears in its wings the dirge of a thing clattering 
the world in its teeth.

Shrapnel & bombs ricochet that way & this way, shelling
cities into rubble.

& people scamper for safety, force themselves into the mouth 
of another country because their birthplace has become 

a lapping fire. Reminds me of Afghans thronging the bodies 
of planes in Kabul after Taliban takeover. Whenever war news 

grip me before the TV screen, I reach for the brink of silence. 
Tonight, I'm at the brink of silence. Tonight, I hear soft moans
©2022 Engin-Akyurt
Unsplash
in Kyiv. This night, sighs run deep in Kharkiv. A Ukrainian 
woman hurls her baby into arms, running for the borders, 

afraid to look at the things bombs have eaten halfway, 
afraid of turning into a pillar of ruin. Tonight, my lines 
reek of bloods, my hand is too heavy to continue this poem.
Come & see bloods stroke the skin of ego. Come & see bloods

oil the wheels of politics. Come, come & see blood murals on the walls 
of Kherson. Every night, after switching between Aljeezera & BBC 

like a pendulum, I borrow new names to numb my pains. Now, I'm 
running out of names. I think of the journeys the people of Ukraine 

are unwilling to make. I think of the split gap between beauty & ruins. 
Each night, after the war correspondent's voice weans off my ears, 

I run my palm over my skin & collect into a soulful soliloquy 
of bloodied flesh & things smouldering. Tonight, a breaking news
 
about this war lingers over my TV screen. & the reporter says it 
with a certain weight in her voice as if she were drowning. I watch
 
a woman sated with the burden for home says to a Russian 
soldier, Take these seeds so sunflowers grow when you die
 
here. I clasp my palms in prayers, clogged words rippling down 
my throat: Peace for Ukraine, for Russia, for everyone running.

©2022 Adesina Ajala
All rights reserved


Adesina Ajala…

…a Nigerian writer, poet & medical doctor, is currently in the 2022 Cohort of the Global Arts in Medicine Fellowship. His poem, “A dirge of Broken Things” wins the 2020/2021 Poetic Wednesdays Initiative Contest. He also win the Ayamba LitCast Essay Contest with his piece, “Daffodils and the Promise of Rebirth” in 2021. His works appear in Afritondo, Mbari, Nantygreens, The Red Letter Journal, The Nigeria Review and elsewhere.

Poems on Peace | Bruce Black

Who gives the order

Who gives the order to fire 
and who aims the gun
and who is the target
and whose life is stolen
and who weeps with regret for what is lost
and who will raise a flag of truce to stop the insanity
and who will be the first to utter the word: peace?

Sunflowers for the people of Ukraine
©2022 Marlene McNew

Where did peace go?

Was it frightened by the sound
of rockets falling?

Did it run away
to hide in the nearest
bomb shelter?

Is it huddled with the
children in the dark
space under the rubble?

Is it hiding from war,
from anger and rage,
unwilling to risk
returning until
the fighting stops?

Is it caught in this endless
tug-of-war, each side claiming
ancient injustices, bruises, rebuffs?

Is it burrowing deeper into
the safe room or shelter
to avoid the conflict?

Or is it missing in action, 
protecting a body 
concealed in the
rubble?

Or carried
on a stretcher 
into what’s left of a
hospital?

Or maybe it’s weeping
over each life lost, 
unable to keep count— 
Arab, Israeli—each life
lost a precious life, 
irreplaceable.

©2022 Bruce Black
All rights reserved


Bruce Black…

is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His poems and personal narratives have appeared in Soul-Lit, Poetry Super Highway, Atherton Review, Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, Poetica, Jewthink, The Jewish Literary Journal, Mindbodygreen, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.

Waging Peace | Benedicta Boamah

An assimilated dart,
Unsustained long-standing insurgencies,
the sequelae of ambience & peculiarity in holds of dynamism,
Seeping & entrenched; an unrest of sustenance,
Stability has a rare affluence on significant truces left in the dark, 
Peace can only stay when there's a joint act of benevolence.
The air that surrounds an apneic state of no riots,
Breathless & proportionate the heaps of unsettled upheavals.
Revolts of unfairness in a time of undeserving merciless acts,
Divulged & presented in a predominant maneuver,
It hits like a collective pulse of pain,
It hits with an error of silence, 
It hits with tentative overlooked & unconcerned shuns,
©2022 Anne Nygard
Unsplash
It hits with a creeping creed of pain,
It hits like the past,
Yields with no dividends,
The packs of life.
A time to wage peace from obscurities,
an ousted onset of the past.

