YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

July 2004

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Heather Ferguson; Oswald LeWinter

ISSN 1480-6401



   Nessa OMahony


   Oswald Le Winter

   Judith Present

   Ron P. Nhim
      Grateful to the Sun God
	  Bitter Sweet

   Wilfredo Beltran Zenteno

   Mike Estabrook
      Bare Feet
      because of a rash act
      fish feeding dream

   Daniel Gallik
      Golden Voice from The Silver Screen
      Guys Digging A Hole
      Harvesting A Salute To The South

   James Keane
      Spiritual Crisis
      In Passing

   Sharon Esther Lampert
      My Man

   Karim Khan
      Kaimy the Freak
      Islands of Illusion 

   Roger N. Taber


   DeL Corey
      To a Newborn


Nessa OMahony


        Beaumaris, April 7th 2004

Elsewhere, it's swallows.
Here, we watch the water
for the first yachts,
filing a course through the Straits,
leaning against the wind,
testing sails that haven't been 
unfurled for months.

I follow each boat
through the span
of my bay window,
imagine the rest,
the progress past the pier,
white cloth reflected 
in each pane of glass
of the seafront terrace
as it curves its way
towards Penmon and the light.

A second has appeared,
tied up unseen over night,
It circles on its moorings
as the wind shifts.

Oswald Le Winter IN THE WOMB OF THE SEARCH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran And he lighted upon a certain place and tarried there... Genesis “What do I seek ?” asked the traveler Of himself, standing at the crossroads Knowing only the road he had walked Was already dark and still behind him. The three ways that spread like a fan At his feet were bright with mystery, Each offering its unique journey, each Tempting him with a destination he Had no inkling of, save that instinct Told him over and over one would Bring him to the end of his long way. In the woods ahead of him he heard Birds singing as he knew they must Have sung in Eden when Creation Was an infant, full of radiant hope. To his right, he saw wild fields of grain, Ripening tips fluttering in the sunlight Like flags at summits called to save The world from mindless slaughter. And to the left, green mountains Reverberated with the music brooks Make as they shoot granite rapids To reach cities where men yearn For the taste of water, whole and pure As Himalayan snow on winter slopes. All this lay at his feet and roused His spirit out of the fatigue that invaded His limbs and crept into the crevices Of his adventurous soul. He knew he must Go on—“but where,” he asked some ear Within his heart, “which is the right way, The way that ends my journey there Where all the gifts that wisdom holds For me wait to be gathered up like Pebbles at the lakeshore of my youth.” He stood and listened, thinking That somehow a voice within him Would provide the answer he felt He must possess to take the next step. It would come, of that much he was sure. Its voice would be majestic, grand, And filled with the deep resonance Of certainty, he thought. He would not move Until he heard. His next step would decide. And so he waited, slowly stiffening; His muscles gradually becoming numb And thick with sleep until at last He roused himself out of his torpor And moved, as one quickly awakened From a troubled rest. He took a step To his left, even before he had become Conscious of volition, of his movement. And the voice came from deep in him, Uncalled, hardly expected now that he had Taken that first step on a way that seemed To him chosen by some anonymous force That was controlling him, from somewhere Beyond the finite circle of his reason. “You are the way. You are the journey and the choice. You are the destination.” He listened, heard, and understood, and walked With a new energy that seemed to him The boon for having pinned an angel in a dream he still remembered.


By Judith Present

Minnie sees all the newspapers strewn on the ground in front of her store. She rushes to the store, limping in small, hurried steps. The door is wide open and the place has been violated. Sam enters behind her; his usual pleasant expression is replaced by fear.

"Where’s Jakey? Where’s the boy?"

He looks behind the counter; she checks the kitchen in the back.

"Jakey, Jakey," she calls, as if to a cat. "Jakey, Jakey, where are you?"

"We have to call the police," Sam says, opening the bathroom door. There on the toilet is Jakey, leaning back, eyes closed. There is blood around his neck as if his throat has been cut and his pants are down around his ankles. When they touch him he falls to the floor, but he is still alive.

"Quick! Screams Minnie. "Call an ambulance."

Their thirty-two-year-old boy is still breathing. With only the brainpower of a seven-year-old, he has remained the Moskowitz’s baby boy all thirty-two years.

* * *

A Policeman offers Jakey a Coke. He checks with his mother to see if it’s all right to take it. She nods yes.

"I like Coke," he says. "It’s not good for your teeth. I can’t always have it, except at special times." He smiles at the detective.

Detective Langley doodles on his pad, while he tries to figure out how to deal with this challenged individual. "Can you tell me what this man, who…did this terrible thing to you looked like?"

Again Jakey looks at his mother.

"You can tell the nice policeman," Minnie tells him. " He wants to catch this man and punish him. You want that to happen, Jakey, so he won’t hurt other people."

"But I don’t want to think about him, Mommy. He smelled bad, and I don’t’ like him."

Langley takes a big book of pictures and places it in front of Jakey and Minnie. In a kindly tone he says, "Jakey, you don’t have to say anything. All you have to do is let me know if you see the man’s face. You just have to point at it." He opens the book and shows Jakey rows and rows of pictures of previously arrested men.

Minnie sits next to Jakey, rubbing his back and listening to the ticking of a government issued clock in the run-down police station. Jakey looks and looks, page after page. Now and then he gives a pleading look at Minnie, who avoids his eyes.

The he sees the man’s picture and begins to hit the book with his finger, over and over. "I want to go home now, Mommy. I want to go home now, Mommy." Jakey starts pulling on Minnies’ coat. "Please, Mommy, we go home now." When he gets no response, he begins to cry. His manly face looks ridiculous with tears running down it. He never wants to think about that bad man again.

* * *

Boris Bodsky is a Russian immigrant of Polish descent. A predator of young boys, he strolls subways and parks looking for boys to degrade as he had during the war. Not only does he like to molest boys, he particularly like to humiliate Jewish ones.

But the detective is puzzled by his modus operandi. If one likes young men, why then sodomize someone in his thirties? He doesn’t realize the man’s hatred for Jews, but Minnie knows the truth. Every Russian, every Pole, every Slav, every German is the potential Angel of Death. She knows because she has lived through the pain he brings.

Everywhere Minnie goes she begins to see Bodsky. The face in the picture Jakey identified has embedded itself in her mind the way other horrifying ones have over the years. Each night as she lay in bed she retrieves and thinks about them. Minnie doesn’t let Jakey out of the house alone anymore. He has become her constant companion and is getting fat from coddling. She makes him blintzes with plenty of sour cram, kasha and varnisha, thick soups of barley and mushroom, stuffing him all day long because she loves him and wants him to feel good. Sam tries to keep his sense of humor for the boy’s sake, but Minnie belittles him for being insensitive. Still Sam can run the store and be pleasant to the customers.

Detective Langley calls to let them know he has found the suspect and needs Jakey to come to a line-up. Minnie is elated. Jakey runs a fever and has diarrhea the night before he must see everyone at the police station again. Minnie cajoles, feeds and dresses him in such a way that they will know he comes from a good home. Jakey has no control of his situation.

Minnie pulls him into the room with the two-way mirror, where he is asked to identify the bad man. He sees him immediately and begins to tremble. Memories of that time, that horrible time, come back and he can smell the rancid odor and feel the heat from the man’s foul breath. The man’s raspy voice swells in his ears and makes him want to runaway to throw up. Minnie’s voice breaks through his thoughts.

"Which number Jakey? Which number is the man? Is it one, two, three, which one? She is impatient for his answer.

He doesn’t want to displease her. "Number two! Number two! Now I want to go home Mommy."

"Are you sure?"

"I want to go home. Please, Mommy."

Minnie studies his face, trying to see if he is telling the truth. She’s convinced. "Well, Detective, number two’s you’re man. Jakey may be retarded, but he is not stupid. If he says that’s the man, then, that’s the man."

She drags Jakey out of the police station. He looks like a buffoon, in a suit too small for his now chubby frame and out-of-style hat. At this moment, a depression comes over him that will always stay with him.

* * *

The DA realizes Jakey will not make a very good witness. His retardation and fear will let the defense lead him too easily and so there is not much of a case. Boris Bodsky is free, and now he knows the crazy retarded Jew is the one who identified him.

After hearing all this from the DA, Minnie must be lifted off the floor. She rubs her hands together continuously. Her terror of Jakey being tracked down as a Jew overwhelms her. She must protect her family like she could not do before the war. "Why is this happening to us here in America? She questions Sam.

"Crime happens everywhere, Minnie." He tries to save her from feeling persecuted, but knows he can’t.

Jakey sits on a wooden stool by the store window drinking hot chocolates and looking out at the same street scene day after day. Minnie keeps her eye on him, making sure he is safe. Sam sells the newspapers, makes the sandwiches and egg cremes, jokes with the customers over the store’s old Formica counter. He acts like nothing is wrong in his life while he sweeps the black and white mosaic tiled floor trying to keep busy and the store clean. Minnie has ceased caring about the place.

Time for the Moskowitz’s passes very slow, but one morning Jakey begins screaming in a high-pitched whine of agony.

"What is it?" Minnie asks. "Did you see the man? Did you see him?"

He can say nothing, but moves his head up and down.

"Which way did he go?" She begins to shake him. "Answer me, which way?"

"He was watching me, Mommy. He looked in my eyes." Again he sees the man through the window. "Look Mommy, look!"

Minnie reaches behind the old cash register for the store’s gun, grabs her coat and runs out the door leaving Sam completely puzzled. She follows all the Nazis, all the fascist pigs, and all her pursuers down in the subway. She is close on Bodsky’s trail when he jumps on a train just as the door closes. He grins at her through the glass door, flashing a gold tooth, adding fuel to her frenzy. Minnie runs the length of the train to an exit, but right before she reaches it, the train door reopens and she quickly get on.

She walks from car to car, looking, searching, and hoping. Her hair is in gray disarray. Looking crazed, she searches, unaware of the real passengers. She thinks they are all going to concentration camps and she must help them all, like she should have done years ago. Cousin Zelda, Uncle Abe, tiny Faga from next door holds on to her mother’s hand; the child’s eyes are hollow sockets. Minnie now has a chance to make up for the guilt she has felt for living.

She recognizes the man’s brown scuffed shoes. He is sitting in the last seat of the last car, holding a newspaper in front of his face. She notices his fingers are stained yellow, and black hairs protrude from each knuckle. Tearing the newspaper from his hands, she meets his eyes. Hateful eyes. She reaches into her pocket, pulls out the pistol and shoots him in the face. Blood and brain fragments fly everywhere, passengers run, scream, and duck for cover. Minnie stands very still, letting the gun fall to the floor.

She doesn’t hear the horrified sounds around her as she walks exhausted through a path of hysterical subway riders. She only knows she has done what she always dreamt of doing. She has saved her friends and family; she has been heroic and this is why God had let her live.

Ron P. Nhim Grateful to the Sun God ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a hot summer day mid-afternoon in the country, the usual summer’s ritual is about to begin. As I sit under the shade observing, I can see the mirages dancing in the far distance field. Bathed in the yellow and gold color, freshly bloom sunflowers are smiling at me and attracting me with their bright vivid colors, calling me to come and play with them under the hot sun. The flat field stretches as far as the eyes can see, acting as both a stage for nature to perform its’ dramas and as the sacred ground for nature to worship on. Above, three hawks are circling the sky higher and higher trying to scan the vast field to catch all the actions. The sun hits twelve o’clock and the show begins. The sunflowers are turning toward to the sun, slowly opening up to receive life-sustaining sustenance. It is feeding time. As the sun slowly moving west, the individual flower is bending slightly down as if it is bowing in respect of the Sun God, slowly and humbly saying thank you and good-bye for another day of feast and worship.
Bitter Sweet ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I saw you kiss him again yesterday. My heart rage with fire and my ocean is in turmoil. The waves are angry and they slam violently against the shore. I should have listened to the fortuneteller who whispered gently in my ears about you. She could read you like a book. I do not need a crystal ball, messenger pigeon, or a grape wine to tell me what you do behind my back; all I have to do is take a breath. I should have listened to my brother when he told me about girls like you. You, your intoxicating personality, and your seductive touch! Why do you have to be so damn beautiful? You do not have to lie. Your twisted explanations, your circles of justifications, your senseless rational, and the sweet moments you try to project are all witchery. I can see through the core. You are a devil in a blue dress. Your promises are all just hanging by a thin thread and you think you can play me like a violent. Well, I ran out of sound to squeal long ago. My heart has turned into stone now, my brain fizzled out, my vision clouded, and my ears fused shut. We may be together, but I already died long ago because of you.
Wilfredo Beltran Zenteno THE LIGHTLESS ONES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (England, 1700's) Back in that ocean of darkness When night held a deeper dimension, A candle gave cottage coherence, A lantern kept gaze at attention. The walls of a hut oozed with shadows, And spiders swung down from their laces In the blackness untempered by flashlights, To scurry across sleeping faces. The wee hours must have seemed witching. The fearful saw demons in corners, Felt eyes of the dead watch from graveyards The homeward procession of mourners. Then, beauty was such a frail flower, For childbirth to quell with its anguish. Teeth loosened, hair whitened - no fixing! Strange fevers caused thousands to languish. God loomed like a judgmental parent Who frowned upon parties and pleasure. As The Way was a test in denial, The Church held out Heaven as treasure. No talk shows enlivened the evenings - Just life unadorned was the issue. Suspense of precarious futures Gave weight to the sad words "I'll miss you!" Keeping noses to neighborhood grindstones, Men herded their sheep and their cattle, Untroubled by globalization Of politics, earthquake or battle. Today's world is raucous and radiant - Overcrowded, and less moralistic Compared to in days of the lightless, But wanting their touch of the mystic. To be back in that ocean of darkness When night held a deeper dimension! I'd love to have spent a week wand'ring A landscape before light's invention.
BANQUET HALL ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each takes his unique serving of this world. The shares of life presented are consumed. And if, beforehand, any might have quarrelled About their portions, thinking them predoomed, The palate warms to decades of bland years Or pungent; through all we crave the cream - Brewed with sweet spices 'mid the tang of fears - That rich and slow decoction of a dream. We linger over passion's demi-tasse, Find bitterness which gags, or choking sorrow Salty as blood from swallowing cut glass ... Until the healing tonic of the morrow. Small comforts and delights round out our bowl: Nourishing fruits in season for the soul.
Mike Estabrook WAY BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A bully stuck a wad of gum in the hair of one of the unpopular kids. All the other kids began jumping around him like monkeys in the zoo laughing pointing making monkey sounds. He was so embarrassed he couldn't find the gum in all his thick curly hair. He looked at me, eyes tearing, please show me please. Oh well, guess the bully will have to get me next, I poke my finger at the gum, here it is. He yanks in one reckless yank and out it comes in a tuft of thick curly hair. Tossing it away he keeps walking as if nothing had happened, fighting the tears back fighting back the tears.
