YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

May 2003

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Martin Zurla; Rita Stilli; Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp

ISSN 1480-6401



      From the Spectator Thursday, Septembr 13, 1711
      No. 169


      Oswald Le Winter
         BENNINGTON, JULY 1955
      Michelle McGrane
         HOLY MAN
         shore dance
      Noah Cicero
         In Solitude
         Rich People
         The Modern Age
         The silence
      Santiago Villafania
         for us, who do not care
         beyond forgetting
         the drifter
      Marjana Gaponenko
               Translated by Gunhild Muschenheim
         Ich komme vom Meer.
               Translated by Gunhild Muschenheim

      David Sparenberg
         SELF (The Weaver)
         IMAGES & DREAMS
         IN THE YEAR 2003
         BREAD, WATER & OIL

      Melissa C. Mielke
         grace's flute


   From the Spectator Thursday, Septembr 13, 1711

   No. 169

	                Sic vita erat; facile omnes perferre ac pati:
		            Cum quibus erat cungue una, his sese dedere,
			        Eorum obsequi studiis; advorsus nemini;
				    Nunquam praeponens se aliis: Ita facillime
					Sine invidia invenias laudem.--Ter. Andr.
      Man is subject to innumerable Pains and Sorrows by the very 
   Condition of Humanity, and yet, as if Nature had not sown
   evils enough in Life, we are continually adding Grief to Grief, 
   and aggravating the common Calamity by our cruel Treatment
   of one another.  Every Man's natural Weight of Affliction
   is still made more heavy by the Envy, Malice, Treachery,
   or Injustice of his Neighbour.  At the same time that the
   Storm beats upon the whole Species, we are falling foul upon
   one another.

