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Admiration is the cousin of envy,
as I learned long ago in Austria.
I knew a girl from a village in the Tirol.
I don’t remember her face,
Except for the placid smile
on her berry red lips.
She was not beautiful, but pretty
in a Mägdlein sort of way,
"smelling of crushed daisies and sweat".
But her long, butter-yellow hair,
seemed to have fallen from the sun.
She wore a black, Dirndl vest
that hugged her torso, a white blouse,
and a long. striped, pink skirt.
Even her legs were beautiful,
With tiny, blonde hairs that glistened.
I wished I could be like her:
Simple-seeming, unaware, unquestioning.
I watched her stand on a rocky ledge,
On a little mound like a pedestal
That overlooked an green-blue alpine valley.
She was a poem or an imagined girl
From a fairy tale or an ad for Priumula.
She was  a goddess escaped
from the the netherworld
of dairy barns and milking cows.
I thought that she might never return
there from her lofty peak at the world..
But another girl stood beside her.
A spartan sort with round glasses
And a face like a Pug dog.
She seemed to stand guard,
In a sexless, violent way,
Threatening those who might approach.
I fantasized about pushing her off the cliff,
Just to rid us of her presence.
The altitude was spinning my thoughts,
Wondering what would happen
To this Hummel Fräulein someday.
Would she follow the other youth to Vienna,
Smoke and drink espresso in a café,
Or come back to her alpine home
And milk goats while her children played?
The next day, as if still drugged,
I strolled across the bridge to Germany
And the river path to Freilassing.
There I bought a new, blue blouse
With a heart shaped neck
And brown, corduroy slacks.
It was the best I could do then
And Dirndls were not cheap.
So I spent the summer
As an ersatz Austrian,
No longer an American with jeans.
My freedom was almost euphoric,
Including dodging classes
About Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill,
Die Dreigroschenoper,
Those overrated poseurs!
(Except for Mack the Knife.)
I even attended Mass at various cathedrals,
just to hear Mozart or Schubert dance
up in the arches with cherubs,
or in front of ancient, colored glass
in the gloom of medieval stone.
I accepted that The Tyrolean Girl
And her antique, sunlit style
Were as inaccessible as
Gentian and columbine, mist-shrouded
on high peaks wrapped in clouds.
I once ran to see some up close
And nearly passed out.
But knowing that, I felt their charm
Had descended from the heights
To entice us in the valleys,
With pink striped cloth, gold hair
And amethyst flowers.
They flee past us like time,
Swift as the rivers in Spring.
20 Cents
The guy gave the war concern 20 cents
This was enough to buy ten bullets
Which would **** ten enemy soldiers
If fired accurately by a good soldier
He'd give more if he could afford it
But he was jobless and skint
20 cents was all he could afford
Bread and coffee cost money
Even if cheaper thru the VA
His benefits were little not enough
So he just gave 20 cents
To the war collection team
When they knocked on his door
It brought back memories
Vietnam and Central America
Plus other deniable places
Still alive in his head
He didn't like Russians
So 20 cents was fine
The cost of ten bullets
For a competent soldier
He prayed they wouldn't miss
Once he was a soldier
With many good kills
All of them Russians...
Elymaïs Mar 4
When we have disappeared from this land,
Who is it that will miss us more?

The city streets who will rot without our hand,
Or the mountains, unbothered as before?
A M Ryder Dec 2021
The first step is
Radical honesty
With ourselves

We don't intervene
We invade

That's not
"Collateral damage"
Those are
The corpses
Of children
And their parents

Ours is not defense
Ours is war
Frenchie Sep 2021
Is it really that black and white?
To choose a side,
is it red or blue?
Whats true for me,
or whats "best" for you?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Burned to dust in California.
Drowned to death in Lousiana.
Blown away in the Central states.

We are left with heartbreak,
                    and rage....

We reap what we sow,
isnt that what they say?
Is this why Violets lie in my wake?

So where have all the flowers gone?
Raise your eyes and see,
count our stars.

