SALVATION Army

Photo Credit: Deviant Art
Photo Credit: deviantart

In the background,
he strips thyme and rosemary from their stems,
into a stainless steel bowl.
The scent of herbs, apple pie and ginger
pervades the family room
where

he watches war unfold on A&E.
An enemy’s blood splatters the screen.
I block out the noise of contradiction,
search for words of love and peace
to celebrate the season in verse.

Music sounds an ending.
I raise my head to witness
a good guy die.
No winners here.

A fire dances in the hearth,
then Mozart fills the room.

Will it be in music
that hope will enclose our battered world?
Will winter snow
cover scorched land, satisfy sere hearts?
Will love supplant bullets,
peace settle in the crevices of wounds?

Bells ring at the entrances of a local Walmart
beneath winter solstice sun.

– Victoria C. Slotto

Photo Credit: Sacramento Bee
Photo Credit: Sacramento Bee

© 2013, poem, Victoria C. Slotto, All rights reserved

Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer's Expo March 2012
Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer’s Expo March 2012

2940013445222_p0_v1_s260x420VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~ is an accomplished writer and poet. Winter is Past, published by Lucky Bat Books in 2012, is Victoria’s first novel. A second novel is in process. On Amazon and hot-off-the-press nonfiction is Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia. Victoria’s ebooks (poetry and nonfiction) are free to Amazon Prime Members. Link HERE for Victoria’s Amazon page.

Editor’s note: Congratulations, Victoria, on that the long awaited publication of print copies of Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, Beautifully done.

My Wish for Peace

Mars, God of War
Mars, God of War

I write late
and for nothing
for no reason other than my love for writing
and my wish for peace
and no war
I write thinking of the pride of the young
when they become soldiers
Everybody loves a soldier
Then comes the call
Mankind let us fight only in games
and on virtual screens
Let us kill each other only in 3D, if need be
if violence must be and mayhem and carnage
Dissolve the armies
but I know no one will heed
my call for peace
As long as man exists
there will be soldiers, wars and armies
weapons and battles
and poets mourning these
We cannot live without our warrior half, our dark brother
The only way out is to be at war with oneself

– Ampat Koshy

© 2013, poem and portrait (below), A.V. Koshy, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Jean-Pol GRANDMONT under CC Attribution License 3.0 unported

pp2-141e+859f+hL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_A.V. KOSHY ~  a teacher of some merit, is presently Assistant Professor, in the Dept of English, Faculty of Arts (Girls), Academic College, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Before this he has also worked as Head of the Liberal Arts Department in Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, Associate Professor in Teacher Training College, Dept of English, in Al Khooms University, Libya, Assistant Professor in King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Head of the Dept, of English, Mallya Aditi International School, Bangalore and Senior Lecturer, Dept of English, Fatima College, University of Kerala.

He has published several books, both poetry collections and treatises on poetry. He has also written ciriticism, short story, research and research papers. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prise. He is also a regular columnist for newsloop.in and contributor to Destiny Poets, UK. His greatest desire is to build a village for people having autism where all their needs are met. He runs an NGO called “Autism for Help Village Project” with his wife for this dream to come true.

POETS AGAINST WAR, #6: conjugating wars by Liliana Negoi

product_thumbnail-1.phpchippy charmed blade in Moira’s hand
cries for blood,
begs for blood,
slashing carmine canopies
for the sake of the flow,
grinning its ivory fang
at the lavish crimson gush
drenching sands and drowning wills.
on the red river
crucified Jesus floats,
watching clouds on skies in flames
twinning the boulders of coagulated sins
crawling along the muddy shores,
wondering  if those were the sins
for which he drank the cup.
in the meantime carnivorous swords
keep fueling the flood,
making sure that the river’s level stays always high enough,
as if that would get the floating cross closer to the skies.
not that it mattered anyway –
after all, there’s plenty of that bloody slime
smelling like putrid faith
to fuel a thousand more crusades

– Liliana Negoi

© 2012, poem, book-cover art, and portrait, Liliana Negoi, All rights reserved

– conjugating wars is one of the poems included in Liliana Negoi’s poetry volume The Hidden Well, and can be heard in the author’s own reading on SoundCloud at the following link:   conjugating wars

Invitation: We’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. Next week we’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single page headed “Poets  Against War.”  Thank you!

IMG_7667LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.  Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Butterfly Boy Bronze Statue unveiled at Jane Bancroft Cook Library (Florida), January 28, 2010

Sculptor, Sidney Fagin.

.

I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERLY

The last, the very last,

So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.

Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing

against a white stone. . . .

Such, such a yellow

Is carried lightly ‘way up high.

It went away I’m sure because it wished to

kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,

Penned up inside this ghetto.

But I have found what I love here.

The dandelions call to me

And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.

Butterflies don’t live in here,

in the ghetto.

– Pavel Friedmann

Pavel Friedmann was born in Prague on January 7, 1921. He was deported to Terezin on April 26, 1942 and later to Auschwitz, where he died on September 29, 1944. At least 960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz. Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma (Gypsies), and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war; and 10,000-15,000 members of other nationalities (Soviet civilians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, French, Germans, and Austrians). Women, men, children.

722px-Timbre_Allemagne_1992_Martin_Niemoller_oblWhile it is common to say “never again” … meaning that event we refer to as THE Holocaust … it’s important to remember that there are Holocausts (genocides) in process now and  there have been many in our history  … think of Armenia, Rawanda, the Congo, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, North Korea,  the Kurdish peoples, Syria, Palestine … Time and past time to put an end to it …

I like to remember the lesson taught by Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) – a victim of the Nazis – and passed on to us. There is some controversy over the many versions of his “First they came …” It is often presented as a poem.  The great jazz musician, Charles Mingus, recites a version before his musical composition, Don’t Let It Happen Here. In any event, the point is made: political apathy is dangerous.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me-
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

– Pastor Martin Niemoller

– Jamie Dedes

Photo credits: Sidney Fagin – New College of Florida; German postage stamp with sketch of Pastor Martin Niemoeller (licensing status unclear ) via Wikipedia