CAGED BIRDS SINGING
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8h ago
by Lynn White Songbirds have long been popular among Gaza’s population for their colour and song, but now they’re natural soothers against the thunder of Israel's relentless war [Mohamed Soleimane/Al Jazeera] February 17, 2024 She asked me why the caged birds sang. I couldn’t tell her, not for sure. No mate will arrive this year, just like last year. I wonder if they remember, perhaps they still live in hope.  She asked me if they heard the bombs falling and if they felt fear. I couldn’t tell her,  not for sure. Perhaps peace will arrive this year, unlike last year ..read more
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NAVALNY: IS FREEDOM DEAD IN THE SIBERIAN GULAG?
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2d ago
by Mostofa Sarwar You grew up watching:  Birds open “The Sky Gate” over the river Protva   You, awakened by the dreams of chirping fieldfare and rock pigeon, seagull’s greetings from the Caspian Sea Dimensions, unbounded   Bathing in photons and sucking light’s nectar, the birds whispered to you: Infinite freedom, unshackled   Who knows? Those birds, perhaps, decoded the stars’ cryptic notes and then swam in the love wave of freedom   Near the bank of the Dnieper by the reed forest, perhaps, you played with the sands perhaps, those tiny particles, the r ..read more
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NAVALNY, RAFAH
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2d ago
by dana yost burning cars. gas in the air. navalny dead. someone lights a cigarette. marley’s words. bottle of teeth on the vanity. navalny dead. arctic nights. while we stand aside and look. forgive them? not yet. pick at the meat with your  squirmy fingers. roasted logs by the missouri. fog in daylight, doorways and dust. in rafah women and children are the real poets. Dana Yost was a journalist for 29 years and, still, sometimes, when news happens he can’t help but comment on events as they happen. He wrote the poem in lower case to try, in some way, a mode of protest or a ..read more
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IDENTIFYING CHRIST
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2d ago
by Joy Kreves In his final speech in court before his latest conviction, Navalny quoted the Bible: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” —Yahoo! News, February 16, 2024 No, Donald Trump is not America’s Navalny. —The Washington Post, February 16, 2024 On the one hand a living carcass of a coward who leads the GOP by nose ring   On the other the now dead Navalny who suffered then died for democracy for all   One, belly expanded  with the gaseous stench  of mockery and hatred   The other, thinned frame ..read more
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DISARMCHAIR
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4d ago
by David Rudd-Mitchell AI-generated graphic for The New Verse News by Shutterstock DisArmchair Linguists While body counts are unconfirmed, They view how breaking news is termed. DisArmchair Activists The blood is fresh, And there’s no pause Before the next post  for their cause.  DisArmchair Optimists They hope that soon the war will cease, And this will lead to lasting peace. DisArmchair Hypocrites They hate the hypocrites who stride, To only see the other side, Armchair Apologists Water cut off, city bombed, They say, “It’s how they must respond.” Armchair ..read more
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STREETS OF BOUGAINVILLEA
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6d ago
by Elizabeth Rose Since we started collecting data in 2012, 1,335 defenders across Latin America have lost their lives…. Yet very few families have seen justice for these killings. —Global Witness, September 2023 You must travel where the Indian in a white poncholies dead by the side of the road.           —Naomi Shihab Nye, “Kindness”   I have my own Indian story. Fausto, my friend, was also dead   by the roadside, macheted in a waterless gully.   Stripped naked, hanged, and cut through,   on a Sabbath. His daughters a ..read more
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BOTH SIDES NOW, or THE THREE D’S
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6d ago
by Maria Lisella Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Dec. 16, 2023. (AP via Arab News) "The plumes of smoke from tanks, artillery and the planes of the air force will continue to cover the sky over the Gaza Strip until we will achieve our goals," Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. —NPR, January 21, 2024 Destruction, displacement, death; the toll soars past 28,000 on one side 1,400 on the other; hostages by the hundreds spark nonstop defiant   statements from the father whose tech savvy son posts incend ..read more
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NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS
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1w ago
WEIRD WORLD OF JOY AND PAIN by Mostofa Sarwar AI-generated graphic by Shutterstock I rode the Captain’s Float in Endymion I saw the frolicking crowd I enjoyed the rainbow of merriment undulating its mesmerizing wings, sprinkling its magical potions over the revelers The scintillating curves of human flesh under the thin veneer of fabrics The vile sound of the Second Amendment flashing snippets of life The dead crawling the crowded streets I saw the specter of Paul Verlaine over Saint Charles Avenue He was catching beads Was he happy? He was wearing an MP3 player Was he listen ..read more
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KLAMATH RESURRECTION
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1w ago
by Pepper Trail The Largest Dam Removal Project in U.S. History Begins Final Stretch, Welcoming Salmon Home. After being impeded by dams for more than a century, the Klamath River will be restored to its historic channel this year. —Smithsonian, January 22, 2024. Photo above by Pepper Trail. When the dams rose, the river did not die But lost its body, became spirit Haunting the slackwater depths of the lake Invisible beneath the dull skin of surface For those long years, suspended, adrift It awaited the touch of resurrection The returning salmon, barred behind a locked doo ..read more
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ROWS AND FLOWS
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1w ago
by Joanne De Simone Reynolds     Joni you are glowing in your natural make-up I love you as much as I love Joan Mitchell— Works bursting out of this world   Your verse Flaring   Warning me to prepare to bleed And I have And what you sing about stardust Is oracular and thankfully on track But as far as the garden goes I think you know There’s no going back   (O for the roses Joni!) I’d like to think you’ll be alright with that— The mix constellating   In keeping   Playing out Unceasingly on the stage Of the night sky  ..read more
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