White on White   Wednesday, January 21, 2015





Several years ago  we went to Lake Tahoe. As usual, my wife flew and I drove, having my road trip adventures along the way. Some of my photos this week are from a natural area (I think) close to a hotel where I stayed for a night in Arizona. The weather was good until I got into Nevada (I never realized until then what a long state Nevada is, bottom to top) when the snow storms started, more snow than a South Texas born and raised boy should ever have to deal with. The balance of the pictures are from the Nevada portion of the drive, plus some I  took while at Lake Tahoe.

My anthology this week is Claiming the Spirit Within, sub-titled "A Sourcebook of Women's Poetry." The book was published in 1996 by Beacon Press.

I have my library poems as usual, and my own stuff, new and old. The old is not so old, just from early last year. I discovered when I looked at the poems from last January that I had written a number of poems that month remembering travel from earlier years, none of which were included in my book of travel poems, Places and Spaces. I found it so entertaining to read those poems and remember again the memories  that I turned a good part of this post over to them.

This is the run-down  for the week:


Me 
speaking of meditation

Enid Shomer
Hair

Me
a cemetery

Nora Elizabeth Stogner  Miller
Live and Let Live

Me
payback

Lyn Lifshin
Yellow Roses

Me
animas in the a.m.

Arlene Ang
The Model Particular

Me
insomniac moon

Sandra Cisneros
Dulzura

Me
caution and commitment

George Santayana
On the Death of a  Metaphysician

Me
whodat who say whodat

Donna Masini 
Winter-Seeming Summer

Me
cold truths of life and  death in black and white

Catullus
53
54
56

Me
hell no! I won't  go!

Nellie Wong
Can't Tell

Enid Shomer
 Women Bathing at  Begen-Belsen

Me
come the resurrection

Me
dust to dust

Me
hanging on

Me
moonscape

Me
good old days

Me
gravity's gold

Me
history's young victims 


And finally, before we get on to the business of the week:

I don't know why I haven't included this invitation with every post, but beginning this week that's what I'll do.

I know "Here and Now" has readers because I have the numbers, 5,000 to 9,000 page views a month, depending on the season, and that encourages me to continue. But I would really enjoy more feedback.

So I invite you to comment.

Click on the comment button at the end of the post or email me with any comment you might like to make. If you don't  want to post publicly, email me, my address is allen.itz@gmail.com. You can also use this address if you're looking at "Here and  Now" for the first time and would like to be included on my weekly promo list. And, as always, if you're on the list and want off,  you can email me and tell  me to just cut it out. 

I will do that, I promise.

Now, here's this week's show.              
           









I wrote this last week. One of the people who read this described it as a perfect description of what she said those who are accomplished meditators describe as "monkey brains."











speaking of meditation

speaking of meditation
well
actually
it was the guy on the radio
who was speaking of meditation

myself
I hardly ever meditate on
meditation

but
when I do meditate upon it
it is mostly
a matter of wondering
how one opens one's mind
because when I do that all I discover
in a meditating state
is the mental equivalent of Fibber McGee's closet
mental images
of random rabbits crashing hopping over over my head
and across the living room floor

(and isn't it wonderful in this modern world
that the 98% of  the people in the world who tell a
Fibber  McGee from a Molly
can do  a simple Google search and attain the enlightenment
of  the wiser and more aged
and  this is a perfect example of why I can't meditate
because I am a prisoner
lost in a mental maze of Fibbers
and Mollies and Boston Blackies  and Inner Sanctimonioums
that no one cares about but me
and a few others - mostly dead people
who have an  even harder time meditating  than me)

so much for mindfulness

what I most often  find in my inner search of relevant wisdom is
absent-mindfulness