©2022 Benedicta Boamah
All rights reserved


Benedicta Boamah…

…is a skilled nursing officer in  emergency cardiovascular care which is provided for short term contracts in various prestigious organisations. Benedicta writes poetry during her leisure periods. I was born in Bloemfontein, Free State, though a Ghanaian, and completed my degree program as a professional nurse in Garden City University College in Kumasi, Ghana.I’m the fourth and last child and as it stands my parents are retired lecturers. Currently, I have a personal blog on WordPress and a partner organisation that deals in emergency courses and live webinars. I have an inner passion to write daily from the heart in making a difference as a poet in an outstanding literary world.

BB Vintage (WordPress Blog)

Translating the Ukraine, Letters from a Young Cousin in Odessa | Debbi Brody

Daughter of a broken arm,
legs drove the wheels,
shot down at the speed
of a black jeep.

The evening moved to make things 
square. Details in bags and rustling bills.

Our nation is ready 
to give his last shirt.

Vladimir’s cathedral and walking
on subway cars with dull drawling.

A guy cleaned paws off my shoulder,
walked to the exit of transition, 
he graduated with grief in half,
three classes.

But all this being said, the flowers.
Photograph ©2022 Natalia Twardy
from Pexels

Poem ©2022 Debbi Brody
All rights reserved


Debbi Brody…

…is an avid attendee and leader of poetry workshops. She has been published in numerous national and regional journals, magazines and anthologies of note. She judges poetry contests around the nation. Debbi’s strong voice ranges from narrative to lyric, short to lengthy, grief filled to joyous, inner to outer landscapes and politics. The deep influences of the surrealist, modernist and beat poets sing through her collections of clear, tough, tender and fantastical poems. She is the author of three chapbooks as well as two full length poetry collections. In Everything, Birds, is her second full length collection published by Village Books Press, (OKC, OK 2015)and was awarded an inaugural Margaret Randall Book Prize in Poetry. Her newest chapbook is Walking the Arroyo (2020-Cyberwit Books).

At the End of the War | DeWitt Clinton

                   "after the End and the beginning"  Wislawa Syzmborska
We need to do something about all the lost limbs.
Would somebody please volunteer to search
for all those lost legs, arms, faces?
We’re all thirsty, yes, but does anybody know
where we can find a brook, a creek that
doesn’t have our floating cousins?

Yes, yes, we need a morgue, but first
we must find a few dogs to tell us
who is beneath the stones.

We know Gertrude and Maurice and maybe
Alfonse, maybe more, all have to be found.
Bandages, surely someone has some bandages.

We want to rebuild. Does anyone have a ladder?
Let’s leave God out of this for awhile.
Let’s start in the square, and slowly remove

what was thrown down from the sky.
Who knows how to get a weather report?
Will there be good weather for tomorrow?

Yes, that’s a good idea, but we can always
talk, there’s always a lot of time for talk.
We’ve got such a mess.

Brooms. Everybody, find all the brooms.
Can anyone send a letter, we need to let
someone know this has happened.

Tomorrow we can start burning our families.
Surely someone will see the smoke.
Surely someone will come.
                  From At the End of War (DeWitt Clinton, Kelsay Books 2018)
                  This appeared in the March 2019 Waging Peace issue of The BeZine.
                  Reprinted now at the request of the poet.

©2018 DeWitt Clinton
All rights reserved


DeWitt Clinton…

…taught English, Creative Writing, and World of Ideas courses for over 30 years at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater.  His earlier collections of poetry include  The Conquistador Dog Texts, The Coyot. Inca Texts, (New Rivers Press), At the End of the War (Kelsay Books, 2018) and By A Lake Near A Moon:  Fishing with the Chinese Masters (Is A Rose Press, 2020).  A fifth poetry collection, Hello There, is due out soon from Word Tech Communications in Cincinnati.



Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. | Michael Dickel

                    These fragments I have shored against my ruins
                    Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.
                    Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

				                    Shantih    shantih    shantih
The Wasteland, T. S. Eliot

Rubble of war hangs from wilted rebar,
a child’s trainer swinging from broken branches,
shredded bits of clothing flagged by the wind,
broken rock, handfuls of dustalarming Tarot
cards overturned in Gaza, Yemen, Afghanistan,

Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Myanmar, 
Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Syria, Chechnya, Crimea,
now all of Ukraine invaded. War, empty and desolate
as the sea, wave upon wave of never-ending beachheads—
a martial canon of cannons, missiles, bombs, machine-

-gun repetition rat-a-tat-tats punctuating a thumping bass
rhythm from dawn to dusk and all night long. In a quiet
moment ghostly shadows slide out from shelters,
from behind brick and debris of smoking burial mounds.
They shuffle through the desolation, remains of their proud

homeland, survivors moving to the defensive periphery
for a final stand—neither living nor dead, they had sought
spring hyacinths, not hellish fires. A patient enemy, death
always triumphs, the king of entropy—slimy-bellied rats,
bloody bodies, and bleached bones its reaped subjects.

The young, once living, now dead. The still living, dying.
At the edge of the wasteland three shacks crumble to dust
under the weight of hope and repeated failures of peace:
A shanty of quiet resignation, a shanty of determination,
a shanty of fear released, once lined up against ruin,

			                    dark lightning, and silent thunder.

This poem points to T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland and to Eliot’s further sources. Follow the links from Eliot quotes and allusions above to the original lines and to annotations: The Waste Land :: T. S. Eliot Original content from that site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).


Poem ©2022 Michael Dickel
All rights reserved


Heavy Hearts Lift Skyward | TS S. Fulk

Rockets roar behind me
as I train my spyglass
upon more wondrous thoughts
Beyond wayward Pluto
lie systems much like ours
to which my spirit flees
©2022 Max Mishin
Pexels
As viral fears are replaced with 
the mad threat of nuclear war
my eye searches fondly upward
a queen bee looking for a nest
My heart cries to Andromeda
and nearby Alpha Centauri
with an innocent naked plea
— I am weary please let me rest

An imperial tsar 
rises blazingly in the east

©2022 TS S. Fulk
All rights reserved


TS S. Fulk…

…lives with his wife and three children in Örebro, Sweden, working as an English teacher and textbook author. He is an active musician playing the bass trombone, the Appalachian mountain dulcimer and the Swedish bumblebee dulcimer (hummel). His works have been (will be) published by The Ekphrastic Review, The Button Eye Review, Perennial Press and Wingless Dreamer.

The Nightingale and the Bear | Peter Howard

The nightingale soared peacefully and free
While the mighty bear sauntered patiently.
Wisdom kept the bruin from aggression
The nightingale, high above oppression.

Then one day, abandoning its reason
The bear initiated songbird season.
How embarrassing it made the effort
To pluck the sky of the singing feathered.

The ursine losing all its common sense
Should apologize and return to whence.
Then if the natural order is reset
If love and beauties preconditions met
The bear and nightingale again may gather
And share a song of futures that are better.
Bird on Wall
©2022 Demian Nayem

©2022 Peter Howard
All rights reserved


Peter Howard…

…is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University where he majored in history and minored in social studies. He is very interested in events and people of the past and the present. His current vocation is at a non-profit for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which I have been doing for over a decade. I enjoy writing poetry as well as the visual arts.

Website / Blog Linked

I Thought about My Two Students | Nancy Byrne Iannucci

©2022 Çağın Kargi
Pexels
I took the same path in the morning—
woke up to find my cat lying in sunbeams,
got dressed, had breakfast, prepped 
before my nine o’clock class, 

then I heard the chainsaw, 
cutting through Thursday’s route 
sending ice floating in lily pads
down Poestenkill Creek. 

I could see it all from my window 
driving to work, 
listening to bombs on the radio,
 “listening to bombs on the radio,”

echoing old sounds of the twentieth century. 
I put on Stand or Fall by The Fixx 
and thought, “how the hell 
can I continue my classes 

on the Protestant Reformation?”  
My plan was to have them assess Cranach,
 Law and Gospel and Martin Luther’s 95 Theses.
 How can I go through with this now?  

Crying parents tell their children
 if you survive don't do as we did.
 I thought about my two students 
from Lithuania and Ukraine, 

Ugne and Yaryna, 
roaming this quiet N.Y, boarding school
like Stoics, consumed by Putin 
and the safety of their families back home. 

I decided to keep Luther’s 95 Theses
nailed to the Wittenberg church door.  
Impromptu teaching has always terrified me,
but what right do I have to feel this way now, 

when red-lit metal boxes 
are jamming Kyiv highways 
in a desperate attempt to flee the city. 
What do I know about fear?

Ugne and Yaryna forced a good morning smile.
I stared at the class for a painful moment,
then nailed Putin to the whiteboard.  
Oh! Their faces! Their Munch faces!