Love is free.
Violets are a symbol of peace.
One day I sat alone drinking a pint,
My a mhuirnin arriving this mornin'
I said I'd greet her and then spend the day
Stroll'an' watch all the ships come to harbor

Her ship was due in from Dublin today,
She'd gone home for to bury her father,
And though she loved him she weren't feelin' grey,
He'd left her mom alone at the alter,

So there I sat, her ship taking its time,
A little red lark sung above me,
And then it landed, much to my surprise,
On my shoulder just ever so gently

I didn't move I just marveled in place,
The small clever lark sung on my shoulder,
And then from tweets to words slowly I heard
My dear love's voice come out of the small bird

My dear I don't have time
To ask how you are
God gave me but only a moment
To say I love you and don't waste your time
My ship won't ever make it to harbor.

I didnt know just quite what I should say
I was feeling a mix of emotions
I had no reason to doubt this small bird
But if so then my heart surely'd be broke,

My dear I can see you
Can't quite understand
I've died and I've gone on to heaven
In time you'll see
I've done all that I can
And have found yourself a new a mhuirnin

Then back to songs that bird's beak did return,
I couldn't help but shaking and bawling,
But as it flew off It left me a plume,
And I still keep that feather right on me.

In time I found love again,
Calling my name,
And boy did he say it so sweetly,
But every morning I still hear her song
My little red lark singing above me.
a mhuirnin - My dear love

This poem was written as lyrics to the Irish traditional song "Little Red Lark" from the perspective of an American-Irish person.
Hussein Dekmak Apr 2021
In the midst of the rise of Asian bullying during the COVID 19 pandemic,
Let us show them our sympathy.
Advocate against Asian hate.
Stand with their cause.
Give them warm greetings.
Treat them with more kindness and humanity.

Hussein Dekmak
Edited 2
Winnalynn Wood Mar 2021
Scrapping by without a lending hand
The rent raised, they’d never understand

Streets to wander with hearts heavy laden
A carefree spirit, hopes to have made it

While piles stack up with unpaid bills
They wish for freedom, to run to a hill

Without the trivialities and endless payments
To be well-off enough, not even famous

Toiling work and nights unslept
A bucket of savings slowly kept

And the climb and perseverance away from being poor
Gained them the freedom out of the door

Of sleepless nights and unfed stomachs
Their pitiful despair gave way to a plummet
All the forgotten lawns, and far apart, and monsters in the darks.
The cross country farms, some kids are playing on.
Thus, our liberation falls, a soldier dies, a family cries.
See dropping blood! Oh Hallelujah! Oh Jesus Christ!
All waters are iced, and the bread smells of rot. And ghosts knocking at the door, right? For its the wicked king's payments time!
Katerina Canyon Mar 2021
Truth is where I found you

In the cusp high over ultraviolet waves

Between your time as a slave and mine

Fighting off the results of *******.



You were a woman who accepted no

Excuses for the lack of rights

For our mothers and daughters,

Demanded more for those who followed.



I am a woman who accepts that most

White men are fixed on one idea

As to how the world should be,

And it is on me to change their minds



Through words, or actions, but never

Through guns or swords, white bonnet

Wrapped on my head as I push

Away racial insults and profanity.



You never forgot to say who a woman

Could be, what a Black woman could do

When we eschewed weakness and misogyny.

No one helped you. You just carved the trail.



No one helps me either. That’s what I learned

It means to be a Black woman.

To be strong, to plough, to plant, to raise barns.

That’s what you did. I do that metaphorically.



Now, I raise children, plough through journals

With my pen. I always remember to never

Pin my tongue for fear of other’s thoughts

This is the way you walked.



I try to get my half measure full,

But I think it is a little less

Difficult for me as it was

For you. Thank you for the

Quarter you earned.



It took us a long way, but

Today, the world is still

Turned upside down

And we are working

Hand by hand to



Flip it

Right side up
This poem is an excerpt from Katerina Canyon's new poetry book Surviving Home. Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse. It will be released in December 2021, published by Kelsay Books.
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