maybe I could  start a movement
a new religion
perhaps
dedicated to mindful flushing
of all the old crap
that impedes the accretion of modern awareness
such as is  so readily available to  those who so assiduously study
in the face-book of knowledge and other tomes
in the Great Library of Sunsquint, California easily located
off Hwy 6 amongst the temple in the Silicone Valley Garden of Geekish
Gotchas & Knowitallsothereness...

~~~

maybe  I need to agitate  the cogitory corners of my mental washamatatic
and meditate on it











My first poet from this weeks anthology of female poets is Enid Shomer, a poet and fiction writer who  has  published six collections of  poet and two  books of short stories. She has taught at the University of Arkansas, the University of Florida and The Ohio State  University











Hair

When I was  small
long hair  announced my sex
and braids were the way
it was kept.

Now nights I let my hair out
like an animal that needs
to roam under stars
before sleep.

It has grown long
as an argument between us.
You prefer it short, manageable
 as a handful of coins.

But when I'm old
and my nightgown hangs
in hospital corners
from my bones

and my hair is confined
to a white plait,
I want you to remember
the black against your pillow,

how it tented your chest,
how it announced itself
like the presence of flowers
in a dark room.











I wrote this poem in January of last year, remembering an earlier drive-around in the Big Bend area of Texas.











a cemetery

a cemetery
on a low mound
between the highway
and the Rio Grande

the humble markers
of poor people
from the cluster
of casitas
I passed a quarter mile
back, small houses
of native stone, like
the more elaborate markers,
the ones not of rotting wood,
crosses, bowing toward the ground,
native flowers
gathered at the base of some,
stone or wood, nothing,
stone or wood or flowers,
around the indentations
that mark the oldest graves,
the unmarked, the never marked,
those of transient markers
no match for the inevitable
decline of time that leaves these
shallow dimples
over a grave in which nothing
but a few scattered bones
remain, poor people,
cowboys and shepherds
who lived and died,
then faded to nothing beneath
dry badland
sand...

(Hwy. 170 between Terlingua and Presidio, May, 2003)








Next, I have a poem  sent to me by a new Facebook friend, Linda Cooke, a photographer/poet who was referred to me by another mutual Facebook friend. The poem was written by Linda's mother, Nora Elizabeth Stogner Miller. The poem is about the poet's growing up in northern Texas during the great depression of the 1930s. It was read at the graveside services for each of the "three Jills and one Jack" referred to in the poem - Nora and her two sisters and their brother.  The poem was published in the Saint Jo Tribune, a newspaper in Montague County, Texas, to the great delight of the poet, for the first time a published  poet.

Nora Elizabeth's story, at least her early years, remind me very much of my mother, about the same age, born and raised in tight circumstances. Each had to drop out of high school during WWII and get a job to help their family get by and later in life were proud to get a GED.  My mother didn't get hers until she was in her mid-sixties. Nora achieved that milestone earlier and went on to college, becoming first an LVN, then an RN, and, ultimately a college instructor with a Masters Degree in family life.  She wrote the poem during a creative writing course she took while working on her Bachelor's Degree.

Linda notes that the picture of her mother was taken at her father's grave site in 2009 and that her mother passed on just a few months later. She is buried beneath the tree she's leaning against in the photo.

This is her poem, a great story my mother would have identified with and loved.




Live and Let Live

The hot summer wind blows from the southwest,  again no water in the shallow ground.

A trip across the sandy hills where snakes and cats abound

To a well dug deep down to a lower  depth with an  Aermotor on, three miles from home.

First down the rough rutted road cut by wagon wheels we go, two by two.

Three Jills and one  Jack, four pails and one sack.

Then down the south side of the canyon wall where the roots and vines entwine,

