YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

December 2004

VOL XII Issue 12, Number 140

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



   Maria Jacketti
      In Memory of Rady Khella:  A Thanksgiving Story, 2004

   Clifford K. Watkins, Jr.
      Collage of Eyes
      Souls Are Streaming
      A Moment of Happiness
      Moments to Minds to Madness
      Cold Wind's Mockery
      A Hole In The Sky
      The Scene
      Envious Gods
      Venetian Blinds
      The Wilderness

   Roger Taber
      2 (English) Sonnets:
      2 Villanelles:
      2 Kennings:

   Katherine L. Holmes
      Where air conditioning salesmen are seldom heard
      14 karat hummingbird
      After the wiles 
      Blue heron 
      Bustard bird

   Kristi Swadley
      And the Past Shall Seek You Out
      Born Again Somebody
      Good To Be Known 


   David Sparenberg


Maria Jacketti

In Memory of Rady Khella:  A Thanksgiving Story, 2004

     Today it my turn to write, although this writing feels more like a  
primal scream.   If screaming would do any good, I would scream.  
Perhaps if we all screamed together, someone might listen..

    When I was a newspaper intern in the early 1980's, I wrote 
obituaries.  I hated writing them, and time has only deepened that 
feeling.  Yet, this obituary I must write.  I must write it before I do 
the dishes, clean up after my family and pets, or answer my current 
students' very important writing.   If I do not write this I will either 
implode or explode - I'm not sure which.   It is not every day that
writing can mean life or death, yet today I see very clearly that I 
became a writer to keep my sanity in a world that has lost its center, 
a world in which things fall apart, and entropy rules whenever and 
wherever given a chance to take hold. 

    Let me tell you about when I first met Rady Khella.  It was the 
summer of 1996, and I was just beginning to work as a composition 
coordinator of Saint Peter's College's EOF program.  (Economic 
Opportunity Fund.)  Rady was a happy and talkative young Egyptian man; 
he sat next to his sister, Mariam, another new student in the program, 
who was a little older.  I think that Rady was about seventeen.  They 
siblings were very close in age - and in spirit.

      Students in the summer program had much to get used to: college!  
And I was the captain of this  boot camp, constantly putting on my stern 
teacher's face, as I shushed and hushed the group, trying to get them 
to focus.  The future would depend upon what happened now: the future, 
the distant future, that theoretical destination, golden and 
all-healing, an aloe for all the insults of the past.  Now I am sure 
that I talked about the future too much. I yapped about the imaginary.  
I droned and harped. Some of the young men told me that they had no 
futures.  They said that in Jersey City they might make it to 
twenty-five. With all my talk about optimism and the future, lustrous 
careers and well-earned paychecks, I sounded like I was from another 
planet.  Clearly, they responded, I hadn't grown up in Jersey City.

     They were right.  I grew up in a small city in Pennsylvania. And 
while it was loaded with poverty, it did not preclude escape. From this 
moment on, I will talk much more about this present moment, and how we 
must act in the now.


    After the summer session, I would see Rady and Mariam for freshmen 
composition, two semesters more.  Since freshmen are such wildflowers, I 
kept pressing my face into that serious grimace that spelled 
displeasure.  Clearly, in order to do my job, I could not always be 
nice, at least not sugary nice.  Statistics told us that a good number 
of students would drop out before completing their freshmen year - and 
then there would be those lucky others: the survivors. Now I wonder if 
even I can define that term - survivor. How hollow the boundaries of 
that word, how relative. Define love, define peace, define success.  Go 
beyond the dictionary.  Use your own words.   The undisciplined freshmen 
often pushed me into my red zone.   I wanted them to do better, work 
harder, so  I pushed myself to push them into areas where they did not 
believe they could go because they were either poor or not affluently 
peach-colored.  While some students liked me, others clearly thought I 
was a bitch.   I, too was trying to survive that first year and the new 
population of students I was facing, consisting of the urban poor and 
new immigrants.