      Half the Misery of Human Life might be extinguished,
   would Men alleviate the general Curse they lie under, by
   mutual Offices of Compassion, Benevolence and Humanity.
   There is nothing therefore which we ought more to encourage
   in our selves and others than the Disposition of Mind which
   in our Language goes under the Title of Good-nature, and
   which I shall chuse for the Subject of this Day's Speculation.
      Good-nature is more agreeable in Conversation than Wit,
   and gives a certain Air to the Countenance which is more
   amiable than Beauty.  It shows Virtue in the fairest Light,
   takes off in some measure from the Deformity of Vice, and
   makes even Folly and impertinence supportable.
      There is no Society of Conversation to be kept up in the
   World without Good-nature, or something which must bear
   its Appearance, and supply its Place.  For this Reason Mankind
   have been forced to envent a kind of Artificial Humanity,
   which is what we express by the Word Good-Breeding.  For
   if we examine thoroughly the Idea of what we call so, we shall
   find it to be nothing else but an Imitation and Mimickry of
   Good-nature, or in other Terms, Affability, Complaisance and
   Easiness of Temper reduced into Art.
      These exterior Shows and Appearances of Humanity render
   a Man wonderfully pupolar and beloved, when they are
   founded upon a real Good-nature; but without it are like
   Hypocricy in Religion, or a bare Form of Holiness, which,
   when it is discovered, makes a Man more detestable than
   professed Impiety.
      Good-nature is generally born with us: Health, Prosperity
   and kind Treatment from the World are great Cherishers of it
   where they find it, but nothing is capable of forcing it up,
   where it does not grow of itself.  It is one of the Blessings of a
   happy Constitution, which Education may improve but not
      Xenophon in the Life of his Imaginary Prince, whom he
   describes as a Pattern for Real ones, is always celebrating the
   Philanthrophy or Good-nature of his Hero, which he tells us he 
   brought into the World with him, and gives many remarkable
   Instances of it in his Childhood, as well as in all the several
   Parts of his Life.  Nay, on his Death-bed, he describes him as
   being pleased, that while his Soul returned to him who made
   it, his Body should incorporate with the great Mother of all
   things, and by that means become beneficial to Mankind.  For
   which reason, he gives Sons a positive Order not to enshrine
   it in Gold or Silver, but to lay it in Earth as soon as the 
   Life was gone out of it.
      An Instance of such an Overflowing of Humanity, such an
   exuberant Love to Mankind, could not have entered into the
   Imagination of a Writer, who had not a Soul filled with great
   Ideas, and a general Benevolance to Mankind.
      In that celebrated Passage of Salust, where Caesar and Cato
   are placed in such beautiful, but opposite Lights; Caesar's 
   Character is chiefly made up of Good-nature, as it show'd it
   self in all its Forms towards his Friends or hid Enemies, his
   Servants or Dependants, the Guilty or the Distressed.  As
   for Cato's Character, it is rather awful than amiable.  Justice
   seems most agreeable to the Nature of God, and Mercy to that
   of Man.  A Being who has nothing to Pardon in himself,
   may reward every Man according to his Works; but he whose
   very best Actions must be seen with Grains of Allowance,
   cannot be too mild, moderate, or forgiving.  For this reason,
   among all the monstrous Characters in Human Nature, there
   is none so odious, nor indeed so exquisitely Ridiculous, as that
   of a rigid severe Temper in a Worthless Man.
      This Part of Good-nature, however, which consists in the
   pardoning and over-looking of Faults, is to be exercised only
   in doing our selves Justice, and that too in the ordinary
   Commerce and Occurrences of Life; for in the Publick
   Administration of Justice, Mercy to one may be Cruelty to
      It is grown almost into a Maxim, that Good-natured Men
   are not always Men of the most Wit.  This Observation, in
   my Opinion, has no Foundation in Nature.  The greatest Wits
   I have conversed with, are Men eminent for their Humanity.
   I take therefore this Remark to have been occasioned by two
   Reasons.  First, Because Ill-nature among ordinary Observers
   passes for Wit.  A spightful Saying gratifies so many little
   Passions in those who hear it, that it generally meets with a
   good Reception.  The Laugh rises upon it, and the Man who
   utters it is look'd upon as a shrewd Satyrist.  This may be
   one Reason why a great many pleasant Companions appear so
   surprizingly dull, when they have endeavoured to be Merry
   in Print; the Publick being more just than Private Clubs or
   Assemblies, in distinguishing between what is Wit and what 
   is Ill-nature.
      Another Reason why the Good-natured Man may sometimes
   bring his Wit in Question, is, perhaps, because hi is apt
   to be moved with Compassion for those Misfortunates or
   Infirmities, which another would turn into Ridicule, and by that
   Means gain the Reputation of a Wit.  The Ill-natured Man,
   though but of equal Parts, gives himself a larger Field to
   expatiate in, he exposes those Failings in Human Nature which
   the other would cast a Veil over, laughs at Vices which the
   other either excuses or conceals, gives Utterance to Reflections
   which the other stifles, falls indifferently upon Friends or
   Enemies, exposes the Person who has obliged him, and in short
   sticks at nothing that may establish his Character of a Wit.
   It is no wonder therefore he succeeds in it better than the 
   Man of Humanity, as a Person who makes use of indirect
   Methods is more likely to grow rich than the fair Trader. L.