I tried to answer all their questions, 
giving Ugne and Yaryna a moment to speak,
to cry, to be consoled by their classmates, 
many of whom had not heard what had happened 

until now.

©2022  Nancy Byrne Iannucci
All rights reserved


Nancy Byrne Iannucci…

…is a widely published poet: Defenestration, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Glass: a Poetry Journal are some of the places you will find her. She is the author of two chapbooks, Temptation of Wood (Nixes Mate Review, 2018), and Goblin Fruit (Impspired, 2021); she is also a teacher, and woodland roamer.

Website

Have Strength | Honey Novick

Yellow and Blue then Green

blue on one end of the scale
yellow at the opposite end
a kind of magnetic needle in between

blue, a feeling of down or calm
yellow feels up, vibrant, bright
somewhere in the middle, green
in the middle, they meld and transform
yellow and blue become green
three for the price of two

this gauge is invisible, yet lives within
it is carried eternally
it is the human tachometer
a reminder that nothing stays the same
everything can change
it can go from blue to yellow to green
unaware of its change
remarkable in being seen

@2022 Joao Reguengos
Unsplash

When the World is on Fire

When the world is on fire 
do you close your eyes?  Ignore it?
Do you?

Fuelled by racial discrimination
this conflagration
is a spirit abomination
this IS my nation
home of my education
playground of my indoctrination
to a world of justification
looking for integration
knowing that communication
is the way forward

I say I want a revolution, a human revolution
it’s gonna have to start with me
the only solution for this revolution
Has to start with me

We’re all in the same war
but not all in the same trenches 
these flames are deep, embedded
we need more than hammers and wrenches

reformation, inner reformation
takes transformation
no longer subjugation
seeing ourselves as real
co-existing
human transformation
my own revolution
lighting my way and seeing you

Yasher Koiech Nefesh Yehudi

These words, “yasher koiech, mein nefesh Yehuda” 
“Have strength, my Jewish soul” is like the mantra
used to encloak myself when leaving the comfort of home.

Even with broad-minded people, there is always the risk
of awakening the sleeping dragon of the Jew-baiting anti-semite
ready to pounce.  Will this feeling, ever so deeply engrained
leave the awareness I call myself?

I choose one Jewish metaphor to describe myself, 
“charoseth”, the sweet, dark, spicy, nutty, tart mixture
made for the Passover Seder, one of the six Seder plates,
an homage to the slave labour in Egypt’s Pharoah time,
the reason for the Exodus.

Charoseth resembles mortar.  
Mortar builds things—houses, outdoor ovens.
Because Jews number few in population,
we are noticed and well-known for high achievements.
I try to build friendships 
while remembering the charoseth of 
apples and dates and wine and nuts.
I think of people this way, 
full of goodness, sweetness and with the 
intoxicating alluring risks hidden in the dangers of nuts.
I want to be accepted—not tolerated, 
therefore I must accept others
just as different to me as I am to them.
Not easy, but definitely doable.

I think of our foremother Esther whose intelligence
saved her people.
My own orphaned, biological mother Yocheved
was responsible, at age 7, for a younger brother and sister.
These women and Ruth, whose compassion became
synonymous with empathy used the mortar of their own wisdom 
to build better societies.
They are the woof and weft of the weaving of these cultures.

When Vashti refused to parade naked 
in front of her husband’s cadre of supporters
she was replaced by Esther and through 
cunning and fortuitousness exposed calumniaty 
for what it is.

At  7 years of age, at cheder (religious school), 
there was an Esther contest.  
I had no hope of winning.
My family was unable to purchase my costume.
Being self-conscious, yet enjoying the participation,
I took a brown paper bag, drew a crown of crayon coloured jewels,
borrowed my mother’s flowery cotton skirt and elastic-necked blouse,
marched down the aisle with a devil-may-care smile,
fully expecting nothing but a good time, and 
for my ingenuity, I won and won more than flowers
I won a confidence that is sewn irrevocably 
in the decision-making process of my every day

Never give up, give in, go forth, be creative, 
with the directive Yasher Koiech, Nefesh Yehudi
the mortar is in you, build with sweetness, goodness,
tartness, nuttiness, chutzpah and always with the
knowledge that with a Nefesh Yehudi
we are together, we are strong,
I am with you, I am strong,
I and you are strong and we are all together
Yasher Koiech!

