For Whom My Children Grieve

  The blown sand heaps on me, that none may learn Where I am laid for whom my children grieve . . . O wings that beat at dawning, ye return Out of the desert to your young at eve! – Rudyard Kipling –   Karen Knudsen Copenhagen She looks literally dead, Anna thought as…

The Ghostly Cries of Istanbul

She had barely run out the door when her mother cried out to her: “it’s just a plane!” But the girl didn’t hear her, or anything, only the shrill engine of the plane; she saw her mother’s hand reaching out to her, but she turned away and cried: “bombs! Bombs are coming!” “Is this a…

Taking Things Too Syria-ously

      Ernest Hemingway once wrote, clearly embittered after a bad interview with the New Yorker: “If you say nothing it is difficult for someone to get it wrong.” And saying nothing is exactly what we should do – in writing, but not in interviews. I was recently interviewed by the kinkily titled Rum Punch…

Poems From Where We Would Never Tread

  Syrian Butterfly   Butterfly, buffet your wings sea-ward A unicorn on the salted winds, Leave behind the garden wall soaked in gunpowder. Why do you stay, in the bloodied dirt Where bombs make beds out of children? Sweet yellow butterfly, fly, migrate!     Stifling Conceit in Concentration Camp   My mother used to…

Refuge in Beethoven

  Out of that river he made a mirror and asked it about his sorrow. He made rain out of his grief and imitated the clouds. Adunis For an instant he moved his languishing great eyes away from the music sheet to stare into the fingertips of the sun, he noticed his nose tickling him…