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Poetry 2 Spring 2022

Tribute to Charles Simic
     by Vern Fein

When my Father left for war,
Mother gave me a wooden Tommy-Gun.
WW II crashed to a close.  
Skeletal bodies liberated at Auschwitz.
Hoop Jr. won the Derby.

I leaped behind chairs, killed the enemy,
hoped to bring my Father home.
Audie Murphy awarded the Medal of Honor.
McArthur returned to the Philippines.
Liz stole hearts in National Velvet.

The radio our shrine,
bending our ears in hope.
Hitler married Eva,
suicide for a honeymoon.
VE Day.

My younger brother was born,
almost died in the hospital.
The US seized Iwo Jima.
Army captured college football.
Folic acid discovered in leafy greens.

News of my Dad coming home.
Dancing in the streets.
Steinbeck, Cannery Row,
Wright, Black Boy.
Lucky Strike Hit Parade.

Enola Gay and Boxcar drop the A-bombs.
VJ ends that theater.
Dad returns, kisses Mom a lot.
The Tommy-Gun left on a shelf.
Grand Rapids, first fluoridated water.

Dad and I glued to the radio.
Tigers whip Cubs in World Series,
creates celebration in 2016.
B-52 crashes into Empire State Bldg.,
forecasts 911.

We move into the middle-class,
a washing machine and Oldsmobile.
Wars continue.
I am 79 today.
Bio:  A retired special education teacher, Vern Fein has published over two hundred poems on over eighty sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven's Review, Nine Muses, Monterey Poetry Review, and Green Silk Journal. Recently his first book of poetry--I WAS YOUNG AND THOUGHT IT WOULD CHANGE--was published by Cyberwit Press. 


   by Robert Nisbet


“This is our new reporter, Maddie-Jo.”

Left school, moved down from a Midlands city,

passed ‘A’ levels and looking for something new.


First job on her own, first week on the paper.

They sent her fifteen miles to Fishguard church,

a service and a tea for Christian Aid.

In her days of Midlands-city multi-faith,

she’d heard of Jesus, but much of this was new,

stained glass on a sunny morning,

the hint of glory in the colours, and then

the sonorousness lapping around her,

the benign banality of afterwards,

the cups of tea and chocolate biscuits,

a sort of amiable unction.


Back in the office, her purple finger nails

rattled across the keyboard, recording it all

for her readers.


Next week, a six-mile journey, Milford Haven.

A festival on the water front. She learned

in presentations at the new marina

of fishing and fishermen and fishing widows,

of shoals of herring swept into nets, waves

roaring up, of deaths by drowning. She felt

the seeping smell of sea and dock, heard  

the clink of the little craft at anchor.


Later the purple nails went back to work,

as she described, recorded, learned, learned, learned.



Bio:  Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who lives about 30 miles down the coast from Dylan Thomas's Boathouse. His work has been published widely in both Britain and the USA, where he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (four times) and for a Best of the Net award.