    Somewhere in the middle of their freshmen year, students began to  
write things that showed glimmers of wonder.  I encouraged several of 
them to submit their essays for competition in the annual freshmen 
writing contest, a very big deal.  I encouraged Rady to submit a little 
parable he wrote about a father, son, and a journey through the desert.  
The flavor of the essay was biblical and very Middle Eastern. It also 
had a mythic sweep. Define heaven.  Define hell. I entreated my class. 
Rady answered, "Hell is this Earth."  He was thinking about the 
suffering he had witnessed in Egypt. This kid has depth, I said to 
myself.  He has gifts.  I did not know that he was also a prophet. The 
contest would be terribly competitive, and all of my students were 
considered "at risk" and "sheltered."  Thus, I took a low key approach 
to the process.  I simply wanted us to show a presence, to declare, 
"This class exists, too."  We are here.

    To my delight, Rady won second prize in the competition, beating out 
students in the honors sections of composition.  We would never be 
underestimated again.  He, his family, and I were invited to the annual 
Michaelmas (Mass of Saint Michael the Archangel) banquet so that Rady 
could receive public honor for his writing.  It was really difficult for 
me to put on that stern face, at least with Rady, anymore.  He had begun 
to blossom.  The school honored him and his essay.   He stood, at last, 
among the stars.

    In the years to come, his sister ended up in my classes more often 
than Rady did.   When she suffered from a debilitating hip and leg 
condition that forced her into a wheelchair for some time, Rady often 
wheeled - or carried her to class.  When the E.S.L. program expanded, 
and we finally had a lab of our own, Rady would stop by to say hello and 
ask me if I needed anything.  For a time, I employed him as a peer 
tutor, and when funds dried up, he continued to work in the center, 
helping his peers, without payment.  He had become a really a good 
student.  Beyond that, he was a good person.

    In 2002, my work at Saint Peter's College ended - it was time for me 
to move on.  I moved to another college right down the street from 
Saint Peter's, Hudson County Community College, and in fact, I lost 
touch with many of the people I had known during more than decade at the 
Jesuit college.  Life is like that.  Postmodern life, that is.  People 
lose touch.  And then sometimes the touch returns, as a bitter slap..

    Two days ago, in writing lab, at HCCC, another Egyptian student,  
Remon,  emailed me a copy of an article from The Jersey Journal: it was 
about Rady.  They worked together as taxi drivers and had me as a 
teacher, in common, I guess.  But what was this that I was reading?  A 
young man, a graduate of Saint Peter's College, a pre-med student, 25 
year old Rady  Khella had taken a bullet to the head when he was robbed 
on Route 440 in Jersey City on Thanksgiving morning!  This had to be 
another Rady Khella.  Maybe Rady was a common Egyptian name. But then 
the student who emailed me the article showed me his picture.  It was my 
Rady, our Rady, Saint Peter's Rady, Rady who was actually going on to be 
a physician, Rady who had just lost his father two months earlier, Rady, 
Mariam's brother, Rady, the essay writer, Rady, the young man whom I had 
watch growing over a period of some six years.

    Today in class a young woman named Damaris told me that she had 
heard bullet.  The murder happened in front of her house. It was early 
Thanksgiving morning, around 2:30 am,  and she had just returned home 
from her second job.  She was preparing the turkey when she heard the 
blast  and rushed to the window.  The taxi door was open, she said, as 
if he had been trying to flee.  Rady  was on the sidewalk, bleeding, the 
wound to his head fully visible.  Rady had been robbed and then shot, 
assassination style.  Christ.  The turkey proved inedible.

    I sometimes joke that I have taught most of Jersey City or half of 
Hudson County at one time or another. I suppose that I taught hundreds, 
maybe a couple of thousand students. In a large community, that makes me 
just another teacher who has managed to work somewhat steadily. Yet, I 
realize now, more than before, how we are all connected. Terrible 
covenants, the stuff that holds communities together, are being broken. 
Fear begets silence, and indeed silence is begetting more fear and

    Today cab drivers in Journal Square stopped work, asking for 
protection.  While this is a wise call, I wonder how such protection 
might be achieved.  Cabs that were running, early this  afternoon 
displayed Rady's graduation photo from Saint Peter's.  In the photo,  he 
is giving the camera, and his audience "thumbs up."   Next to the photo, 
his fellow cabbies have written "Justice for Rady."  Class, define 

    Last week, another assassination type murder took place about five 
blocks away from my apartment in Bayonne, in front of a fruit market 
where I sometimes shop.  A student in another section of composition, 
Erick, told our class that he heard the shot from his home, down the 
street from mine.  It's a small world after all. A week before that 
gruesome music rocked the supposedly calm city of Bayonne, which borders 
Jersey City, another popular young man in Jersey City was robbed at a 
fried chicken spot - and then shot to death.   Recently the noble and 
well-protected candidates for the U.S. presidency debated many issues; 
however,  they both neglected to address to the wars, the very real 
wars, going on right outside our doors.  My friends, it is probably
safer to join the army and fight in Fallujah than to navigate Jersey 
City on a daily basis.