And house the nests of the black shiny scavenger birds that fly, sail and silhouette the sky.

Along the path on the canyon floor we walk in one straight line.

The sand feels cool in the shadows of the rim, shoes are for winter time.

Up the rocky north side of the canyon wall into trees more dense,

The path narrows as it passes through the woods and under a barbed-wire fence.

Rustling of the leaves and a musty metallic smell  proclaim the presence of a snake with a copper head.

He glistens as he flows through the patterns of the shadows and the sun,  no  need to  run.

Everyone is over the fence now, more than two miles from home, when a full-grown tailless spotted cat
stops, looks over his shoulder, then walks slowly on.

Our backs feel the coolness of the corrugated tank as we lean back in the shade and share out lunch
with the tumble-bugs, ants and flies.

The cows, with clean white faces and soft brown eyes, look on or pass us by.

With our trip  half over we have time to  play, while the hot summer sun sinks lower in the day

As the shadows grow longer, it is time to return over the same pathway we have come.

Under the fence, through the woods, down and up the canyon walls to the road and on.

No time to play along,

The yellow glow of the oil-filled lamp tells us Mother is home.











Here's another from a couple of weeks ago.

Driving a cab, back when I did it,  was a really lousy job. Except it  was a great job for collecting stories.











payback

having my - very early morning coffee
at the all-night diner
down the
road

talking to my server,
just coming off the overnight shift
and heading for
home

a rough night
she
was saying, drunks worse than usual...

reminding me of the time 50 years ago
when I drove a taxi cab
on a 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift and how I hated the hour
near the end of shift
when the bars closed and the barkeeps  swept their most  dedicated drunks
out on the sidewalk for my bar-closing-yellow-cab-drunk-wagon pick up

reminding me
also
of how I thought drunks were really funny
back
when I was one

reminding me now
how
I hate  being around  drunks
today...

payback,
I suppose, for all the people who hated being around me
back in the
day










Here's a poem from this week's anthology by Lyn Lifshin. Born in Vermont in in 1942, Lifshin is a poet and  teacher, frequently conducting workshops and readings.











Yellow Roses

pinned on stuff tulle,
glowed in the painted
high school moonlight.
Mario Lanza's "Oh My
Love." When Doug
dipped, I  smelled
Clearasil.  Hours in
the tub dreaming of
Dick Wood's fingers
cutting in, sweeping
me close. I wouldn't
care if the stick
pin on the roses
went thru me,
the yellow musk
would be a wreath
on the grave of that
awful dance where
Louise and I sat
pretending we didn't
care, our socks fat
with bells and fuzzy
ribbons, bloated and
silly as we felt. I
wanted to be home,
wanted the locked
bathroom to cry in
knew some part of me
would never stop
waiting to be
asked to dance













Here's another travel memory I wrote in January last year.












animas in the a.m.

5 a.m.
walking main street
downtown

dog impervious to the cold

not me

across the railroad tracks
past the hotel

slick sidewalk
alongside the Animas River

snow deep  on both sides
river iced at the bank

solitary duck
climbs frost-glistened
rock
mid-stream

slips
scrambles
honks

no other sound
but the rustle of the river
as it eddies and curls and slides
over rocks

across the river
five deer gather
in a clearing

graze
silent as the morning

a car crosses
the bridge at the end of the block
lights reflecting on snow
all around
tires  crunching frost-crisp ice shell on the road

and the deer
flipping their tails
flee
high-leaping

(Durango, Colorado, 1997)








The next book is by my poet-friend, Arlene Ang. It's from her  new book, Banned for Life, published in 2014 by Misty Publications, www.mistypublications.com, who can be contacted by anyone wishing to buy their own copy of the book.

Reviewer Thomas Fink describes Arlene's work as displaying her "splendid surreal imagination  gift for searing juxtaposition, and kick-ass catalogs permit  our jouissance to rise above stunned recognition of agonies."

Arlene is widely published, both in her own books and in poetry journals and anthologies, and lives in a small town just outside Venice, Italy.








