A Writer Writes

    Fall, 1995

Today I was in love
I bought blood red berries
Pomegranates torn open
Dried herbs tied in bundles
Eggs in glass jars.

All around me the city breathed
Centuries of mourning
Born against the weight of the sky

The carved stone of doorways
Armenian apses
Layers of language on markers of the dead
Sculptured turrets of thick walled arsenals
And tiers of icons enshrined in light

Today I was in love and the city breathed
Bouquets of burnt-orange lamps sputtered
Priests swung censers through Moldavian cathedrals
Edifices arched
Not buildings at all
But monuments to fortitude
Like the faces of people

           — Eugenia Hepworth Jenson (Ukraine 1995–97)


no test to see
if the great ideal
fit the differences
in our lives,
trying to measure change
by words or miles,
by how deep a footprint remained
or how many people
remembered a name.

private thoughts angled
differently in the darkness:
deep damp grass
in a serious shell of nightfall.
the scattered points of my life
woven into
a quick new pattern,
watching the last lights
go out below
and leaving
     before we knew
     much more than midnight
     and two walks though the woods.

           — Steve Horowitz (Iran 1968–71)