     In one of the most relevant films of our time, Grand Canyon, a 
piece about urban violence, serendipity and miracles, a black man named 
Simon, played by  Danny Glover, saves the life of an affluent white 
lawyer whose car breaks down in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong 
time. He is the angel-like tow-truck driver who shows up just before the 
end is about to happen for the lawyer. (In the background, we hear the 
ominously ironic  rock hymn, "Send lawyers, guns, and money.")  Quickly 
assessing the situation, and without pause, Simon negotiates with the 
head  of a group of gang bangers, asking for what he calls  a favor, to 
spare the lawyer's life.  The warlord is well-armed, while Simon has 
only his sense of intention.  He knows what is right - and what is 
wrong. Like a true hero, he acts without thought for his personal 
safety.  He is "the salt of the Earth."  While both men at this point 
could have been killed, Simon pulls off the miracle, saving the 
stranger's life.   The movie continues to evolve, showing the 
development of a wondrous friendship between two men of different races 
and classes.  Together they effect small, positive change and place a 
Bandaid on the hemorrhage that is urban violence.  Finally, they visit 
Grand Canyon together, along with their families, staring wide-eyed at 
the handiwork of millions of years of nature.   It is only their 
connection as human beings with this grandeur that makes sense.

    I wish that Rady could have an angel that night.  A Simon.   A 
somebody with incredible persuasive powers. And while I tend to see 
Grand Canyon as a realistic film, and a great film, perhaps it is just a 
fairy tale.   As a teacher, I have read too many essays about murder, 
and no one has been writing fiction.  I am weary of all this daily 
slaughter, the blood-stained sidewalks, and the numbness that many 
demonstrate when they hear about just another murder, as if there could 
ever be any such thing.

      The former Catholic nun, Karen Armstrong, in her amazing work of 
scholarship, A History of God, writes best in her conclusion, her 
summary of the collective human search for the divine.  She warns us to 
avoid blind fundamentalism and closed mindedness.  One can not afford 
becoming one issue people or bigots. She warns us to see beyond the 
external trappings of skin, ethnicity, and of course, religion.  She 
tells us that the Earth, herself, that Mother we call Nature has been 
terribly wounded; she reminds us that we are suffering as participants 
in this murder.  Any good Hindu knows that she is talking about karma.  
As we sow, we are reaping -- but we are also reaping the collective 
deeds of others. We are denizens of a sick ecology. Written pre- 9-11, 
Karen Armstrong tells us, "We face a future that is unimaginable."

    Terribly bad karma has been made in the case of Rady Khella.  While 
we weep for Rady, the Earth herself feels this wound, this loss of a 
healer-to-be.  Let us hope that justice, whatever that might be, can 
ease this outrageous pain and balance this outrageous karma.  This 
community is bleeding.  Consider this my scream, Dear Rady.

Clifford K. Watkins, Jr.
Collage of Eyes

we're useless without a shot at bliss
paltry organs oozing from clinched fists
wet lips puckered with no one to kiss
but why is death so easy to resist
I'm afraid there's nothing more than this
religion and madness
hold your ground
we'll all ride
god is on our side
one word makes it okay to destroy
and unfurl
the two biggest monsters in the world
christianity and the unconscious mind
divinity and dollars for the blind
a collage of eyes
something to find
who'll honor them
reminded of what's behind
it's all mine
a fiery collage of eyes
my reflection on the river's rise
a single flower 
clandestine mind
to follow
or crawl so blind
despite ourselves we forge on
creatures burrow into abstraction
free from judgmental eyes
inside we harbor a plethora of lies
we're useless swells
nonmalignant tumors
the best we can hope for
maybe a sense of humor