Oswald Le Winter ENTOMBED NIGHT Now the season's lost its sunny grace, its skin tanned rust and mottled gray. I wake in a tight, darkened space to a dirge invisible musicians play. I have my memories, when blood ran high. Salt's on my lips as if I'd kissed the sea, I know I left some place where seagulls cry and frowning vultures leaf a tree. Life was my shovel, Death a whitened bone. I dug for love, a man wild for treasure, and found only an old, broken stone I stuck in a green heart, desiring that it grow. With every thought, I took its measure. The metamorphosis of Lapis is less slow. Show me a Phoenix in his lambent nest, reveal the field where Pegasus was tamed, help seek a Unicorn, and I'll forego the rest. No prize I've wanted, none I've claimed ranks with the tear-filled eyes of the one face, long vanished, that I stood before, ashamed, trapped by a crippled dream in a deserted place.
THE WOMAN, LIKE RODIN'S THINKER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ for Martha Sharp Another morning like the last four hundred, my mouth a sty filled with swill as I awake at dawn after a jagged sleep. The sky is dull, the color of sheets washed too often, to no purpose. A breeze tickles the curtains in the parted window. I left the television on all night again and watch a moment as fresh disasters flicker across the mute tube; carnage everywhere, man made as well as natural. Late May in Lisbon is a verdict for the senses of a man whose life tries to sustain him despite failures, self-betrayals, and despair. In a half open window in the house across the courtyard, a woman leans her head on her left palm like a Rodin, seeing nothing, perhaps just gazing inwardly, or planning what to do this Sunday, after church and before sleep. Suddenly, from somewhere in the building whose old walls carry sound like the wires of a telephone, I hear Maria Callas sing Puccini's O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi. Her voice consumes my senses and her emotion finds its echo in me if only for a puff of minutes, a few magnificent ticks, but I’m aroused enough to know how this defeats death; a woman thinking, another singing, enough to choose life for one more day.
DEATH OF A BULL RHINO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ANGOLA, 1975 A slow barge seeking a safe harbor, the Rhino moves into the water hole, sending the sludge his legs stir up in eddies to the surface. He moves like a heavy dancer; muscles visible beneath his hide, flex and relax in a rhythm so well practiced even his approaching end can't alter it. The sign that death has entered his huge frame to do its work, is in the visible desertion of the flock of small birds that have used his broad back as an island in the muddy water. With no talent for philosophy, or introspection, and no intimation of its own mortality, the Rhino senses, somehow, that the end is near, that Death, in a time-span only I can measure on my wrist, is growing larger as his life evaporates from the no longer strong, young body. I wonder why he's waded into this forsaken hole? Is it to die unseen by others of his kind? I've heard that Elephants lumber off, sometimes, into thickets far from the herd to await the end. Old as the Rhino, and sick of hosting parasites disguised as dreams, I feel death taking place in me.
RIDER MOUNTAIN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The silver stream, limping past crumbling villages, falls at the rocky hump of Rider Mountain like a comet's dwindling tail into a hole of matted green penumbras that swallow the bright spread of sweating noon. A ghost of girlish laughter is said to be audible, grizzled imaginings of the few who stayed despite the great abandonment, remembering surprising deaths, the boat capsized, the bodies sucked like bait into the deep. The river never gave up its secret cache. A century since that afternoon of futile diving, of strong hands and legs wrestling the current as if will stretched beyond collapsing could tear three corpses from their bloated rest. Legends have grown like lilies on the banks. Some say the women, lusty, winsome, serve a fallen angel deep in hell as concubines. Others swear they live within the mountain, safeguarding a treasure mined here long ago. This region thrives on mysteries. Its people's humble lives require that dying be a miracle, like poems or epiphanies. None claim such superstitions deserve less faith than a frail Jew nailed to wood in Jerusalem.
