(alphabetical order)



Ned Balbo:


Snow in Baghdad


                               January 11, 2008






The snow so rare that people call it “rain,”


wet flakes touch earth and pavement, ruins and wreckage,


the muezzins’ call to prayer, the morning’s music,


calmer, quieter. Five years of war,


and, now, this peace: unasked for, temporary,


Americans in desert camouflage


stationed conspicuously, brushing snow


from shoulders, guns, while snowball fights ensue


among the young: the sound of Arabic,


English in softer tones, spatter of white


on impact, laughter as the traffic slows,


checkpoints and concrete walls disguised, erased,


and one old resident exclaims in wonder,


“In all my life I’ve never seen such rain.”





Mia Barkan Clarke:



These familiar cobblestone
and narrow pathways
echo the songs of yesteryear.
I never needed a map
to know where I was going.
Air filled with espresso, basil, and baking breads
scented my tempted tongue.
These streets where
Michelangelo and Leonardo walked,
I walked and mused about
how life might have been
if I had lived here when they did.
My European pink-clothed body
with legs bronzed an olive brown
and hair golden-rayed and sun-painted,
I felt so good
without worry.
without question.

It was déja vu
the first week I visited you,
a sense of being before,
time and time again,
each for just seconds
but for seven days
over and over,
dizzying my senses.

Some call it La Sindrome di Stendhal.
I say it was a past life,
I, an Italian Jewess
before the Nazis
took me,
stripped me,
forced me into the cattle cars,
into the smoke-filled chambers,
into the flames and up the chimneys,
I waiting for the sons of Jabotinsky
to rescue me
to take me back
to my first home.

But not this time,
the odyssey of return,
not this time . . .

You cast a spell,
intoxicated me
with your baroque beauty
and the stirrings of memory
and dreams of times and places past.






From Tea with Nana (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009)





Sally Crabtree:




  You are a roofless house





You are a roofless house


The stars have tumbled into you


    Where do they end


     And where do you begin ?



Is it you


Or is it stars who sing ?





I heard your  song


And asked you if you’d dance


You took me in your arms


 and waltzed 


And we were  dizzy with those stars


 that tumbled in



Where do they end


And where do we begin ?






you leant forwards and whispered to me


“ Stars – they never end




You and I


Will always


Begin .”









Jack Foley:








(after Daniel G. Hoffman)




Not even Dr. Blanche could tell


and poor Nerval would not confess:


instead of making bouillabaisse


he tied a ribbon to my shell.


(He did it for the sake of art.)




Alas! How could the bourgeoisie


have understood the sea or me:


they sent him packing to Montmartre!


And I,--the concierge was chosen


to serve me up as lobster stew:


while I turned red, Nerval turned blue.




Dead, dead as a fish and flesh quick-frozen,


they found him hanging presently--


le bon Gérard, unmindful of


the calefaction of my love


among the secrets of the sea.





Michael Palma: 




The Generations of Men






Dropped in a world that others planned,


My fathers’ fathers worked the land.




They drove their plowshares into stones


And learned their lessons with their bones.




They saw that priest and magistrate


Were names for thief and hypocrite.




They saw that when they filled the ground


A hundred others would be found




To fight for scraps from those who ruled.


They lived refusing to be fooled.




And, knowing everything they knew,


They did what they were made to do.




Raised in a land a world apart,


I sat in classrooms of the heart




Where life was sanctified and whole


And weighed the worth of every soul,




Where right will and the righteous arm


Would keep the powerless from harm.




Wrapped in the spirit of the place,


I walked out with an open face,




And saw that priest and magistrate


Were names for thief and hypocrite....




I learn my fathers’ lessons now.


I take my place behind the plow.





Peter Thabit Jones:







Winter, for you is blue;

And the cottages, too, are denim sky.


Why do you bring such cold to our eyes?

Why bring us the purest colour

That’s morning new ?


Even snow

( ‘The leprosy of nature’ –

According to you),

Is a blemished flooring

Powdered with blue.


All is as stark as graveyard view;

The blue outside a shadow.


It’s ice in our lives, sharp and true;

The splinter of death that grey time knew




This is the other side of A FIELD OF POPPIES;

Your summer scene of a tranquil France,

With its rash of redness daubing the grass

And your strolling family captured lovingly.

This is another season;

The broken mind’s darkness,

The winter settling in the head,

The heart’s bone of blue.

This is when Camille, your wife and model, was dead

And you were bankrupt

(Selling your paintings to pay your dues)




They say you planted your easel

In the frozen river,

To achieve an effect such as this,

A canvas that chills where human grief grew.


Later you talked of painting

That which is ‘impossible to do’;

You who loved colour,

‘My day-long obsessions, joy and torment’.

And your lily ponds of Giverny come to mind;

Those floating flowers of clustered snow,

Those impressive blurs of crusty white,

In the mirroring calm water of your garden;

Those last paintings as cold as this hardened blue.


Lewis Turco:





The maize is shin high


         behind the fences


                  of the village by the lake,





and in the blue haze


         above the mouth of the river


                  seagulls call in the sun,




climb and fall


         where waters meet waters


                  and fish lie over the ledge






Poètes Francophones




Aicha Skandrani:


Philosophie d’amour


La vie passe mais rien ne se tasse

Mon cœur t'a aimé et t'a réclamé

Sa colère a voulu t'achever

Et puis il s'est calmé 

Mais il ne t'a pas oublié


Oublier le temps de ce mouvement

Oublier cette peur d'aimer

Pardonner pour oublier

Sans oublier combien j'ai pu t'aimer



Sans raison, sans façon

Tu as fait battre mon cœur

Mais étais ce pour ce battre ?


Un sentiment sans mouvement

Juste un mouvement de sentiments


Le temps passe, on grandit on vieillit

Et j’écris sur ma peau la parole de mon cœur

Tu veux lire ? Apprend l'écriture de mes rides



M’as tu volé des années ?

Non tu ne m'as rien volé du tout

Tu n'as tout simplement pas su me regarder

Mais mon cœur a voulu te garder

Comme dans une prison il s'est enfermé

Mais il est temps de le libérer

Pour qu'il retrouve sa liberté


Pour réapprendre à aimer ! 

Vers l'infini

d'une nouvelle philosophie de vie...


le 17 décembre 2010