Souls Are Streaming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm alive I'm dead the world is in my head I'm an angel I'm a demon somewhere souls are streaming so surreal I can't feel make it real again It's getting harder to pretend the misery is why I'd rather fly we breed suffer and die believers in our own lies clinging to life hurling obsidian knives we escape reality and transcend the sky
A Moment of Happiness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a moment of happiness the fiery rush of anger what does it mean a towering erection to service our genes a haven for germs one day soon eaten by worms the insane babble living among the rabble listen for ideas will spill only wanting to feel anything but humiliation humanity a coming of beings to no certain destination I'm a god I'm a fiend I could be anything I'm sincere I'm perverse a mere dreg of the universe
Moments to Minds to Madness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ got my shoulders don't need wings a morsel of knowledge is all I bring so senseless so blind so ethereal so divine these thoughts embody all that's mine an existence so lost in mind searching for something that I'll never find tears descend from inclement eyes we're trifling and skies never clear clinging to shards of life hardly residing here reflections on calm waters distorted by skipping rocks racing the clock another heart stops the functions of feeling thoughts reel ideas are spilling to think an invitation to sink unknown moments to minds to madness a world abandoned full blown
Cold Wind's Mockery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ our thirst grows empty with the planted seed as we tailored for indifference bleed a stranger caught in rusty water's reflection captivated by hollow-sun recollections caught in the midst of stolen intention the sin of stolen beauty how we are all betrayed meager faces fall in disarray a stranger lurks in the mirror searching direction be content with imperfection crayon blackness the darkness everyone fears close your eyes until it's real a stranger is breathing near memories empty whispers spill invitation to alcohol and pills thoughts scatter in chimney debris only wanting solace oblivion is free shotgun the killer still chases me cold wind's mockery mocking ideal seeds eyes open as similar clouds abound angels mock our actions and corpses fill the ground
Alone ~~~~~ alone with my friend considerable time taking anything to derange the mind a look behind barrier walls where a phone rings but no one ever calls maybe I'm a perverse thought corrupting crystal perfection or merely a fool without direction an animal just like the rest counterfeit at best I ramble on pen tries to coagulate lit a cigarette opened a window the smoke escaped shake a pen until it bleeds abandoned cellar once served its need preserves to shelter mouths to feed the plentiful garden envies the virgin seed the ink begins to wane pinch myself hello pain an excuse to feel enter the mind's valley where nothing's polished and no one is real I see a vase of plastic flowers floating in the blood of another shower falling to depths unknown by average cowards alive as waters rise confusion is still awaken before night empties or waters spill
A Hole In The Sky ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ welcome to this world we enter the race of brilliant colors and pollution's swirl we forge toward an accomplished mind soon polished and no later refined but still eaten away as all man kind a hole in the sky is a corpse in the ground there's no escape reality sends us cascading down dear lord of divine dominion end this madness and let us dregs unravel into sweet oblivion
The Scene ~~~~~~~~~ the scene crooked shadows misery strings life behind windows envious of wings mildew paints faces in the hall open gates lives fall porch lies rotten in our memory shed soon forgotten pictures in an album branches on a tree imagine lives forever green film projector we decorate the screen awake smile at the ceiling gasping for air but still breathing conscious but shaken unaware of the scheme the dream was shaping numb thoughts surrender whispers spill unable to remember
Envious Gods ~~~~~~~~~~~~ waves crash on foreign shores blood fills the ship and the ocean floor swallowed by salty water can you see my face close your eyes try harder we're meager puppets hand tailored engulfed by night eaten by the sailor mystical sea of lost souls and deep violence forever clandestine beneath languid water and mute silence
Venetian Blinds ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's never relevant the mouth is an arid cotton desert breathing thru lungs of black mined coal torching the mind excavating a soul a rapid fire of happy hearts where wisdom falters and destiny embarks on a ceremony where life flickers in simple sparks following the streets cursing a mockery of dreams the last gasp of a fiend clasping a crucifix wallowing in the obscene like a serpent in a cavern below waiting to be uncovered and exposed hearts flutter bodies contract in electric motions of silvery-green heat lightning startling yet enlightening
The Wilderness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ the wilderness is a portrait of realness a lost world eternally captured in stillness coal black eyes burn in salty surprise god is a fleeting memory heaven a soft chorus eyes squinting fixated in the worried womb of the bleeding forest kill the poor and feed the florists she ponders in a plethora of fiery carcinogens legs open ready for sin chasing her lost horizon are we infinity horizons saturated in radiant hues reveal true divinity dance in the acid rain faith and dances dying and chanting in obscene ritual pain I'll pinch a smidgen of religion a torpid legion minds asunder coveting separate regions wallowing maniacally bathing in the acid rain it always ends the same