CANCER DIARY ~~~~~~~~~~~~ for Jay Jay Que la mort triomphait dans cette voix etrange! Mallarme He is much less afraid of alien death than of companionable dying; of breath that creeps over clenched faces, and cadaverous limbs vanishing beneath a sheet into gradual inertia. "how curious that my assassin bears the name of an imaginary band that girdles plastic globes, or of the tabloid crab by which bored housewives banish apprehensions of the future.." Not the ultimate silence, but the genuflecting voices of relatives is the most difficult to bear; that and the ashen eyes of friends sweeping the room from behind modest flowers. Not even the expected moment in which the rattling breath gives up and the shy family of hopes, slips, like a priest in slippers, mumbling, from the room is as unbearable. Then there's nothing beyond tears that wet red glances, and the dying of a fistful of carnations, followed by a quiet stroll to cueing limousines that speed us back to lives more than ever now owed to time.
BENNINGTON, JULY 1955 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Marta Gautier, who brought back the memory. We barely closed our eyes at night, sleeping three or four hours, but hardly at rest; brief, deep, troubled. For the remainder, we spied on the dark, on winds traversing cirrus streamers flat as laundry on heaven's ironing board. There was the occasional late bird with no nest, darting from one rooftop to another in his appealing restlessness. I sat by a window open to the garden gazing at tall New England Asters, diurnal flowers, A. novae-anglia, six feet tall with silky, slender rays In purple, white and red, surrounding disks of orange filaments now invisible. In the bed, below a sampler that proclaimed "God is love" your almond-colored body stretched like a jungle cat feigning sleep, the regular breath of sated passion echoing in the soft wind outside. We had made love, and I wondered if that meant we were lovers. I knew at dawn, the sun would open the Starflowers like a carpet on which butterflies could rest to lay their eggs. I'd even seen Boloria astarte with orange- brown wings that were invisible among these flaming Michaelmas Daisies, if the dark markings near the wings' bases had not betrayed their presence, busily gluing new generations to undersides of rosettes of leaves, and feeding on treacly nectar at the flower's heart. I knew that soon you'd rise, stretch and return to your books and lectures, interrupted for this night, and I'd become the Aster, closed, almost sufficient in myself, until the sun would unlock me as you did, with love's fugacious radiance and heat.
Michelle McGrane MONA LISA WAS A FEMINIST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I think Mona Lisa was a feminist. That she had better things to do, was itching to get off her chair, to involve herself with a multitude of interesting occupations and be done with portrait painting pomposity. She sat, still, hands crossed over herself, barely containing her impatience, ready to take flight at moment's notice. In keeping with social expectation, however, dear woman!, she humoured the man, pandered to his artistic ego, even favoured him with a wan smile that, despite brave attempt, could not conceal the irritability in her eyes at such flagrant waste of time.
HOLY MAN ~~~~~~~~ i see you standing, bright-faced, a solitary flame, garbed in orange renunciation robes, dark head shorn, a public declaration of your faith, Holy Man, Holy One, quench the fire of my earthly desire. with artistic, well-kept hands, a disarmingly open smile, you press a thick religious tract into my outstretched palms, Holy Man, Holy One, quench the fire of my earthly desire. leafing idly through this offering, a softly accented voice surprises me, sings to me, swimming across unreadable text, oh Holy Man, Holy One, quench the fire of my earthly desire, my earthly desire. your candid brown eyes reach up through printed pages to press heavily against my dyslexic heart.
KAROO WAKING ~~~~~~~~~~~~ wind whistles, raucous, shrill, rushing eagerly through cracks in travelling windows, the land of far plains sleeps, a giant in repose awaiting daybreak. long and straight ironed flat ribbon-road tarmac stretches to horizon, lightsun filters through cool dawn welcome, gentle terracotta washing sky. bleached koppies, grey scrub, fynbos, cacti, awake with languor, arms outstretched, greeting land's return to light, from day's heat, fleeting respite.
DAY OF MOON, NIGHT OF SUN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "In this life it is not difficult to die It is more difficult to live." - Mayakovsky Day of moon, Night of sun, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of darkness, Night of fire, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of flame, Night of ash, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of lion, Night of lamb, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of black, Night of white, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of steel, Night of blood, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of greed, Night of lies, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of domination, Night of misinformation, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of tanks, Night of missiles, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of marching, Night of weeping, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of fearful, Night of faithless, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of torture, Night of terror, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of birth, Night of death, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of madmen, Night of corpses, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of widows, Night of orphans, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of sandstorm, Night of smoke, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of thunder, Night of ruin, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of stone, Night of dust, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of sky, Night of earth, Let us sing a Song of Peace. Day of me, Night of you, Let us sing a Song of Peace.
shore dance ~~~~~~~~~~~ salt foam washes sand, wet hemline watermarks overlap, gliding effortlessly recede, bubbles rise, break surface to patterned mottled brown, bottle-green, aqua, ultramarine, waves inlaid with white quartz veins roll forwards, backwards, in transient shore dance. travelling light when i die, don't bury me, burn me, how else does a phoenix rise? turn up the music, throw a party, dress in your brightest clothes, send me off with rosettes of fireworks arching high into night sky, drink bottles of chilled French champagne, recite great poetry celebrating joy of life. scatter my ashes at four corners of the globe, i have loved this crazy world, the giddy surprise of unexpected discoveries each day has brought me. in my passing let there be no mourning, i have lived, let me travel light.
Noah Cicero In Solitude ~~~~~~~~~~~ I sat in the grass Under a maple tree I watched people walk by They looked pretty wretched When the sun went down I was still sitting there But there were no more people to watch So I walked home And sat at the kitchen table And ate a sandwich
Rich People ~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a rich friend He talks a lot He dresses poor intentionally Im poor I dress poor because I have to
The Modern Age ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A lot of people enjoy seeing violence They are captivated by murders Wars Suicides Many disgusting things Humans are strange animals I dont like them very much I prefer cats
The silence ~~~~~~~~~~~ I looked at her naked body But it made no difference I was still alone Cars drove down my street I watched them pass I turned my lamp on I read a book by the light I put the book down And walked outside A cat was in the yard
Santiago Villafania sonnet ~~~~~~ no more heartaches love when this lot is fled when soft the church sings her holy hymns then that is the time that i am dead in this world with all of my dulcet dreams if you will read this piece my love mind not the voice behind it but treasure the things that is gently drawn from my fevered heart and i myself in your slumbered thought brings back the memories with this scarlet verse while i somehow half way am into dust while my soul traverses the universe though uncertain to where am i be cast if i castaway am in darkness bare always my love for you beyond compare
for us, who do not care ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (after Maya Angelou) be me urchin seek me shanty in Payatas or under the LRT bury me in tattered rugs and paper blankets at night while i dream me home a family to call my own swim me river defiled by men whose soul is darker than the waters of Pasig river cross me streets of Manila and breath me air thick with smoke belched from buses trucks and jeepneys collect me garbage high as a mountain worst than Augean stables in rainy days walk me malls in broad daylight where courtesans trade their bodies for six-pence in a day o give me what future?
beyond forgetting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ i the winds dry on my lips without your tender kisses - your stealing kisses O the night is long and dark as the dark ages of the mind and you are nowhere nowhere my love no bright eyes to watch over me no gentle hands to stroke my raven hair O the winds O the night cold and forever now that you are gone ii. a desire to paint you becomes a haunting dream in a moonlit night the booze becomes you teasing my lips with bitter-sweet kisses a desire to hold you becomes a burning passion on a cold satin bed the pillow becomes you bewitching my eyes with your beauty O you are not really here blithe dream bright eyes just a bottle of whiskey and I
(doppelganger) (he) (is) (i) (am) (we) (are) (in) (tears) (and) (laughter) (the) (one) (who) (like) (any) (other) (belongs) (to) (a) (certain) (melieux) (he) (trying) (to) (exist) (in) (a) (world) (of) (illusion) (i) (trying) (to) (explore) (that) (other) (dimension)
the drifter ~~~~~~~~~~~ he speaks to say nothing and writes to isolate the madness and maladies he has failed to undercome the world mocks him for what he is and thus he lives for what he is not an island.
Marjana Gaponenko Kinder ~~~~~~ Wir waren Kinder und baumelten vergnügt an den Zweigen. Der Himmel hing uns voller Schätze und wir schliffen unsere Holzdolche um zu ihnen zu gelangen. Mutig kämpften wir gegen unsichtbare Feinde, fingen Schmetterlinge und kleine Vögel, um sie feierlich loszulassen, lachten über die Küssenden, jagten die Fremdlinge, brachten Kätzchen den Müttern nach Haus´, weinten bitterlich aber kurz. Wir waren sanfte Wölfe unter sanften Wölfen. Wie ein goldener Ball tönte und rollte unsere lachende blauäugige Zeit durch die Wälder, die uns gehörten und wir rannten Hals über Kopf, wir rannten ihr hinterher. Plötzlich verschwand sie, ging verloren in den Blumen, in wilden Gräsern, taute weg und ließ uns stehen, wo wir immer noch stehen: erstarrt im Niederknien mit aufgerissenen Augen und wehenden Haaren, nah dem Taumeln.
Children ~~~~~~~~ We were children dangling happily from branches. The heavens above beckoned with treasures and we sharpened our wooden daggers to reach them. We fought bravely against invisible enemies, caught butterflies and little birds, in order to release them ceremoniously, we laughed at lovers kissing, chased strangers, brought kittens back to their mothers, cried bitterly, if only briefly. We were docile wolfs among wolfs more docile than us. Like a golden ball our laughing blue-eyed time echoed and rolled through the woods, our woods, and we, running head over heals, ran after it. Suddenly it was gone, it got lost among the flowers, lost in the wild grasses, melted away leaving us standing where we still stand today, caught while kneeling down with eyes wide open and hair blowing, almost stumbling. Translated by Gunhild Muschenheim
Ich komme vom Meer. Als ich geboren wurde, lachte die Mutter, den Tod verfluchend und zehntausend Katzen der Stadt jagten den September, im Laufen seinen fliegenden Mantel zerkratzend. September verschwindet jedes Mal wenn er kommt. Er kann nichts dafür, dass sein Mantel fliegt. Er hat mir gesagt: “Es ist genug Platz in meiner Brusttasche für dich, Mädchen. Ich hole dich wie ein treuer Diener, reiße dich aus den Klauen deines Tanzes. Auf immer. Denke nur an mich.“ September legt mir Kastanien und schlummernde Katzen unter die Tür. Ein ungeduldiges Omen... Mutter altert und nimmt Milch aus meinen Händen. „Alles kommt zurück“ lacht sie unter Tränen.
September When I was born, the mother laughed cursing death, and the cities` tenthousand cats hunted for September while running scratching his flowing coat September vanishes each time he comes He can not be blamed, that his coat flows He had said to me:' For you girl there is enough room in my breast pocket. I fetch you like a faithful servant, tear you from the claws of your dance. Forever. Just think of me.' September places chestnuts and dormant cats under my door. An impatient omen. Mother grows old and takes milk from my hands. 'It all comes back' she laughs in tears. Translated by Gunhild Muschenheim
David Sparenberg SELF (The Weaver) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Say to yourself: I am the cure for what ails me I am the world out of balance wherein is both peace and war I am the welter of chaos in flames of pain I am the creative impulse fashioning crystals transforming clouds I am purgation and integration I am the work and the workman Nothing is alien to the weaver. My heart is a crucible: alchemical imagination. I am center and I am circumference I am this and I am that I am eternity and I am now Written on wind with a stylus of sun I am dream as well as dreamer I am web and I am hoop I am tree and seed polarity: light in the womb of earth-dark fruit. Nothing is alien to the weaver. 22 Jan. 2003
GOVINDA ~~~~~~~ This is where I blossom! I am Govinda, full of kisses. Everything is real and every reality is an illusion. Like an eye of awareness in an attentive circle. A man is but a dream dreaming of a man awakening. When I speak, I am not speaking. This voice is not Govinda. What you hear is the beating of God's cosmic heart, echoing in your heartbeat ears. How wonderful is this creative dance Govinda has forgotten, yet cannot stop being created in! How wonderful delirious and delicious the cherry bowl of fresh and scented kisses! Peace comes like this, when iron is broken and there are no heroes. Then hands are multiplied through touching truth. Here I am the garden of some erotic god or goddess and am and am not the river Ganges or the man Govinda. 16-17 Feb. 03
IMAGES & DREAMS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you shine a light the size and shape of a pinhole into the innermost inward, you wight catch a glimpse, form and face from the mythology of dreams, of the world's most enchanting woman. Her name is Rhioannon or Deirdre or perhabs Sioban. But it might just be Joan or Bridget Diane or Jane. If you shine a light the size and shape of a pinhole into the innermost inward you might see a wise old man, a benevolent, ancient sage, with elevated candle, lucent or lantern, luminious, in hand. He is called Lao Tzu. (Or any such name.) Now: if you shine a light the size and shape of a tiny pinhole into the innermost inward you might behold the presence of a shadow, a formulated darkness from the deep-down of dreams. This phantom is your own. And you must own it if you would be whole. The shadow abides behind the mirror of vanity, in the cave primeval, or in the fire-pit of your secret soul. 27 March 2003
IN THE YEAR 2003 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am a non-American. My soul belongs to God. My senses surrender to the wonderment and creative elements of sublime nature. My flesh identities and is shared among the peoples of this one-only-world. Without discrimination, I empathize and am bound in just-affiniity with every race and place, with every age and gender, with all species. I am dialogue and I am person and a human being stands up to become the sanctuary of freedom. I am equally free of violence and hatred, free of the will to power free from nonsustainable and obsessive possessions. I freely belong to no one group more than to any other. I am a free non-American, existing here on earth, in integrity and voluntary simplicity. So I will remain from this day forward, on the eve of war, until the end of my days, an activist and advocate for peace. It is shame that first defines me, but it is love and the mystical heart of compassion by which I live. 19 March 2003
BAGHDAD'S BURNING ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These are not our children, Nasiriya. These are not the babies going up in the sky. Today is not the cradle of mankind's freedom; no time for fond farewells, this is good-bye. A thousand candles praying, Nasiriya. A thousand bombs on Baghdad in one night. The rivers in the red glow of the war fires reflect the tears of anguish in your eyes. No breath to stop and dream now, Nasiriya. The souls of bitter struggle know no dreams. Here where hell and heaven are asunder, the fears of infant angels cannot hide. Oh do not let your eyes reach out and touch me... Tomorrow is a promise never kept. A thousand bombs on Baghdad: Baghdad's burning! Although we are God's children, Nasiriya, no time for fond farwells, this is good-bye. 22 March 2003
BREAD, WATER & OIL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is bread. Bread represents something good. It says that the earth is still tolerant of us, that we may yet live to see tomorrow. Here is water. Water tells us that our needs transcend our aggressive bodies; that we are all flowing away toward something uncertain. Here too is oil, a gift of the olive. It was pressed from ripeness into golden song. The oil symbolizes peace. It kisses our lips when we sit down together. 6 April 2003
EARTH IS NOT HEAVEN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Lord God descended. And there was a house and the house was one fire. And tears from the eyes of the Holy of Holies hissed in the crackling rage of conflagration. And sweat dripped down from the wings of angels. Earth is not heaven; hell is not far. And the living Lord God erupted and said: "And I am Auschwitz and you are abandoned. And I am Hiroshima and you are forlorn. And I am the Congo and you are forsaken. And now I am Baghdad and your's is the harm." Earth is not heaven. Hell is not far. And the Lord falls in ashes and we grow in thorns. And sweat drips down from the candles of angels. And earth is not heaven. And hell is not far. 10-11 April 2003


   Melissa C. Mielke
   grace's flute
   she sounds like silver,
   as her voice glistens through
   the air at high and low tones,
   waltzing, then
   tapdancing, then
   keeping perfect time.
   she takes a breath,
   then flutters across the sky,
   reaching her accelerandos,
   and fermatas.
   a blind man falls asleep
   with his young daughter in his arms,
   as the glitter of music blends into
   their lives, and smiling fireflies
   somersault in their dreams,
   as grace's flute continues to sing.

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  Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
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  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


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