Avde Jabučice Street, Sarajevo

Cement-rendered socialist housing block,
closer in hue to a tombstone
than that pretty peachy pink shade it once was,
back when Yugoslavia existed.
Disfigured by the 90s,
the building’s front wears shrapnel impact,
etched into its smooth corpse-coloured facade,
like …

Saigon Sampan Child

you know I was there
when your father died
the VC death
and you know I left
before your arrival
in this Alexandria salon
where you cut my hair

you tell me of your latest
conversations with Buddha
long letters 

Two Poems by P.G. Simpkins

Where the Pines Grow

If bayonets dismantle flesh
O, what’s the point in ranks?
The dead watch hell through
heaven`s mesh in resurrected tanks.

O, what’s behind this Buddha`s door?
Is peace awash with mines?
We’ll die like silk to …

After Gettysburg

Based on a letter written in July 1863 by Wilbur Fisk of the Vermont Brigade

With Wilbur, scouting in the wood
When Gettysburg was two weeks through;
A cabin in a clearing stood,
We crept up for a closer view.…

Field Notes from Dunkirk

And the clouds are refusing
to stay steady, they keep

getting pulled like a string
off the precipice of the page.

Shots of words and phrases
like these young men’s fears

falling out after
an anchor’s rasp.

Inarticulate fingers and …

NeverWar

You get to the picture of the baby, hurting.  He’s inconsolable, he’s existing straight through the worst of it the way kiddos do.

But you aren’t one, so you start to walk into the horror:
A baby, skin burning from

Two Poems by Gerard Sarnat

 

Day Of Awe Let Them Eat Cake Saint Elsewhere Kickstart At-One-Ment

Pre-dawn Yom Kippur before most coffee shops are open, tanked up
on Starbucks’ organic pouch of plums plus a primo cup of caffeine
but not mingling much among …

Medal Winner

Accept him afterwards,
wedged upright on a sofa,
tunneling the sunset:
nights aren’t night enough.
Why this is so you will
not fully understand;

he can’t explain himself:
Look how hot, bleeding
turmoil’s been transfused
by cooler, kinder stuff
and

Gemology

              “You sad sacks will become rocks!”
a Drill Instructor, Basic Training

Speak, Diamond.
Does a stone cry?
Do tears of dust
mar this white eye?

And does stone seek
some vain excuse
to prove abrasion’s
brilliant use,

so suffering
may …