Map of Austin Poetry #159-1

Featured Poetry Supplement

Theme: Will Work For Peace

Upcoming themes:

#160 - Giving Thanks

#161 - Bad Poetry

#162 - Partnered Poets (submissions closed)

Send poems in body of e mail, no attachments. In subject line, note issue number and theme. Include permission to publish. Poets retain all rights.

This week's theme, "Will Work For Peace," is the title of the anthology published this year from Zeropanik Press. Editor Brett Axel explains the title (from the dedication page):

"My cousin, Miriam Axel-Lute, is both a member of my family of birth and a member of my family of choice.

"On November 22nd, 1998, Miriam and I participated in a demonstration in Columbus, Georgia, imploring our government to close the US Army's School of the Americas where we have trained and empowered Latin American dictators to commit atrocities against their poor civilian population. It was there that I wrote and held the sign 'Will Work For Peace' which would become the title of this book. Miriam took the photograph that is now on the back cover.

"Although I was a guest at her parents' wedding before she was born, this was only the second time we had met. Now, I cannot imagine a time when we did not have each other.

"This book is dedicated to Miriam Axel-Lute, to all of our families of birth and all of our families of choice and to the day when this emcompasses everyone."

Brett Axel, Editor

The biography of WWFP's contributors, at the time of publication:

"Collectively, the 148 poets in this volume have published 400 books and CDs selling 60 million copies. They have been nominated for 35 Pulitzer Prizes, winning 3, nominated for 19 American Book Awards winning 3, and nominated for 177 Pushcart Prizes winning 18. They have received 100 other awards as well as 23 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and 6 Guggenheim Fellowships. They edit or have edited 125 different literary journals, magazines, and anthologies and have appeared in over 2000 including Best American Poetry 15 times. They have been poet in residence at 9 colleges and professors at 75. They have been members of 11 National Slam Teams and take home first place (individually or as a team) 6 times.

"These poets have made 11,000 appearances on six continents and written 150,000 poems. They hold 85 college degrees. They have been seen on 65 television programs and heard on 850 radio broadcasts."

Most of the selections are taken directly from the anthology. All are by WWFP contributors.

1."Neverland" by Rod C. Stryker

2. "time enough" by Marty McConnell

3. "Irony" by Claiborne Walsh

4. "Proof of Disorder" by Donald Hunter Sutherland

5. "Maria" by Moshe Benarroch

6. "She Won't Say She's Unhappy" by Amy Ouzoonian

7. "The Houses of the Poor" by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

8. "No Nuclear Night, Bhopal?" by Anjana Basu

9. "And Guns Were Turned Into Revolution" by Larry Jaffe

1. Rod C. Stryker is founder/editor of Sun Poetic Times in San Antonio.

Neverland

Yes, I raged at the news,

bombs in baby cribs,

oil fires in the desert.

And the murder of children

labeled mushrooms.

Still I loved your smile in

the bomb shelter,

the play of your eyes in the hospital.

I know joy when I hold

you as the fighters thunder overhead.

And I commit my love

to you by the light

of the burning chapel.

© Rod C. Stryker

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2. Marty McConnell, member of The Morrigan and the Union Square (13 Bar Lounge/NYC) 2000 National Slam Team:

time enough

the second the war ends,

prostitute Sadhana Mukherjee

will be standing with a woman

in a pastel sari

in a Calcuttan alley.She will be

speaking of condoms and unicorns,

of health and the power of walking

away.

the instant the world ends,

I will be

plucking my eyebrows

or salting slugs

in the garden.

© Marty McConnell

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3. Claibie Walsh of Montrose, Alabama has a poem in WWFP titled "Teacup Politics," but gave permission publish this very recent poem.

"If more politicians knew poetry,

and more poets knew politics,

I am convinced the world would be

a little better place in which to live."

~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Irony

But you see, John, you were wrong.

Poets have always known politics.

Have always sought out injustices

like heat seeking missiles.

Put it down on paper for ALL to see.

But poets don't have money trails.

Poets don't have papas who buy them offices

while they cavort with movie stars.

Poets have words. Words which

influence nickel payments after many lines.

If more politicians knew the discipline of poetry -

less of greed, lust and power

maybe then the world just might

be a little better place .....just might

be a place where we can all

live and work and dream.

It's a real nice idea but

then poets have their politics too

Oh yes, John, poets KNOW politics.

We just don't cause enough aggravation.

to pay with bullets or bangs, Baby,

only memorialize people like you.

Sandburg lived far longer.

© Claiborne Schley Walsh

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4. Donald Hunter Sutherland is an Internet engineer, a founding member of the Internet Literary Arts Poetry Contest and managing editor of Recursive Angel at http://www.calldei.com/~recangel/

Proof of Disorder

So that the blood spilled in Hastings

Puddles into pasty swells of dark sap,

And then hardens into the Rorschach piecework

Of gleaned over fossils, rather than guess...

We offer you proof.

Proof our ancestral faces

Scaled these embattled walls

Burst into courtyard and settled

Her imperial colors with mace

And sword and shiv, sure to be heard,

"The manifest hour is near..."

Gods barren prize of crowned nipples

Wagers unaware in sleep

Still to be certain that the Viet Congs'

Troop markings, missile ledgers and shells

Of oxidized metals are fingerprint clear.

We offer you proof.

Evidence of hypnotic anthems,

Bright lights and bells and ceremony

That baptized parades underfoot.

In snippets of speech to be heard...,

"The manifest hour is near.."

Let Juris Prudence guide our united,

Indivisible, god-fearing, comrades

Through unethical terrains.

Yet to be positive history's

Archives are bound, sealed

with the hand-twisted whipcords

And lashed into time's redress,

Rather than guess... We offer this proof.

© David Hunter Sutherland

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5. Moshe Benarroch of Israel has books published in four languages. His recent "Horses and Other Doubts" is available at http://www.iuniverse.com/marketplace/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0%2D595%2D13733%2D4

Maria

I met Maria in Paris

she was from Venezuela

and she asked something about antisemitism

I explained about being a Jew in Europe

being a Jew in school in France

about Vichy

She stared at me as if I was speaking Chinese

Then she came to Jerusalem

and in front of the western wall

I told her the history of the Jews

from Abraham to the Greeks the Roman

The Arabs,

and she kept staring at me as if

I was an alien

She didn't discuss, she didn't try to understand

antisemitism

She just thought it was a crazy thing

coming from a country where such word doesn't exist.

I just hoped there were more people like her

looking at you like a crazy man

when you try to explain the hatred.

© moshe benarroch

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6. Amy Ouzoonian has been published in various collections, and edited the anthology, "Skyscrapers, Taxis and Tampax." Currently, she lives in New Orleans.

She Won't Say She's Unhappy

Sometimes women don't lose

Their wedding bands

While doing the dishes.

© Amy Ouzoonian

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7. Barbara F. Lefcowitz has won writing fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation. She has published 6 books of poetry. She currently lives in Bethesda, Md.

The House of the Poor

The houses of the poor resemble each other

like the bellies of pregnant women,

whether shaped from palm leaves,

warped gray wood, twisted wire, cartons,

newsprint, tin scraps, caked mud,

thatch, rusty pans, cow dung;

whether placed in India, Sumatra,

Mexico, Cambodia, Jamaica,

The Nation's Capital, USA.

We stare, sneak a guilty snapshot --

preferably through a window

illuminated by a single orange --

convince ourselves such matters

need not concern us

anymore than the lives of the no longer living.

© Barbara Lefcowitz

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8. Anjana Basu's poetry has been published internationally. She taught English Literature, briefly, at Calcutta University; works as an advertising copywriter.

No Nuclear Night, Bhopal?

Turpentine grass grows over this cold steel town

its black fingers lick the blue sky

and the birds ooze down drip by drip

painted out, painted dead.

One night the sky split, spat bright blood red

colour killed us

colour ate the night

cannibal colour

glowing dust grows over this turpentine town

small birds scream at night in dead droplets.

© Anjana Basu

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9. LA poet Larry Jaffe has two poems in Will Work For Peace. He recently wrote two new poems for Agnes Meadows' Poets for Palestine anthology. Here is one of them.

And Guns Were Turned Into Revolution

And guns were turned into revolution

and revolution into hate

and so goes history

without lessons learned

From the revolution

distilled pain

into hate

begetting hate

begetting hate.

And guns were turned into revolution

when minds needed to be changed

and hearts sought sanctuary

and guns fired mindlessly

without heart.

And what about

Love

What about

it?

And guns were turned into revolution

blood leaked into the streets

a flood of triumph

of moral victory

so much life lost

a justification of spirit

so much conscience

relented.

And what price

the soul

what price

the soul?

And guns were turned into revolution

and villages were lost

and tears were shed

But the guns could not silence

the crying

Could not silence

the crying.

And guns were turned into revolution.

© 2000 lgjaffe