Roger Taber 2 (English) Sonnets: ON THE ART OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There's a reality that's but a dream, kept within life's quickly turning pages; though an amateur fiction it may seem, therein a wisdom worthy of sages The lonely man, woman, finds a loved-one to share life's adventures, emerging heroes; Failures succeed beyond expectation; The poor live out their lives in TV shows Some selves we show the inquisitive world, others people close to us may perceive; Though of a mind to stay true to falsehood, no kinder heart, intention to deceive=E2=80=A6 Half the world living on expectation, the rest surviving imagination
POPPIES FOR FEARS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In two world wars, and conflicts since, they died for love of country, freedom and their own; Shells, mortars, bullets and bombs they defied so we may reap the rewards they have sown Let's remember those who never came back, sitting comfortably watching TV; Somme, Dunkirk, Korea, Falklands, Iraq, so much for the lessons of history=E2=80=A6 The wounded, too, deserve our thanks and pride; some forgotten, left but to fade away in pain, loneliness, no one at their side as fought with them so bravely, won the day Poppies for remembrance, prayers, shedding tears and - world peace to put an end to our fears?
2 Villanelles: LAMENT FOR A GRASSHOPPER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once I heard a grasshopper sing, heard the dawn chorus... where, now, trucks thundering I have heard bluebells ring sweet sounds of silence; Once, I heard a grasshopper sing I saw a stream, twisting, turning, haunted by otters... where, now, trucks thundering I have watched birds mating in leafy trees; Once, I heard a grasshopper sing There used to be a graceful flying of kingfishers... where, now, trucks thundering Needs must, called 'progress' through the centuries; Once, I heard a grasshopper sing where, now, trucks thundering
TRIUMPHANT VOICES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Through terror strike fear into the heart, we shall persevere Listen, and we can hear a pop song start... though terror strike fear Here, there, everywhere, lives torn apart; we shall persevere Listen, young voices clear; we play our part... though terror strike fear Pity the poor slaves to war losing out; We shall persevere No matter the arms dealer politicking clout; Though terror strike fear, we shall persevere
2 Kennings: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Poets have strived to catch me; But how to capture a lark's song bursting on the ear with mere simile, metaphor, rhyme=E2=80=A6 or convey a rousing waltz in time to the rhythm of a spring breeze playing for the coming again of all things bright and beautiful, all creatures, great and small? Painters have strived to catch me; But how to capture the blue of a sky on a summer's day, or its hues of red and gold at the sun's setting on a glorious reawakening to the beauty of life, for all its ups and downs, treasures lost and found, hopes dashed, sure to be recovered if only we look long and hard? Musicians claim to have caught me in an embrace of song whose beauty must surely equal the sweet lay of a nightingale at the closing of a day seen all that's best in Man and Beast, the worst forgotten, let fade away like blood stains in a weeping sky spelling out the names of those among us sure to die Dearer by far than all we own=20 is Love's setting, not its stone
THE TIME KEEPER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Keeper of my time since the day I first saw you, a beauty to the eye more splendid than royalty, riding a white unicorn among pastures green and gently rolling hills, Child of Avalon, Queen of Hearts, carried on wings and a prayer like wildly flowing hair among chariots of fire Keeper of my time since the day I first heard you sing, such songs to make heaven ring out with such hopes of spring, joys that only long summer days can bring, dreams that autumn cannot fulfil nor winter kill, whatever God may have in mind for us, free to choose Keeper of my time since the day I first followed you into a storm, shared the violence of a passion equal to death's own, nor less a rage to live than stirs in me, envious of rider-unicorn, a place in eternity - riding, rearing or simply left to graze, my Lady of the Hours Keeper of our tides in history, the sea, the sea=E2=80=A6
Katherine L. Holmes Where air conditioning salesmen are seldom heard ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ over summernight fantasied and shortlived a frost of alyssum spirea is snowing and the sun is on icicles of honeysuckle above scattered skids of dusty miller new drifts of grass are over four inches high surpassing the ankles but soft and glistening before a machine chuffs from its chimney a ground cover of vivid flakefalls lungful of fresh air the tree bronchiae after winter trail green gaspings while infrequent white bleeding hearts sweep angel wings in the chancels of yards the gardeners are absent as Jack Frost in the husky-eye blue the cloud toboggans slow down I push off socks of woolly hot inside shower after sweaters of swelter
14 karat hummingbird ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ready to sit and shimmer she watches him in a luxurious gust buds and rubies overlapped itís a Christmas kind of occasion her subdued He zooms large and near he zaps himself small and far. Under neon waterfalls girls go out downtown nights. By daylight his taillights flash from lane to parallelogram radiant imbrications. Shopping she ponders whatís keeping them apart. Time is a jewel-studded ticking when a hummingbird finangles artful sun tangles dangling in filigree. Decided as the lover thrumming to an over-scheduled date and a charged diamond somersaulting out of a small shadowy casket. Just so two speed-freaks return to split-seconds the honey and the homey oh-so-slow letdowns.