©2022 Honey Novick
All rights reserved


Honey Novick…

…was privileged to record with bill bissett for the Secret Handshake Reading Series in December 2021. The Secret Handshake also published her chapbook, Bob Dylan, My Rabbi. Two copies were purchased by the Robards Library, University of Toronto. “Kaleidoscopic Wonderful” was published in January 2022 by the Taj Mahal Review. She was commissioned by the Friendly Spike Theatre Band to write the history of mad people’s theatre in Toronto with “I’m Mad, I Matter, Making a Difference,” and also edited the anthology, POEMDEMIC.

From the Ruins of the Springtime, 2022 | Kushal Poddar

©2022 татьяна чернышова Tatiana Chernyshova
Pexels
From the ruins my offspring
forceps out the burnt remains
of my poem:

"The sunflowers burst in
my mind. They must have warned,
but I tend to ignore the signs.
The shrapnel in the spring zephyr
pierces one or two stray thoughts.

Somewhere, when the explosions hush,
some music bleeds. I can hear."

If there were other staves to this,
future cannot tell now. Blue, green,
yellow and rust choke all possibilities.
My offspring's footsteps clot
when the discoveries end.
Another spring, perhaps one during
a brief period of doves cooing Zen
or perhaps time rides a pale wild horse,
my progeny returns to the tent. 
The campfire glows atomic
amidst the tar of the night.

©2022 Kushal Poddar
All rights reserved


Kushal Poddar…

…is an author and a father, editor of ‘Words Surfacing’, with eight books to his name, the latest being ‘Postmarked Quarantine’. His works have been translated in eleven languages.

Website / Blog Linked

Cold as a Mountain Peak | Gayle Rose

In meditation, I find my mind more restless and wandering than usual.  The minutes since sitting seem long and drawn out—time has stilled but not my attention.  Heaviness is pervasive and a tightness around my heart.

I’m conscious of the fan blades moving lazily overhead and a slightly warmed breeze coming through the open window.  The sound of tiny birds enters the room coming forth from the bird feeder hanging just outside.  A light, fluttering splash lets me know that someone is bathing in the nearby birdbath.  The chimes outside the kitchen door let out an almost imperceptible tinkling as the melody finds its way to my room.

silence breaks my heart
cold as a mountain peak
sunflowers weep

©2022 Karolina Grabowska
Pexels

©2022 Gayle Rose
All rights reserved


Gayle Rose…

…writes: This is a Haibun poem written in support of the Ukrainian people that reflects my own feelings during this unsettling time.

Bodhirose’s Blog

Blond Hair in a Ponytail | Mike Stone

©2022 Sima Ghaffarzadeh
Pexels
A young woman with blond hair
Tied in a ponytail
Wearing jeans and a sweater
Hums a song to herself
While she brushes off shards
Of shattered glass from what was
Once a window overlooking
The destruction across the street.
The shards fall inward onto the floor.
Tanks roll by in the street below
Clinking like a xylophone out of tune.
She notices a sniper take up position
Across the way. He checks his crosshairs.
As I sit at the kitchen table in front of a screen
On the other side of the world
Suddenly it’s very important to me
To hear the words she is humming
Even though I don’t understand them.
Israel, February 27, 2022

©2022 Mike Stone
All rights reserved


Mike Stone…

…was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947. He graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army and the Israeli Defense Forces. Mike moved to Israel in 1978 and lives in Raanana. He has self-published eight books of poetry. Mike is married to Talma. They have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren.

Web site

Transformers | Alan Walowitz

Like his grandson’s toy, the Russian army 
swiftly re-assembles itself in Belarus, Donetsk, and Crimea 
with blood banks, field hospitals, mess tents, 
and mysterious HQs marked by geodesic domes, 
dark inside where the orders arrive 
and are mistaken for Tarot and silently obeyed--
this the way the tumor surrounds my friend’s esophagus
from many staging points in his throat and abdomen—
the thyroid, the intestines, the nether regions
no one would willingly travel  in conditions like these. 

This is where the rages we never got to speak have gathered,
and who can blame us given the awfulness
we have banked inside?
It strangles so that we can’t eat
and no longer think of eating.
We wait out the wreckage the body can do to itself
in some subterranean station
decorated in hues of another century 
our daughters and grandsons have never imagined.
And into this come the healers, charged with excising ills 
as our insides get chewed once more this morning 
through a port, this hole dug in our soul,
meant to make us a new life—
here, or in the long dreamed of other side.

©2022 Alan Walowitz
All rights reserved