Bare Feet ~~~~~~~~~ A woman in her bare feet can be a beautiful, sexy thing, kicking off her shoes firmly, or simply stepping out of them easily, lightly, self-assured, and sweet, like a butterfly lifting silently from the center of a pretty yellow flower, wafting off into the sky.
BILL TOLD ME TO BUY A COPY OF MUSCLE & FITNESS MAGAZINE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bill's a macho guy I know at work but a real nice guy - polite, considerate - you can see his great big muscles right through his suit. He's on this strict low-fat high-protein high-energy diet has 5 pieces of fruit for lunch along with yogurt & chicken ("I love chicken can eat it every day & never get tired of it") & some disgusting grayish-brown concoction he's whipped-up in the blender: grapes & seeds & bananas cottage cheese with tofu or hummus or something like that God. Anyway now that the doctor's told me I'm due to have a coronary for sure if I don't cut out eating that good old-fashioned American diet loaded down with fats & cholesterol & after he didn't even laugh at the joke I made about it I decided it was time to heed his admonitions. (It was cute actually to see him so angry with me all red in the face - no damnit! you can't continue eating any damn thing you want just because I'm prescribing this anti-cholesterol medicine for you Mike Jesus Christ!) Yes, well, anyway I'm listening to him finally not eating hamburgers & french fries anymore swallowing down my pills 3 times a day & I stopped in to see good old Bill too, to ask him for some dietary hints & any other healthful advice he could impart so he says look buddy go out & buy yourself a copy of Muscle & Fitness Magazine it's a great magazine for this sort of thing the best so buy it & read it so I did I bought a copy that very day the recent September issue for $5.95 over 7,612,000 readers worldwide & I tried to read it I swear I tried Bill but I'm sorry I can't read it I simply can't I mean the photos of the women in there it's as if they've pasted women's heads on men's bodies all that hardness & muscle, all those ugly flat edges & angles & popping blue veins. Jesus.
because of a rash act ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (in memory of Grandma Muriel) I missed seeing my children and my grandchildren growing-up, missed all the pleasures (and pains) that accompany growing-up, that accompany life. Were I able to speak, I mean truly able to speak, from the grave, from beyond the grave, I would say that missing seeing my children and my grandchildren growing-up has been the saddest thing of all about killing myself so long ago when I was so young and stupid and didn't know any better.
fish feeding dream ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In this damn recurring dream - (like a boomerang zipping back at me through the darkness of the night) I have a fish tank an elaborate fish tank. (I don't really, in real life have any fish tanks, when I was a child I did, with guppies and goldfish, black mollies and catfish, but that was another time, long ago.) In my dream it's a big tank, 80 gallons, maybe bigger, with myriad plants and colored rocks and ceramic bubblers and some large beautiful fish, serene fish, floating or swimming fast through the water, angelfish and zebras, neon tetras and sucker-mouths stuck to the sides. But in this dream I keep forgetting to feed them, I don't remember feeding them for weeks, yet miraculously they are all still alive, but droopy and hungry, and I can't find the food and I keep getting distracted and I should go out and buy some more food, I should feed them, I'm trying to feed them, I want to feed them, I must feed them, I am their god, if I don't feed them they will surely perish. But I never get to it, I never get it done. I always wake up with these poor fish unfed.
Daniel Gallik Golden Voice from The Silver Screen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The progenitor of the news, says Offie, I am a crawling king snake and have three bits of earth shattering language to douse you with. Calabash bashing is what we all are about. We do not need to spell to give you our literacy. And three, we are all good looking. This well-paid-to-laver bullshit-upon-you man adds, Most of us haven=92t thought a thought in our short lives. I will never be sad on air. Offie keeps chatting. I am a comp that has an intro. My hair is kinky, geeky perfect always. And I have never had a zit in my life.
Guys Digging A Hole ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I mean, she's a tad self-possessed he wolfed as he downed his scotch and asked for another. She is a woman that is way beyond who I'll ever be. Clyde reacted by patting his pal's knee. He continued, I'm a plain Nick, a man of bad seed, a musc. melodrama. She is an Anglo-strap of cold precision and she doesn't even have a bad thought, except about sex with me. I want her like a man who doesn't want clo thes. Wanna be her pop who gets away with doing ick things to her. But, hell, she knows that, I know, doesn't she? Clyde sucked on his gew-gaw like a chef that really cans forbidden fruit.
Harvesting A Salute To The South ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The laconic woman in a sour mash cough lilted, I am as Nashville as a pair of wingtips. Hell, this guy just don't know me. I danced with him. So fucking what. Her hubby looked like Johnny Cash eating a cob of corn. I heard all about it from Jack. Why do you let the cow shit flow? Be honest and I'll forget the thing. Lin goes, d'owt know if I want ya ta forget the WHOLE thing. Uncle Chuck and his niece lover were coming in the front door. He goes, anything going on here good? No one answered him. Just fed him and his bride. Two doors down a man shot his wife with a 45. No one looked up at anything not strange happening in a world of events. The papers down here in Lex. Ky. didn't even cover it. Kim, the teen, goes, I been to the gilded palace of sin, but never to a pure, straight abode.
James Keane Question ~~~~~~~~ Ever wonder what tiny children, straining yet still, are thinking, unbelieving, as living to quarrel, Mommy and Daddy snarl a throat-cutting welcome to screaming hatred once again, blood eyes reveling in the acrid thunder shaking to death everything of innocence, unbelieving, they'll never wonder
Morning ~~~~~~~ Relieve me of troubling sleep -- but any lost dreams I keep
Spiritual Crisis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Down across. down a- cross: Dear Grandma, the forehead hung low for guarding the soul your thumb brands still relentlessly hides the memory of the one I grew to love, and lost to relentless agony -- and God's will?
In Passing ~~~~~~~~~~ So have you wondered lately Where the turtles we buried Have gone to? I have For some reason. In this timid season Of budding discontent (as memory tries to Skulk away to pettier days, when Concern loomed heavily mainly for my pleasure, my Food and my rent), suddenly I remember: In summer, the couples strolling by cannot know That we ourselves could happen by and not know Where the turtles finally, somewhere, settled in a somber December of coffin brown, cradled by the one stream left to trickle from the season when the park was leafy wet, and we screamed each other down. So, light years away, do you Hanker and sway at all for the sunnier days, shivering to Plinking atop a concrete wall? Or still Consider them -- as you cried out then -- Dead forever! . . . My babies!--? Or did you Bury yourself in the yawning gape of seasons stretching endlessly Relentlessly between us, where others I've known have Settled comfortably in crypts of upholstered poison, Leather and chrome? I hope you haven't decided for yourself to Uncover any last-known graves. If you should Want to, let me save you. Cradle you. Kiss your face again In a warming cup. Wait till green grass or yellow leaves return to discover Love left for buried with the brown and the stream And the turtles. Or Forget I ever dug any of this dead stuff up.
Sharon Esther Lampert THAT KISS ~~~~~~~~~ Fortune teller that I AM, My crystal ball sees ALL. Clairvoyant, the man's libido is flamBOYant. I SEE: ANIMAL MAGNETISM. Inside of THAT KISS will be bliss. Taking chances with amorous glances, He advances... Lips pouting-tongue tied: THAT KISS: SmOOch; smOOch. When he romances: his gait prances, his penis lances, his generosity enhances. VOODOO, or DOO-YOU want dinner, dear?" His heart dances.... Magician that HE IS, He has a loaded deck of cards, And wants to be my bodyguard. Enchantment: a bag of mesmerizing tricks, An ACE up his sleeve, a KING or a JACK Are inside of his top hat of black. Sleight of hand, THAT KISS is grand. WIZARDRY: Pressed into his bosom, I am caught in his embraces, arms Flailing, like a net above my head, His pounding heart is beating red. THAT KISS tells ALL or just enough to keep me Interested in ALL of his stuff. Lips full of feelings, THAT KISS, Soft as rose petals, free of prickly thorns. In the the dark recesses of his mouth, I find my way by the light in his eyes, His smile is real, there is no disguise. Even though we just met, I am caught in the tangled web of A hot-blooded, Israeli-Englishman: "A Jack of All of Love's Trades." A rare mixed-breed, a British accent, Concealing a *Sabra, wherever he went. Tricks of my own trade, I roll up my sleeve, And I become a woman-in-need(?) THAT KISS I can't forget, and with no regret: It is almost 4 a.m., and inside of my gypsy's tent: Sm(OO)ch, sm(OO)ch, We are still one silhouette. ANIMAL MAGNETISM: Sm(OO)ch, sm(OO)ch, Some call it v(OO)d(OO), Most think it witchcraft, Experts refer to it as "osculation." Others call THAT KISS Kabbalah; A kind of Jewish mysticism: Many are in need of exorcism.
EDUCATE NOT ~~~~~~~~~~~ No Time to Teach: In Class, They Give a General Overview. On Tests, They Want Particular Details. No Time to Learn: All By Myself, I Got to Teach Myself a Zillion Facts: I Got No Study Skills, I Got No Tutor, The First Day of School, I Gotta Be Behind. Students Got a Cheat-Sheet: I Use Citations From Books I Got No Time to Read. Teachers Got a Cheat Sheet: They Got No Time to Read IT. They Weigh IT: Looks Beautiful They Grade IT A. Looks Pretty They Grade IT B. Looks OK They Grade IT C. Looks Ugly They Grade IT D. Looks Can Kill They Grade IT F. Quantity Over Quality: Education System is Dumb And is Gonna Get Dumber, Wastes My Good Dime, My Good Mind, And My Good Time. I Survive, I Don't Thrive. Facts Move From Textbook To Blackboard to Notebook. Gotta Get the Facts INSIDE of ME: No Time to Think, No Time to Write an Outline, No Time for Research, No Time to Write a Rough Draft, No Time to Reread, Revise, and Rewrite, No Time to Write a Final Draft, No TIme to Write My Masterpiece. When I Get IT Back, My Work-In-Progress, I Trash IT. I Got No Time for Junk. Teachers Got No Time to Teach. I Got No Time to Learn. No Time to Educate. EDUCATE NOT.
POETREE ~~~~~~~ Ink needs a pen Pen needs paper Paper needs a poem Poem needs a poet Poet needs a muse Muse needs a poet Poet needs divine inspiration Divine Inspiration needs divine intervention Divine Intervention needs divine grace Divine Grace needs immortality Immortality needs eternity Eternity needs readers of POETREE
My Man is passionate and strong, all through the night, I know his emotional, spiritual, and physical being; I feel the breadth and depth of his masculinity. All through the night, My Man holds me tightly in his arms: warm, tender, and cuddly, childlike, always knowing where I am, secure forevermore. My Man's touch lingers, I am sleeping soundly all through the night, still making love with him, in my dreams. I awaken to My Man's soft kisses at dawn, my spirit floating in the morning mist, the promise of love is fulfilled, my heart is murmuring a melody, a sweet new song, all through the Day
Karim Khan Kaimy the Freak ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The cute little cat of Miss Carston was really disciplined until it became the object of interest of the kids next door. At first, Miss Carston overlooked the friskiness of Kaimy as casual. But when Kaimy altered her valuable dinner suit by scratching, Miss Carston tended to see something causal behind the cat"s frankness. And Billy, the housekeeper, was the primary target of her suspicion. "Are you teaching her your skills?" she inquired with a frown. Billy was almost dumbfounded. "Oh no Miss Carston …I …I am not at all in this." Billy was always awkward whenever he had to prove his innocence. And had lost six jobs for this. "You aren’t playing with her?" "By God, no" "Then find out who is," she ordered him, and he knew she meant it. So he found out; he found out that the kids living next door with their pretty, blue-eyed, tomcat aunt played with Kaimy in the noon. He quickly reported it to Miss Carston. "So that’s why she slips out daily after twelve," she said of her cat, with a biting look at the little thing. It uttered a faint "mew" in appeasement with humble eyes. Then the lady asked Billy, "What exactly do they do with her?" "Make fun," he answered with a smile that she instantly killed with a glower. And he went on, "David the ten-year-old lad throws balls for her. Lee, the younger sister, pulls her tail and ears and then runs away from her. And their Aunt Sally gives her rides in baby William’s pram." "And where does this fuss run?" "Across the lane in the park," "Very well then. I am going to see her right off." And she went out stamping. The young lady opened the door, and she saw a stern and petulant Miss Carston with bursting eyes and pressed lips. "Are you Sally, the kids’ aunt?" she asked in answer to her "Hello." "Yes, do I know you?" "You know my cat better," "Excuse me" Sally was both surprised and risible. "This," she thrust her affected dinner suit forward to her, "is the outcome of your acquaintance with my cat." "Oh" Sally was half concern, half ridicule. "I’m sorry. I just know her a little." Miss Carston’s color reddened further. "That’s good for me," she glowered. "In case you knew her well, she may try to have my eyes out for playing." And she threw her suit at her to turn and go back, stamping. Next evening when Miss Carston returned from the parlor, she found Kaimy lying on the couch with an out-of-sorts mien. "Why does she have this frown?" she inquired Billy. "Well I think the kids weren’t allowed to play with her today," he told her. "Miss Sally asked me to keep her home." "Oh that’s better," she exclaimed. Then she went to the cat and caressed her fur with "sweet baby, you okay?" The cat threw at her a contemptuous and hostile glance, and then resumed her look of indifference. "She’ll be all right." Miss Carston struck her cheek lightly. But Kaimy didn’t get all right. Instead she got more and more intolerant. She ate less; she slept less; she obeyed the least; and she made a lot of fuss about everything. This was annoying to Miss Carston. "What’s her point?" she said to Billy. "I think she wants to be on her own," he commented with a philosophical thoughtfulness. "So she’s blackmailing me then." Miss Carston stood up in fury. "I think she’s just trying to express herself a little," Billy explained. "Well I think you are overly expressing her case. Just get yourself to work." "I’ve nothing to do right now." "Then clean the place up," "It’s cleaned up already," "Oh yes." She was red with anger. She picked up the vase from the table and smashed it to pieces on the floor. "You see. Now it’s not clean. Clean it up" And she stamped out. Next morning Kaimy was taken to a pet therapist. He thought Kaimy had an emotional setback and must be made happy. So Miss Carston took her to a recreation park. There was an elderly couple with two cute little kittens. Miss Carston took a seat near them, putting Kaimy’s basket at her feet. The next minute Kaimy was out and before she could be taken back to the basket, she clasped the lady’s ankle in her paws. The lady gave out a shrill shriek. Kaimy was kicked away. "What the hell did you bring this freak here for?" The man yelled in protest. Her wife was moaning beside. "Oh I am so sorry" Miss Carston was embarrassed. "She’s a bit emotionally disturbed, you know." She had left her seat. "Then take her home." "Yes, I think I’ll do that. Sorry again" And she took the puzzled little thing home. She called the therapist. He advised her to let the cat on its own. Though she was reluctant to do it, she let her free for some time. Kaimy went straight out of the window. Miss Carston followed her. The cat went in through the window of the neighbors. Miss Carston peeped in to see what was going on in there. And the scene inside was ecstatic. Kaimy was running around like lightning and the kids chased her, giggling with excitement. Then Sally, the aunt, appeared with a sweet dish. She offered it top Kaimy who devoured it all. Then Sally put her in the pram with baby William. In a minute both were slumbering deep. Miss Carston returned, empty minded. Kaimy didn’t come that night and was seen at ten the next morning. The countenance of the pet was back. An hour later, Miss Carston was sitting with Sally asking her pardon for her former rudeness, and requesting her to take care of Kaimy for a while daily. Sally was generous enough to accept. She had a little piece of advice for Miss Carston. "There is seldom anything more troublesome than barricades against freedom of expression." Sally told her. Miss Carston gave a fake smile in response.
Islands of Illusion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Brume envelops the mote A speck that has a heart That beats to make a song A univocal song not heard But only played and felt Dark covers the circles The circles in the brume All known is in the siege A universe of distrust A hell of smoldering angst A heaven of holy lust Time plays with all It has that reckless mirror Not covered with the brume Lit brightly as a star Known dearly as hope It keeps from prostration To be at stake again To keep the song of albatross Unending and eternal It shows the mote its shadow Forming on the brume Thus creating dust Dust against the haze Light against the dark Life against the death And these islands of illusion Keep floating on the sea of mist Watching the mirror of hope Their savior till redemption
Roger N. Taber ASYLUM ~~~~~~ Love, where the heart is, our history in the making, building better countries Life, with new neighbours, old enmities forsaking; Love, where the heart is On us, the onus of peace, each new dawn breaking, building better countries Our origins, surely, precious embers for the raking; Love, where the heart is Learning to be at ease, same dreams for the taking, building better countries Home, where we choose, (differences equably debating?); Love, where the heart is building better countries
A FEELING FOR THE QUICKNESS OF TIME ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yesterday gone, today soon done, tomorrow already on the run from mindless shadows toying with unkind thoughts, like a child sent to bed early, a lesson to be learned but, instead, filling the head with lies, half lies and few home truths getting a look in, determined to feel hard done by, resolved not to cry (would rather die than let anyone see how much it hurts to be missing TV, denied PC games, nothing to do but call people names ); could read a book but who wants to do that? And they've taken the walkman away too, talk about getting even, pulling rank. Being a kid's a thankless affair, just wait till I'm older, I'll show 'em what's what, high time they learned what life's all about - too short to fuss about being late home, although (fair enough) should have used the mobile to say so - but what the heck? Got home okay eventually, didn't I? (Parents, who'd have 'em?). Ranting and raving at a window, watching the sun die away, listening for voices used to hearing say 'don't, can't shouldn't, mustn't, old enough to know better' - shows they care I suppose, and an early night's not the end of the world in anyone's language even if, like the mantel clock, we're loath to acknowledge a fault, tailoring time's cloth to suit the parts we play; child grown-ups getting a life, demanding a real say in how our stage be set - not 'one day perhaps' but a resounding yes, NOW
LEGENDS OF THE FALL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Creed, tradition, ritual, more, far more than celebrations spiritual Either side of a wall on the site of our pain, creed, tradition, ritual Does God's battle call bring us to decision, celebrations spiritual? To keepers of the wall let knowing fingers turn; creed, tradition, ritual Mosque, cathedral, synagogue; common stone, celebrations spiritual Legends on every wall to our own design; Creed, tradition, ritual, celebrations spiritual
AN INVITATION TO THE FEAST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Easy enough to love, harder, though, to comprehend we are loved in return; Much as the heart's skipping like a lamb makes us laugh, makes us cry, less easy to understand why someone else's the same and we're to blame; No more beautiful desire than love to give life a purpose; small wonder, then-- it can make liars of us, inviting ourselves to a feast of milk and honey; And when it's over? We run for cover, see salvation in another invitation; Sometimes, though, the feast is never done, table never wiped clean; Often, true, no fault of our own but if and when we accept new invitations-- we'll wear reservations on a sleeve, toying with a lover's mind as if it were a napkin, afraid to be left sitting at the table, alone, again, needing to be seen to be strong; But what if we are wrong? Milk and honey not the only fare, our true selves restoring-- Moon in Aries now and then, a rising Sagittarius-- So do we, don't we take a chance on us, trust stars falling, poetry's lasting? Love is as easy as caring, passion fruit freely available for one's having or leaving-- a dream as real, as living, loving, sharing, feasting at the same table; Chance, a fine thing down to me, down to you - but reality, that takes two--
THE POLITICS OF CAIN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Weapons of mass destruction (sexed-up for good measure?); the politics of Cain Death, maiming, division over Earth's darkest treasure, weapons of mass destruction Harvest of arms provision gathered at leisure, the politics of Cain One body of persecution but exchanged for another? Weapons of mass destruction Looting, killing, in desperation and worse yet to weather the politics of Cain Brave, indeed, the politician tugging at its 'special' tether; Weapons of mass destruction, the politics of Cain
THE ALPHABET CAT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A cat sat on the mat by the nursery door but I never saw it move, or heard it purr It was there again at the playground gate as I tried to explain why I was late It was there, too on my first day at the office watching me make tea, load photocopiers It was even there when I took that holiday, met my first love, realised I'm gay It's always there on the same old mat whenever I need helping out I wonder, will I ever see it move, hear it purr, find a cat on the mat at Heaven's door?
SLEEPING DOGS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Love never dies, nor friendship but sometimes both lie sleeping within a heart grown weary, behind eyes brought to weeping for all the things that are not as we would have them and though accepted, understood, forgiven, never quite forgot but left, asleep, in the arms of every dreamer who ever loved or had a friend where love, friendship neither returned in kind, or even part if we include unknowing damage to the heart, ignorance of a crisis of the soul that love nor friendship can impart to a mind open only to its own desires, fires of inspiration, little more than flames of desperation a reaching-out for an ideal, dressing up every opportunity in regalia appropriate to the same, letting us see, spectators by any other name, so we'll appreciate (only too well) what we're up against, we friends, would-be lovers even, left waiting at the gate, knowing it will never open or, if it should, by courtesy of some kind fate, the chances are it will be too late - for rarely will lost friendships and loves, though stirring in quiet hearts every now and then, chance returning to how things were, might, once upon a time, have been
THE QUILT MAKERS' SONG ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life! Let me not hunger for all I cannot be, but suffer me a passion for what's gone before; Let me build cathedrals, flare them high, dedicated to my better selves so they may rest easy in a shade, against crosses made by matchstick men, losses we shall count again when the time comes to account for more than dreams. Life, not all it seems Love! Let me not beg at the roadside, but give freely and let's paint pictures to last centuries, windows stained with all the colours of our lovemaking; Let those who come after us be together in their turn and lift an eye for knowing this; and we shall share each kiss again, again again - we matchstick men. Love, not all our pain Death! Let me not weep for those I have loved; Let there be candles lit in each airy cathedral, saintly with sunshine, ringing out with rain, our seasons come again! Smiles of joy among the tears to mark this, the salvation of our fears, a passing through chance memories, celebration of our years; butterfly wings across a garden. Dead, and who's forgiven?


DeL Corey

To a Newborn

Here I am, nervously holding this one-hour young,
nine-pound boy, face still pink, swaddled in white.

Can you be my grandchild, when just yesterday
I climbed over the cradle wall myself?

Did you enjoy your warm, amniotic swim,
little fish?  And before that, were you busy hiding
the signs of evolution, dissolving wings and tail?

As I swing you in my arms, I can picture you earlier,
sitting on a fence of potential, betting on the sperm race,
to see who would win the great egg prize,
and to see whose genes you would inherit
to wear as hand-me-downs.

Your tiny fingers already have nails too long,
that might be a danger to your face, your eyes.
Did you grow them in the womb, perhaps to scratch
your way out to this wonderful, frightful, world?

And what of God, little person with perfect body?
Did he give you any messages to deliver,
other than the deep pains you gave your mother
when arriving through the portal after hours of torture?
Was that the message?

Oh, big yawn!  Yes, close those sleepy lids.
Well, your hand escaped the covers again.  So tiny,
so many possibilities awaiting those little fingers.

Look, Connor, for that's the name they gave you
for this world, I know I won't be around
when you reach manhood, but that's the way
of this world, you will discover.  Some are born,
but others must die.  My time is almost up.
Time is a cruel enemy.

We are given the gift of life, like a blue-ribboned
package under the Christmas tree.   Your body 
is the package, and inside are your allotted years.
Oh, treat your body with care, young man,
it's not a toy.  Don't succumb to inane excesses
that will tempt you, or as you age your body 
and lungs will torture you.

We are given a limited number of breaths
on this earth, young Connor.  Breathe each one
deeply, and don't waste any.

Put some music in your bones, laughter in your eyes,
and love, always love, in your heart, for love
is the blue ribbon on the gift that created you.

I'll say goodbye for now.
What a joy to hold you, still warm from heaven.

I'll be waiting for you there in a few fast decades,
where eternity awaits.


A New Age: The Centipede Network Of Artists, Poets, & Writers
An Informational Journey Into A Creative Echonet [9310]
(C) CopyRight "I Write, Therefore, I Develop" By Paul Lauda

       Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established 
       just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A 
       place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and 
       learn from all.  A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. 
       Even a chance to be published in a magazine.

       The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. 
       Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such 
       an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon 
       started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin 
       Board Systems.

       We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a
       specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking.
       Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets
       are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a
       writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer
       can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since 
       the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means 
       that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative 
       user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created.

       Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede

  Ygdrasil is committed to making literature available, and uses the
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  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
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  . REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings

  . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken
  . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken
  . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken
  . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken
  . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken
  . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken 
  . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken

  . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp

  . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy
  . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy

  . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena
  . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena
  . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena
  . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena

  . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn

  All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to
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  All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2001 by 
  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.

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