The Model Particular

Were does the universal live except in the particular?
                                      Jane Hirshfield

1

The girl in the shiny red
raincoat floats half the day down the river.
Her hair fishes the surface light.

Hence the water bottle exists
outside its context of the natural world.

2

Sometimes seeing a wound
heightens the pain factor in he mind.
I haven't left for Idaho yet
and already the Remington smells of drink.

My grandfather was a sword-
swallower in his tie. He wore a bandage
so people would know he was blind.

Or blinded.

3

Like a glass eye, the K
rattles from the tabletop to the floor.
Even the Remington suffers.

The last  time I read my mail,
all the apostrophes
had become question marks.

4

When a red shoe finds
the silt, it may take up to thirty years
before it reaches the ocean

The girl is wearing bracelets
of scars. She is purpling under both eyes.
She is all poise and dead leaves.

The trout come eventually
to nibble the flesh of her face.









I suppose there is no one with a mind so serene that it does not have nights where it runs wild and refuses to sleep.

I had one.







insomniac moon


adrift
in an uncertain sky

a jumble
tumbling
time
places
people
known
people
unknown
reminded of
by people
known
dog wants
out
dog wants
in
a-jumble a-tumble
moon set
sun rise
another day
to lose
after another
lost night









 Next from the anthology, San Antonio novelist and poet Sandra Cisneros. Born in 1954, she is best known for her novel House on Mango Street and her collection of short stories Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories.









Dulzura

Make love to me in Spanish.
Not with that other tongue.
I want you juntito a mi,
tenderlike the language
crooned to babies
I want to be that
lullabied, mi bien
querido, that loved.

I want you inside
the mouth of my heart,
inside the harp of my wrists,
the sweet meat of the mango,
in the gold that dangles
from my ears and neck.

Say my name. Say it.
The way it's supposed to be said.
I want to know that I knew you
even before I knew you.













Another travel memory.











caution and commitment

fine looking woman,
mid-thirties,
dark hair, dark eyes, shapely,
dressed to kill, or at least,
draw serious attention

here for the second day
in a row

obviously lonely,
wants to talk, sit and talk
and talk and more, it seems

and for a moment,
an oh-so-brief
moment,
caution  and previous
commitment
waver

but in the end do not
break

(Silver City, New Mexico, 2006)








 Next I have a  poem by philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist George Santayana. Raised and educated in the United States, Santayana always identified himself as an American, though he always kept a valid Spanish passport. At the age of 48, he left his position at Harvard and went to Europe, never to return to the United States. Born in 1863, he died in 1952 and is buried in Spain.

The poem,  from a number of sonnets written in 1896, is from the collection, Poems of  George Santayana, published by Dover Publications in 1970.






On the Death of a Metaphysician

Unhappy dreamer, who outwinged in flight
The pleasant region of the things I love,
And soared bond the sunshine, and above
The golden cornfields and the dear and bright
Warmth of the hearth, - blasphemer of delight,
Was your proud bosom not at peace with Jove,
That you sought, thankless for is guarded grove,
The empty horror of abysmal night?
Ah, the thin air is cold above the moon!
I stood and saw you fall, fooled in death,
As, in your numbed spirit's fatal swoon,
You cried you were a god, or were to be;
I heard with feeble moan your boastful breath
Bubble from depths of the Icarian sea.












It gets confusing some time.











whodat who say whodat

a poem I read this morning
led me to think of the different faces
we wear, I wear, a persona
for every occasion

the complexity
of our world leads us to a multiplicity
of alter egos as we seek
in every situation
to find the facet that fits
the need of the
moment

and how sometimes
it gets so  confusing, trying to remember
who I am
here
at  this moment
and how confounding it is
when the wrong face
turns up at the wrong party...

right now
it is the poet face I  show