After the wiles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Near the stonecoast, ready or not, the wind puts the pedestrian mind on horseback, is as unseen divagations of thought wafting off from awareness, becomes soundful and susurrant as traffic people in their twenties hear in uptown cafes along with abridgements at mealtimes and midnight. So much so that the day the wind withdraws its wiles and wiles, the air near the greatlakeshoreline seems awestruck as though an opinion is being asked of a northwinded washed-in seafarer. This is kindred to the day a blizzard calls off everyone else's work in preparation for sculptures silky as cold cocoons and friezes high as dressing screens. This is a state of sky the breezes have mediated to achieve, bathbillowy the effect of multi-pastel windows at night though the house was low-rent and rundown by day. You could hear a bird drop, connoisseur os skyscapes, tacit today at this tranquil lampblobe glaming where the sole flickering approaches home and a cultivated liking for aloneness after the windy rilings of relationship. This accomplished moratorium makes a stillness not so much apart as of about to be.
Blue heron ~~~~~~~~~~ blue heron on the island circumference of a garage where the settler this side of the bay squatted duck hunting a circle traced around him the naiad-mystic ripples humming from the cool cauldron one heron one rock one cloth of moss one pine one boat one man one duck one wild onion one heron one leg one fish one water one a lookout raised his moated self on a man's shrinking buoy boundaries area of an office area of a sunroom of a stilty fir sinking in marsh silt and the lagoon waves fishscale lustrous where we sisters paddle with seaweed-somnolent arms lake-brisked eyes canoe-logging along to see the heron the remembered closely from the spindle the blue heron whirs spins adrift cloud of sky camouflage
Bustard bird ~~~~~~~~~~~~ What an old man he is retro-bachelor and forgetful and bristly benign he scrapes for brawny coins from his self-conscious homespun pocket mumbling about what heís read the phantom bustard bird whiskered and sought-after the ostrich of European hinterlands he sticks his brown head in his own business (a female bent on his boring plaid) heíll strut heíll pivot he'll bow he'll peer so few of his type around now delving for the little he still has that rustic round crystal moment when he beams and seems to be full of it the bustard bird is reversible his inside tweedy thoughts sprout out like hoarfrost guaranteeing collars and cuffs to the last lands he will earmark and wool-line his engendering for the long-lidded awed discoveress who knows itís his place not hers
Kristi Swadley And the Past Shall Seek You Out ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ once upon a time in a land far, far away I sang myself to sleep each night braver in the dark more sure of my voice recently, I had taken to sleeping with a light on not afraid of the dark, mind you but something else… once upon a time in a land far, far away I wanted this present back in the past as the future was a safe distance ahead my mind outstretched like arms to embrace how I had it planned I was positive it would be better... once upon time in a land far, far away I was given to inexplicable sobbing verging on hysterics my mother's lap wet with unanswerable questions how strange that I think of these things that present now past and the future seemingly bright I thought I had left that behind... once upon a time in a land far, far away I was 15, 18, 20 -- anything but 27 I remember those years as past lives it is difficult to fathom them in the not-too-distant past for surely I was not that creature which saw for the first time death as a permanent fixture through eyes welling with tears I realised the future can be bleak if the past is any indication surely the tears threatening the present are not the same... not everything i say has to make sense or have a name for that matter i judged myself too harshly by you you never said a word i know i said enough to fill your silences didn't know you had not said anything did you? not to worry no big deal it wasn't your fault honestly it's not you it's me good thing you don't know who you are else you would read this and think me dangerous
Born Again Somebody ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ skin swells shiny and tight pulsing pushing flesh rips wetly emergence of bone sinew quickly covered by new hide hair, eyes, nails, lips any and all protrusions extremities dimples innies and outies touch and taste expulsion of old body through new canal bears little resemblance to what came before: transformation complete.
John Allen Solitude ~~~~~~~~ dolls and pictures swear quietly at my distant memory. clock strikes coupled with the ambiguity of an empty room, absence writes a draft for me, a note of withered leaves, a kiss of arsenic lipstick. like everyone else alone, i chase the grasping truant. probably playing hooky in some idea, or perhaps a misbegotten word, spoken in invariably false pride. where could he be? that dilated schoolboy instituted into shallow verbs lost in the loneliness of the summer air.
Rehabilitation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ if you're quiet, you can see the chatter of chipped green wall paint you can hear the dumb replies of cheap mattresses to tears borne from broken corneas swimming in acidic canals. weathered folds in skin like snapped tan leather speak numbingly in sombre tones and suede inflections through shaking pockets of air the deaf ring of faint hearts rebelling against worn rib cages echoing in restless dreams of failed contrition and homeless yearnings for a clear headed love. mute protests from sweating pores slick treatises written in oozing drops to the day
Good To Be Known ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your words shred the nighttime like clipping shafts of light or airborne sun scissors. I grasped faintly at the locks trembling and hued with dark for the pieces of my spliced shadow. And with a desperate dive worthy of a bow legged swimmer, found the absence of what was.