later today
I will put that face away,
fold it neatly and store it in my pocket

and for a while
I  will be the friendly stranger
who  smiles
as our paths cross on the sidewalk

later, a bereaved friend
at a long-time colleague's
funeral

even later,
a father counseling
his son
on the verities and vicissitudes
of an over-wrought
world

and.
as night shadows gather,
the me of me
head on my pillow
whirling
with the complications of a simple man's
day












Also from the anthology, this poem is by Donna Masini. She is a poet and novelist who was born in Brooklyn and currently lives in New York City. She currently teaches as part of CUNY Hunter College's MFA program in creative writing. She also  taught at Columbia University and New York University.











Winter-Seeming Summer

For  months we  watched my grandfather disintegrate.
He caved into his bones, a pile of old  birds.
His  bedroom whispered
its constant chatter of statues and beads
its centuries of saints barefoot across the floorboards
remembering their noisy temptations, waiting
where medicine sleeps with prayer.
Aves flirted at the ceiling. Candle flames
collapsed down, weak into wicks
as the room drew the cold through its roots.

The windows frosted.
The mouth-ring of night called.
Grandpa, open-armed reached for an angel
his hair white, hoarse breath
we watched him evaporate
and death began to flower on us all.












Again, a travel memory written last January.












cold truths of life and death in black and white

atop a rise
a mound of earth
an ancient burial mound
looking out over
a snowed-over field
white field
black skeleton on a winterized tree
thin black line of a frozen creek
five black horses
led by a white horse
ghost against the snow
legs lifted high
above the snow
crossing

(Colorado, February, 2008)








Next, a couple of short poems by Catullus, a poet of the late Roman Republic who is thought to have lived from about 84 to about 54 B.C. Though widely appreciated by other poets of his time and  widely read since his rediscovery in modern times, little is known of his biography beyond what he reveals in his poems and what is revealed in mention of him by his contemporaries. Though he wrote various kinds of poetry, my favorites are his "invectives," rude and sometimes obscene targeted at friends-turned-traitor and political figure of his day.

Here a couple of those poems, translated, as with the rest in the book, by Peter Whigham.










-53-

I laughed. Calvus,  I laughed today
when someone in the courtroom crowd, hearing
your quiet brilliant expose of
the Vatinian affair,  lifted his hands up
in proper amazement, and cried suddenly:
"A cock that size...and it spouts!"
I laughed, Calvus. I  laughed.


-54-

If not by all  that his friends boast,
at least by pin-headed Otto's unattractive pate
by loutish Erius's half-washed legs
by Libo's smooth & judicious farts
by Sufficio's old man's lust turned green
may great Caesar be duly revolted. Once more
my naive iambics strike home...
                                                   unique general!


-56-

A matter for mirth, Cato, & a smile
worth your attention, you'll laugh
you'll laugh as you love your Catullus,Cato
listen - a matter for more than a smile!
Just now I found a young boy
               stuffing his girl,
I rose, naturally, and
                (with a nod to Venus)
fell and transfixed him there
with a good stiff prick,
                                like his own.








January, especially in the early part of the month, is usually the coldest month of the year here in the Hill Country. So far, this year is no exception.

It was in the 20s (South Texas North Pole equivalent) the early morning when I wrote the next poem, cold and dry. Tomorrow predicted to be worse, just as cold or colder, and wet, bumper-car time on San Antonio roads.









hell no! I won't go!

it's warm in here
and very cold outside and
looking through the  wide restaurant windows
it even looks cold
and I need to go out there and walk the dog
but I don't
because it's cold enough out there to  freeze my  macchiatos
right plumb off
and I would feel right depressed
if my macchiatos were to freeze and fall  right off
and go bouncing down the street
so I'm going to sit right here and pretend I'm writing a poem
cause it's just too damn cold out there for a south Texas fella
with tender macchiatos

so
hell no! I won't go!









I'm going to finish with the anthology this week with two poets who write on a common theme.








The first poet is Nellie Wong. Born in 1934, the poet is an activist for feminist and socialist causes.











Can't Tell

When World War II was declared
on the morning radio,
we glued our ears, widened our eyes.
Our bodies shivered.

A voice said
Japan was the enemy
Pearl Harbor a shambles
and in our grocery sore
in Berkeley, we were suspended

next to the meat market
where voices hummed,
valises, pots and pans packed,
no more hot  dogs, baloney
pork  kidneys.

We children huddled on wooden planks
and my parents whispered:
We are Chinese, we are Chinese.
Safety pins anchored,
our loins ached.

Shortly our Japanese neighbors vanished
and my parents continued to whisper:
We are Chinese,  we are Chinese.

We wore black arm bands,
put up a sign
in bold letters.







The first poem speaks of the beginning of the war,  the next poem, by Enid Shomer, speaks of the end.

Shomer is a poet and a fiction writer, author of six poetry collections and two short story collections.










Women Bathing at Bergen-Belsen

April 24, 1945

Twelve hours after the Allies arrive
there is hot water, soap. Two women bathe
in a makeshift, open-air shower while nearby
fifteen thousand are  flung naked into mass graves
by captured SS guards. Clearly legs and arms
are the natural handles of a corpse. The bathers,
taken late in the war, still have flesh
on their bones, still have breasts. Thought nudity was
a death sentence here, they have undressed,
oblivious to the soldiers and the cameras.
The corpses push through the limed earth like upended
headstones. The bathers scrub their feet, ending
in beautiful curves, mapping the contours
of the body, that kingdom to which they've returned.

(I didn't realize until I was putting the table of contents together that I used two poems from this poet from two different sections of the book. Oh well, they're both good.)












It seems I did a bunch of travel memory poems last January. Here's another.









come the resurrection

the path down and back
is steep  and arduous especially
for older people,
though benches along the way
provide a place to stop and rest,;
a moment to breathe thin air
and listen to the wind
passing
between the canyon walls
the stubby trees
restless in response

birds call  along the way
but go  silent
among the ruins,
homage to the ghosts
who patrol  the bare adobe rooms,
guarding the ancient walls
until those who left
return again, pull from storehouses
the grain and seed the left
behind
for  this very day of
resurrection

we are silent visitors,
with the birds, waiting for the
tread of soft
footsteps
so long absent from their
home

(Mesa Verde, 1979)










I am so enjoying this week's revisit to travel memories that I'm finish this week's post with them, all written last January.

Enjoying the memories as I type.












dust to dust to dust

wind howling
outside the car

sand popping
against our windows
like tiny fingers tapping,
blowing across the highway
thick as mid-winter fog
on a Gulf Coast morning

tumbleweeds
fly in front of us and behind
like prickly missiles
shot from a silo somewhere
in Iowa or Kansas

a big one,
the size of a small car,
rushing at us broadside,
tossed airborne,
right over the top of us,
one side to the other...

(Texas Panhandle, March 1981)














Another memory poem from  last year.









hanging on

switchbacks
down the side
of the mountain,
the town on one side
of the road, sheer
drop to the valley below
on the other
with an occasional shop
or restaurant
jilting out over the edge
on stilts...

an old mining town
hanging to the side
of the mountain through
boom and bust and back to
tourist boom, attached
to the mountain
by a whisper and a prayer,
out-of-towners
like us
grazing where intelligent
mountain goats
might hesitate to tread...

it is exhilarating,
this high air, this human quest
for destiny and wealth
and life despite all obstacles,
ridiculous,
when you think about it,
that nice, lush valley below
inviting, a place to build
a flat and friendly
Utopia

instead, those arrivals
decided to build a life in the high clouds
of  Olympus...

~~~

Dee goes shopping
in the little roadside shops

Chris throws rocks at the valley

still a smoker at the time, I
sit on a rock and try to
breathe

(Jerome, Arizona, 1993)













Another.











moonscape

mountains
high and bare

our little DC-3
struggles

as highest peaks
pass below within

arm's reach it seems
from my window seat

life below
if there is such

must be harsh
and hard

with hard people
harsh and unforgiving

to those who intrude
without invitation...

not to be
messed with

as centuries
of armies and great generals

have learned - from Alexander
to even now ourselves

ruing the lesson -

if you decide you must fight here

make sure first you have
the merciless moonscape mountains

on your side

(Flying over the Hindu Kush, April, 1969)

















I'm really enjoying reading these old travel memory poems, so I continue.

When I was three or four years old my family moved to the little town where I spent the rest of my growing up. It was a hard time, just after the war, and construction materials were next to impossible to find. So my parents bought an old military barrack from a nearby air force base that was closing. It was a traditional military open bay barrack, one large room  that my father remodeled into two  bedrooms,  a living room,  a  dining  room, a large kitchen and a single bathroom.

Like I said, it was hard, the house was on the edge of town, in a area that these days would be called a "colonia" on a rough dirt road and with no city services, including no water. Water we got from a well  my father dug in our backyard, but for a couple of years, no hot water.





good old days

shack
in a pasture
below a green mountain forest

word for fire
stacked high  against one wall

ready for the next cold
and lonely
winter

very large
iron  pot beside the house,
like the one my mother
used to heat wash water
over an open fire.
my older  brother's job every
Monday morning -
 fill the pot with well water
and light the fire
while I  fed the chickens
and gathered their
eggs
for  breakfast

~~

a  reminder of early days
long gone, this  pot,
like the shack
in the pasture, under
the mountain forest

old days...

good old days,
some would say,

my mother,
stirring clothes
in our large  iron pot
would not agree

(Colorado, 2008/South Texas, 1948)











This one a more recent memory, an afternoon with my by golden pal, Bella.











gravity's gold

Bella and I,  her golden fur
blazing like the bright
of a second sun shining, and me,
devote disciple of the church
of intermittent napping
sit together on a park bench
in the central  plaza crawling
with people, seeming all
tourist, the only likely
resident habitues,the aged hippies
sitting behind us strumming
guitars, talking about everything
from  star ships to moon shadows
on the plaza in dim early
morning...

the tourists who pass,
old couples, pretty girls
with accents, all stop
to  talk to Bella, to stroke
her head, as if  she were,
indeed, the sun with the sun's
gravity, pulling them
to her orbit...

while she, usually so distant
and unwelcoming to anyone
who is not me, more
like a cold far  star than
the warm  draw
of an afternoon sun, basks
in the attention...

doesn't want to  leave
when I get tired of
sitting

(Santa Fe,  2013)













And, the last memory for the week, again, written last January.










history's young victims

walking beneath
my second floor window
in their school
uniforms,
walking in a disciplined line
lead by their teacher,
I could hear them
singing,
their high light voices
waking the thin mountain-air
morning

joyous morning
then,
sweet and innocent
moment
in a strange and foreign
place

a morning
and a moment
I will not forget

a memory
struggling against the cruel beast of history

a memory
that cannot shield these children...

~~~

remembering...

trying not to think
of what happened to these
beautiful, singing
children
in the near 50 years since

those children, victims of
of the beasts
who came through years and bloody seasons
to devour their time
and place,
their life and innocence
of that morning

(Kabul, Afghanistan, 1969)











As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me.
 



As always, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:
 

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)



´╗┐Poetry
New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 



Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second






Short Stories


Sonyador - The Dreamer



2 Comments:
at 9:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Itz may b one of our greatest living photographers- he has the eye- whether composed or not.
The recognition of grt photography is difficult- look at the greats that ARE ands DESERVE recognition and then compare the many who do not nedessarily deserve - Franks in black and white- Porter in color. It's such a sort of "accidental" and subjective medium- composing almost seems ridiculous- and yet that's what Porter and Weston did.
As in poetry- the good critics- or those who can recognize breatness? they are RARE as hens teeth.Whatever Allen chooses to shoot- it's mostly poleasing.

at 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the snow photos? where taken? espcially the one w town below mtn?
newmexico? dave e

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