David Sparenberg


This poem
should never be written.
Wretched are these words.
And the light of day should not
reach in but
blot them out.
It is a trail of blood.
It is history.
And the revisionsim of lies.
This poem is a reflection,
a moment of isolation
in the desolation of
Generations and
races perish
under the wet
smude of witnessing ink.
Children might be heard
Bodies might be felt
All that is agony and
convulses and whimpers.
But this poem is a
It is conscience.
Because rebellion
remembers, defies
indifference, challenges
indolence and acquiescence to
mass murder,


I warned you when this
broke into the heart of darkness and
ruptured silence, your silence.
I warned you then
to distrust the intention
of that which should never
have been.
But still it caught you,
when you thought there was
nobody looking and
you glanced
in the direction of the blood of
protest -- and wondered
(how the wind, cold,
makes the flesh
and the body shivers)
there are even,
or ever again,
on this hell of earth,
enough tears
to forgive us all.

But this poem, this
mouth like
aching gall and
vinegar sops,
bitter as death, which,
like the Christ who is
naked and
nailed to injustice,
in spite of hatred.
And pleads
not to be forgotten.
For this,
which should never be,
cannot be still,
will not
shut up. It is,
no, it is
like salvation.
And salvation
leave or save or
leave this
place of thorns and screams
until you too
are saved
and gathered, with the innocent,
into the harvest
of forgiveness.

This poem,
this poem,
this poem...
It should not be listened to,
no, for I tell you,
with all of the
pain hurting here, about the heart,
it will find your heart
and wound you, cruelly.
For blood
will have blood!
For God's sake.
The mothers.
The fathers.
The sisters and
the brothers.

The children.

26 November 2004


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
  Internet as the main distribution channel. On the Net you can find all
  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
  Ygdrasil on the Internet at: 

    * WEB: http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken/ 

    * FTP: ftp://ftp.synapse.net/~kgerken/

    * USENET: releases announced in rec.arts.poems, alt.zines,
              alt.centipede, alt.ygdrasil, alt.ygdrasil.film

    * EMAIL: send email to kgerken@synapse.net and tell us what version 
         and method you'd like. We have two versions, an uncompressed 
         7-bit universal ASCII and an 8-bit MS-DOS lineart-enchanced 
         version.  These can be sent plaintext, uuencoded, or as a 


  . 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
  the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press.
  YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an
  issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM
  or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.


  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 - 2004 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.  No other 
  version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. 
  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


    * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text
    submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its
    contents: kgerken@synapse.net

    * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything
    that's not plain ASCII text (ie. archives, GIFs, wordprocessored
    files, etc) in any standard DOS, Mac or Unix format, commentary on
    Ygdrasil's format, distribution, usability and access:

    We'd love to hear from you!
    Or mailed with a self addressed stamped envelope, to: