XVI:2 June,  2001

A Journal for Linking Poets   


Debra W. Bender

Marjorie Buettner

Tom Clausen
Nancy Kline (PA.)

Connie Donleycott
Alice Frampton

Ferris Gilli 
Peggy Willis Lyles
Juanito Escareal

Cindy Guentherman
David. L. Bachelor

Betty Kaplan
Izak Bouwer

Marlene Mountain 
Carlos Colón 

David Rice 
Cherie Hunter Day

Alexis K. Rotella
Carlos Colón

A Symbiotic Connection
Eiko Yachimoto 

d. Jericho Schmoeker
Schmoeker Jericho d.

Diarium 20: Tanka 146-159 1943-1945 Netherlands East Indies; The Philippines 
April, 1944-5

Sir Sidney and The Philosopher's Response
Hugh Bygott

Jacques Verhoeven
Silva Ley


(*I give that you may give)
Debra W. Bender

Marjorie Buettner

on the way to our meeting
an orchid tree had blossomed
one bloom I've twined in my hair
for you to undo

floating above the pine trees
a full flowered winter moon
whispers its secrets to me
so petal-restless 

no longer able to sleep
I have risen before dawn
to hear a wood dove's mourning
alone...all alone 

and in the sleep of the night
when the world seems motionless
some distant longing follows
dark waters flowing 

somewhere beyond the stillness
you've wakened to find me gone
traveling through this white mist
as one in a dream 

steam from the frozen river
rises to the winter sun
will we ever meet again
or was it a dream

my wordless sighs fall muted
in the folds of my pillow
should I spill out the feathers
they would tell your name 

the rustle of these silk sheets
uncovered in the warm flight
of our necessary love
du ut des* 

when the time came for parting
could I help that our thighs touched
tangled where you first entered
my ink-dark chamber 

come, unlatch the garden gate
to follow me once again
down dew-washed lavender paths
never to turn back

completed 2-19-01


Tom Clausen
Nancy Kline (PA.)

snow squall -
through the gusting
honking of geese 

en route from church to car
poinsettia freezes 

skating in line
to "The Saints Come Marching In"
good cheer all around 

homemade dandelion wine
gift for Mother's Day 

spring brook
indistinguishable voices

in a classmate's memory
a hemlock seedling 

sacred rock
with bamboo flute and dance
she calls her power animal 

pitching coach at the mound
then slowly back to the dugout

on birch bark canoe
before their final voyage
they paint two hearts 

slippery when wet
they hold hands on the bridge 

at school for the deaf
no applause 

every one of his pencils
without an eraser 

by the August moon
the lump in his throat 

empty orioles nest
on the sidewalk 

on his wheel
the potter shapes
the clay 

who i am now
sitting alone in the garden

for each patient
in the hospice
one daffodil 

our cat soundly asleep
beneath the feeder 

with little flourishes
leaves falling as she walks
down the road 

swimming in the castle moat
trumpeter swans 

more spongy
than she had hoped for
the angel food cake 

knee deep in mud 

the crowd in awe...
backflips the full length
of the field 

caught in a spider web
an inchworm 

with my son...
walking past the house
where he was conceived 

to say her rosary
she kneels at the virgin's shrine 

in the circle...
he begins to feel something
for her 

to the underground colony
worker termites carry lethal bait 

moonlit tubes
all feed into the lauchpad
eerily quiet 

October camping trip
the toothpaste forgotten 

in their wash basin
his shaving brush 

face to face
his totem poles 

house of mirrors
distorted reflections

the clouds move through
stillness on the water 

one white iris...
first robin sings 

spending the day
listening to music 


Connie Donleycott
Alice Frampton

all wet
two friends
in a frog pond

long distance
more than a dollar

punctuated with

summer vacation:
almost lost without my keys
and grammar check

with our words

she reads to me
I put my glasses on
to listen

across the border
duty free

birthday presents
off season

at the mirror
plucking hairs
from my age

August morning
everything gray until
my shadow meets me

60s music
my free spirit revived

high school English class
brown eyes studying
brown eyes

first Earth Day
tying green bands around
our arms

on a roll
recycled toilet paper

autumn sunrise
fills the hillside
with glistening webs

early frost -
white-tipped pine trees
on the artist s canvas

wood shed -
last cord stacked

intense heat -
the fast-food wrapper black
with crows

beneath the moonlight
we gather
night crawlers

caught by my hook
an editor

a small bird
carefully captured
in her camera's lens

empty nest -
supporting branches remain

the broken string
follows balloon skyward

Remembrance Day -
bursting with red the dying
maple leaves

forecasted chill
we bundle up

delivering newspapers
on a treeless street

today s headlines
catch the attention
of the squatting pup

sudden shower -
smelling of hay we roll in
the last bale

descending from the loft
clouds of dust

swirling flakes settle
on Christmas rooftops
in the snow globe

on marketplace shelves
goblins and santas

all the stars on view tonight

frozen twilight
I stumble upon
my icy reflection

winter blast -
leaning into the cold I grab
a corsage of roses

we celebrate
our linked passage

during the storm
we teach our children
how to waltz

Start date: 8/02/2000
Finish date: 9/11/2000


Ferris Gilli 
Peggy Willis Lyles
Juanito Escareal

shared garden
neighbors fill a scarecrow
with new straw 

fragrant clusters
of bronze grapes

from the balcony
a freckled girl
points at the moon

before the boss arrives
I sharpen every pencil

and long matches
on the list

the chess champ
wears a plaid sweater 

sudden stops
on the village road
for shaggy highland sheep 

clank of a small bell
inside the low croft fence 

an urgent message
in the voice mail
to rendezvous 

tasting of pickles
our elevator kiss

let down
by the wallet photo
of another woman 

exotic dancer
takes off the curly wig

by moonlight
a shed's outline is soft
with the first snow 

the baby's smile
warms the freezing night 

a pop-up book
open to W
for wiggle worm 

my Sixties toaster
back in style 

doo-wop music
at the dance party
pear blossoms

songbirds break the silence
around a poet's grave

they comb the beach
for little treasures
to adorn a lacquered box 

iridescent beetle
in the broken web

high school quarterback
seeing his sweetheart
off to college 

that French guy's phone number
tucked in her lecture notes 

on the top deck
of a bateau-mouche

a believer's prayer mat
placed in oasis shade 

on the gift-shop desk
a gothic sign offers
used crystal balls 

I slide the last coin
into a gum machine

with a texturing gun
he sprays joint compound
on the scarred wall

through ancient pines
a barren strip carved by loggers 

half moon
above the paper mill
the fumes

protesters and supporters
exchanging insults in the fog

for the mayor's house
a trick-or-treat policeman
polishes his badge

an aquarium koi
snatches kibble bits 

widening ripples
in the City Center's fountain
where a pebble fell 

pollen dusts a knapsack
left on the spiral stairs 

by a cumulus cloud
the magnolia's blush 

a space shuttle lifts off
in bright wind


David. L. Bachelor
Cindy Guentherman

greet second wife
last night dreamed of first
time deepens
grass's hue

in soft glow
of old ornaments
and memories
she opens crisp new boxes
beneath the tree

dying green mantis
moves slower
midday sunlight
cold wind rustles
dry leaves

down the block
a blur of red jacket
and some child's laugh
punctuates the grays
of sky

old man
watching cold rain
remembers his aching back
the load of newspapers
the smell of wet wool

just like yesterday
small yellow slickers
and zippered boots
march through incense
to the altar


Betty Kaplan
Izak Bouwer

snowmelt - 
on path to the barn
a lost mitten

farm hand dawdles
by the lilac hedge

in high heels
and black mesh stockings - 
she walks her block

network of veins displayed
on the damselfly's wings

fireworks galore - 
but ah!
a full moon

the gypsy's crystal ball . . .
my future unfolds

a glint of quartz
on the cliff -
shadows below

 "meow" "meow"
new kittens under the porch

he lifts her
across the threshold -
the curve of her cheek

chocolate soufflé
rising in the oven

island volcano -
hot lava streams
into the sea

her treasure box -
sand dollar and a star fish

hunter's moon -
the bum rattles
a garbage can lid

colored leaves
cover the compost heap

quiet voices -
children by grave
of pet canary

incense and chants
from the pagoda

christmas tree lot -
by scent of pine

icicles ring
the ski lodge roof

the milliner weaves
a wreath of blossoms
for her bridal veil

parting the curtains:
spring morning

date started: 26jan01
date completed: 05mar01


Marlene Mountain 
Carlos Colón 

home from the garden i've forgotten the garden haiku

daylight old john deere coughs into life

3 hard drives 3 logic boards 3 memory chips 3 french hens

guano-covered another fragment from a dead sea scroll

still deep in jail  dr kervorkian in bad health without a way to go

stifling summer this cool bus with poems among the ads


bell choir sharp flick of the student's wrist a second too late

latest trick in the bag the ceo apologizes

popping on the moonlit lake last bubbles of a whistleblower

'but i've always seemed to see the sad side of things'*1

on the road again not taken blue eyes crying in the grain*2

a cold front the loanshark's new used car business

all those phone solicitors on the other side of the busy signal

weaned from nature the red curtains closed

butterfly ballot right vote for the wrong candidate

ms chad for president pregnant at that

third anniversary pawn shop owner tries on your wedding ring

frozen ground fan mail from a male i don't know


though still out of luck a missing green sock in plain sight

ebay auction dryer-lint elvis

 third snow just enough to remind anyone i know that kigo

 me in that santa suit your wish whispered into my ear

 all day a shooter testifies on 'court tv' no voice in the house

at her hip blue steel and a baby

many of my troubles diminish in light of the world at large

 'will the real millennium please stand up?'*3

whether we date or not it might be improper to put it in words

etiquette lesson pea balanced on a knife blade

paralyzed by two 'corporapetions' she settles out of court

built-in wheelchair kitten without a pelvis*4


weatherwoman's long black hair does it match her wings?*5

guess i'll go somewhere maybe the dentist thursday

last one leaving california won't even have to turn off the lights

did it rain on his parade the illegal sheriff in dc

high noon the shadows retreating behind the horse trough

on the horizon a figure unlikely to fade into the sunset

notes: *1 willie nelson; *2 apologies to willie & robert frost; *3 bud collyer of 'to tell the truth'; *4 abc news 1/12/01; *5 sds-weatherwoman susan stern (1943-1976)

August 19, 2000 - January 27, 2001



David Rice 
Cherie Hunter Day

high tide
wind pushes the water
further into the marsh
that urge returns
to inhale the whole world

no longer adrift
in amniotic fluid
the fetus turns
I feel his feet fluttering
among the stars

the only sound my breath
slow and steady
as if I'm being breathed
by a bigger lung

these thoughts
fly around the confines
of my mind
interior birds
have such radiant plumage

antennae of the world
we use our six senses
to explore
unable to understand
these ripe discoveries

tabulations done
much smaller than expected
the human genome
breathe through me again
the beauty of this sapphire sea


Alexis K. Rotella
Carlos Colón

A Christmas tree skirt worn to the dance

Mistletoe the distance between our lips

A whiff from his thermos . . . jasmine tea

High-rise rafter bread crumbs

Count Dracula moves into the mansion next door

Footprint blood drop footprint


Hemophiliac AIDS baby the nurse's face drawn

A rainbow bursts from the garden hose

Golf course lake light spring rain dimples the moon

The old astronaut sitting on a bench

Butterfly ballot our next president still cocooned

Shaped like a ferry boat Aunt Matlida

Even my family no match for Ann Landers'

His cigar in my beef stroganoff

Rising from quicksand the hat the head of Indiana Jones

Drag racing two cops

One handcuff on Lucy the other on Ethel

UFO ornament gone


Each year fewer and fewer Christmas cards

The house cat too has cabin fever

Gone with the wind silk pajamas

Empty Raisinet box shrill whistle

Grapevine strangling the newly planted cypress

Clouds gathered at the gossip fence

Handing in my resignation while dressed in hot pink

Pardons why not one for Sacco & Vanzetti?

Baked Alaska our inauguration day dessert


Beady eyed leader this year of the snake

Snifter of brandy a calendar page curling in the fire

She died on her way to buy tulips

Friends in the newspaper two obits & one indictment

Her lover puts her on "hold"

Clutch of pennies for the movie matinee

Dog asleep yet howling

Giving up the radio for Lent two days early

 For my dying father lilies

October 5, 2000 - March 2, 2001


A Symbiotic Connection
Eiko Yachimoto 


every way I turn
mountains laugh 

through falling petals
the last ALBATROSS

conflicts and changes
woven with the immutable
the Danube flows 

a moon out of
quality paper

must be cold
must be itching and
longing to see people* 

purple color reaching black
the depth of the grapes 

*This verse is about Hekigotoh Kawahigashi, Shiki's young follower, in  quarantine.


d. Jericho Schmoeker
Schmoeker Jericho david

Forsythia explodes
outside my window
spring refusing to whisper 

Grey nudging green into play
the breath of God, laughing

rediscovering apples
cute girls with great biceps
gathering stones

moss-covered heart
a song just beneath the skin 

fixed symphony of moon-colored whispers
my wicked attempt
to harvest her thighs 

wheat gnashed to meal, gladly
her fingers caressing diabolical dreams 

grist mills of old flames
cold water splashing turns the wheel
pedaling too hard too fast i freeze

gravity and grace
knees heal; hearts too 

barefoot, this pebbled path of my heart
a child caught in play
love’s tender bruises warn, yet entice 

coffee beans ground to potent dust
her hip against mine; a saccharine ache

coffee the flavor of kindergarten
crayon-scented innocence, just outside the lines
drowning herself in ice cream soup 

stirring the tea to read the leaves
wanting answers

dandelion heads like miniature moons
pick me and blow
i disappear, seeding elsewhere 

scattered wasteland, a desert heart
tulips give way to lizards, flitting

a desert sun
soaked to the bone
marrow melting, blissfully 

windswept candles
tallow drips its voiceless farewell 

lily white
her throat against my wrist
clover bursts methodically 

love gushing unexpectedly
my belly against her back

spring thaw
sweetness of sheets
sun-dried beneath her 

indulging a fondness for tomatoes
ripe @ last 

to the mountain and back
white lace and streaked windows
the booming voice of God

tracks of tears swiped clean
wadded pockets stuffed with tissue 

cold hands in warm parkas
forgotten 20’s
crumpled, but welcome

torch songs beneath mink fringe dances
too cold for sequins 

glad christenings, sweet opiums
wine-ripened passwords
her speakeasy sighs

fillings of gold hiding holes
the ache of love’s decay 

pens gliding these gilded memoirs
mariachi easters, fabrage’ eggs too
precious to touch

endele! endele!
cute girls scout strong boys 

gentle moon, my breast in her hand
pale hips wrists thighs shouldering life
in cashmere 

bright lights, gingham roots
erasing shame with lipstick

dropping tired dreams like leaves
‘mongst prayer-saturated wood and stone
kiss marks for a King 

dissembling these makeshift shrines
Elvis lives, and so do I 

crayon renditions, a magnet menagerie
what to hold up, versus
what to hold 

bandits in bandaids, easy to spy
misplaced kemo sabes, 
hopefully at standby 

waking in a field of white
daisies tickle away
the call for silver bullets 

on a spring breeze
God nods a yes, no need for

3/15 - 4/28


LOST THOUGHTS OF WAR RETURN: A DIARY OF THE MIND Diarium 20: Tanka 146-159 1943-1945 Netherlands East Indies; The Philippines April, 1944-5
Sir Sidney 
Hugh Bygott

After long separation from his wife during the war, the angry remark was often heard, "he got his Dear John Letter"-- the bland comment that the soldier's wife was divorcing him. During wartime, when couples are separated for long periods of time, the frequency of divorces naturally increases in contrast to couples living together. Our battalion existed for three years, thirty months of which we served in combat thousands of miles from home. As time went by, several men received their "Dear John," one resulting in suicide and others in depression. Since we served under extremely dangerous, and mentally debilitating, conditions the virulent reactions of friends of the rejected men was to be expected, since to say that they we were considerably unhappy was a vast underestimate of our feelings – how patient and accepting can men be who existed under such conditions for months or years? Intermingled with the everpresent danger, long months of boredom would drag on slowly, wretched day after day, reflecting the famous quotation: "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day...." But how many of us accepted that the same number of days also crept by slowly for the wives waiting patiently at home hoping to receive the long delayed letter, grimy with foxhole mud? And who amongst us considered the fears and crushing loneliness of the wife waiting, hoping there would not be a telegram reporting her husband's death? War has many unfortunate consequences, not the least of which is the loss of loved ones even when there was no death. Moreover, the fact that the men were also frequently unfaithful, was almost never considered. A typically unconsidered cause of the divorces, naturally, was our inability to communicate easily with our wives. Letters could take a month or more to reach home, depending on where we were (in combat or on a ship racing to another island). Perhaps if there were easy means of communication, the number of divorces might have diminished.

Tanka 146

Bishop survived much,
escaped without injury,
but his luck ran out –
for his dear John letter came
and bullets ended his pain


Tanka 147

we all despised her
malevolent impatience ~
she should have waited
to mail her disastrous news ~
we hoped his death caused her pain


Tanka 148

should we blame those wives ~
what made them turn unfaithful
was it mere weakness?
but are we not also weak
blame may not be the answer

Bishop was a calmer soldier than most of us, perhaps because he was older (we considered those in their late twenties as old), and always had a serious, even sullen, expression. When we were loading an LST (Landing Ship Tank) for our trip to the Philippines, he almost ran with the crates he had hefted to his shoulders, and returned quickly for another load. This was most atypical, not only for a GI, but because we were in the tropics, where the temperature hovered around 100 degrees, and the humidity was always high. We were always drenched with sweat, and had to shoo off the sweat bees, which did not merely hover about - they landed on our skin to sip the sweat. When they didn't shoo off, they were killed, leaving a pasty residue on our skin. Bishop rushed past me on one of his trips from inside the LST to get another crate from the beach, and muttered some crack like, "why don't you move it?" Typically, a crack like that was a potential invitation to fight. But, I hadn't had one of those confrontations for a while, and Bishop was not a belligerent person, so I just smiled and said something like, "Hey Bishop, you bucking for T5?" This was the standard rebuff whenever any private appeared to be angling for a promotion. He ignored me and continued his hasty plodding to bring in more crates. I did wonder, however, why he blurted out that remark, and assumed that something was bugging him that day. But, I was to learn soon after, while we were waiting in Hollandia to re-embark on the cargo ship we ultimately took to get to the Phillippines, that he had blown his brains out with his M1 rifle. He had been alone in his tent, brooding, and just placed the muzzle in his mouth; employing some complex motor facility which we tried to understand, he squeezed off all eight rounds in his clip. Although he must have been dead after the first round penetrated his brain, the reflexive action probably continued twitching movements until all eight rounds were spent. The top of his tent was splattered with blood, bone and brain, and there were so many holes in it that it had to be replaced.

One of the lieutenants (referred to as Lieutenant ob-STACK-al, because of his bumbling pronunciation of "obstacle" when we trained on obstacle courses), was assigned to determine the cause of death. It was quite obvious that Bishop had killed himself, but they were required to attempt to determine why. It seems that he had just received a "Dear John" letter from his wife which coldly informed him that she had run off with his younger brother, a civilian living at home. The anger we all felt was palpable. Healthy civilians were universally abhorred: why the hell were we fighting to survive under such danger while they stayed home making money and running around with available girls and soldiers' wives? We denounced her as a slut, and blamed
her for his death. We
also cursed her for not waiting until the war was over before telling him she had abandoned him. There was another consideration for ol' ob-STACK-al's inquiry — suicide would nullify the $10,000 insurance policy most of us had, naming our wives as beneficiaries. Most of us felt that denying her the insurance would be the proper solution, but the lieutenant ruled otherwise and recorded Bishop as a casualty of enemy action, so she received the insurance money. There were many subsequent angry discussions about how she spent the ill gotten insurance money.


Tanka 149

soon other Dear Johns ~
Slattery also got his
read it avidly
crumpled, reread it often
until his tears alarmed us


Tanka 150

sobbed repeatedly ~
why dammit did she leave him
she knew he loved her ~
we all tried consoling him
beer, comradeship all night long


Tanka 151

we all described her
as just a goddam mean slut
false and unfaithful ~
Bishop, we recalled to him
also had a deadly wife


Tanka 152

our thoughts then surfaced
would he do what Bishop did?
we checked his rifle –
took away all shells from him
and plied him with beer rations


Tanka 153

the question arose
maybe she was different -
the war was over ~
and though he'd still grieve for her
she did await the war's end


Tanka 154

should we have judged her
at six thousand miles distance?
what about her fears ~
although he faced death daily
she was alone for three years


Tanka 155

is confronting death
worse than years of solitude?
sitting home alone
can bring on grief and anguish
could we feel their distress?


Tanka 156

he will soon be home
accompanied by his friends
who all shared his grief ~
unhappy yet still alive
she awaited the war's end

It was months later, after we invaded the Philippines, that another man, Slattery, also received his Dear John; but that was just after we learned that the war had ended, and we were only months from returning home. His wife had divorced him sometime earlier, but wrote to say that she had waited until the danger to him was past before telling him. He had always been exceedingly proud of her appearance, and prominently displayed her picture at all times, bragging of her beauty, so we knew this loss would affect him. And it did. We observed him carefully, to avoid a repetition of the Bishop affair, and his close friends plied him with all the beer they could accrue, and convinced him that he would replace her with a more worthy girl when he returned home. Fortunately, the fellowship of buddies with whom he had spent three years in danger, and lubricated with a supply of beer pilfered from some storage depot, helped diminish his pain, and his spirits improved. We all remained especially friendly to him till we returned home, since who among us did not harbor unconscious fears that we might also be subjected to the same misfortune?


Tanka 157

Tex got his today
not Tex -- another Dear John?
yeah, expected it ~
three years is a damn long time
but could we call them all whores?


Tanka 158

he had mentioned her
letters of much loneliness -
she went out with friends
but he believed they were guys
and prepared for his Dear John


Tanka 159

much mail came today -
the chaplain will be busy
but can he help them?
we sure don't need more Bishops
and most suffered from their loss

As thirty-six lonely months ground by with only brief (single-page V-Mail) letters as the only contact between married couples, the number of Dear Johns began to increase. When the war finally ended, more wives sent in the bad news that they had held back so long. We could usually discern which soldier had gotten his Dear John – although some would confide the news to their buddies, others buried it inside. There were those who would not publicly acknowledge the loss and went for counseling to the chaplain. Suicides, fortunately, were not common. And, how typical the double standard – in the jungles there was no possibility of men being unfaithful – there were no brothels. But, when we arrived in civilization, three years of unwillingly imposed faithfulness evaporated as prostitutes and young laundry virgins became available. As we were about to board the ship for home, I recall Joe Schweitzer privately asking me (he was aware of my medical knowledge) how he could be assured that he was not carrying a venereal disease home to his wife. Still, Joe was certain that his wife had been faithful.

The Philosopher's Response
Hugh Bygott

A "Dear John Letter" is a breach of faith; a breaking of a loyalty. The Japanese serviceman had a deep loyalty to the Emperor. This loyalty would be placed higher than anything else. I cannot find any equivalent to "Dear John Letters" in Japanese culture. If they do exist perhaps they would have been disregarded. Here is the story of Lieutenant Yukio Seki who placed loyalty to the Emperor as the greatest act of faith. The father of the "Divine Wind" was Vice Admiral Takijiro Onishi, Commander of the First Air Fleet. He conceived the Sho Operation: Zero fighters carrying 250 kilogram bombs to crash into US carriers at Leyte Gulf. The pilots, mostly inexperienced young men, would wear the white scarf, the hachimaki, the sign of courage and pre-combative composure. The Executive Officer of the 201st Air Group, Commander Tamai addressed a group of young pilots as follows: "I have recommended you [looking at Lieutenant Seki] as a proper man to lead such a specialized attack..."

"Seated at the table Lieutenant Seki leaned forward, supporting his head on his hands, elbows resting on the table, head inclined downward, and his eyes closed. This capable young officer had been married just before leaving the homeland. For several seconds he sat motionless, except for the tightening of his clenched fists. Raising his head, he smoothed back his hair and spoke in a quiet clear voice. `Please do appoint me to the post.' " [Quoted from: The Japanese Navy in World War II. Chapter 13 The Kamikaze Attack Corps. Rikihei Inoguchi and Tadashi Nakajima, p 424 ISBN 0-87021-316-4]

Lieutenant Seki's widow in due course received her official letter. Perhaps she had a bitterness in her heart against this deliberate loss of life. We will never know. However, there seems no doubt that Admiral Onishi suffered remorse for his actions, as if he had committed a breach of fate. He would have thought of Lieutenant Seki's widow. Here is his suicide note. "To the souls of my late subordinates I express the greatest appreciation for their valiant deeds. In death I wish to apologize to the souls of those brave men and their families." [ibid page 439]. On the morning of August 16 1945 Admiral Onishi attempted harakiri in a particular, deliberate way. For 18 hours he suffered agony, refusing medical aid. It seems that he wished to expiate for what he had done, despite acting out of the highest loyalty.


" `Sit with your mother, Setsuko dear, till you feel you've done all you can.... I've heard that they won't take bodies for immediate cremation, even at Kuboyama, unless you can provide the wood.' .... As she kept watch in the dim light of a flickering candle, her pent-up grief overflowed. `Mother! Mother!'. She clung to the cold stiff body, wailing and beating it with her fists. Her mother's death had come as the ultimate breach of faith. Her father and brother [a kamikaze pilot] would never return, but her mother who'd survived that massive air raid had seemed bound to share her fate until the very end. Though she gripped Mine's hand till her own was chilled to the bone, it would never regain its warmth." Shizuko Go- , Requiem: ISBN 0-7043-3961-7

[When the first Allied serviceman entered the air-raid shelter, he found two dead bodies. To the very end Setsuko believed, falsely, that her fate was destruction.]


In so many things 5
the human mind deceived; 7
so thus we are betrayed. 7



Jacques Verhoeven
Silva Ley

Written in the Academy of Arts at St. Joost of Breda, Netherlands, a formal Seminary for priests, in Neo-Roman style. The exhibition was of projects by final candidates for art.

Behind the screen
of caress, or in front
creeps all over

sounds in the atrium
fish-men hovering high

figures in figures
be put on the wrong leg
geometry wiped out

new styles surveyed
though church-like windows

a red-filled flowerbed
as glued to the customs
never seen long grass

video's flash bodies
a voice puts the corners off

the walls immaculate
paint opens the pores
for empty listening

a bridge, left by water
unexpected finery

filterprint of time
struggle of commericals
how real are we?

fingers moving on the TV
endless repeating hunger

kitchen tools and dresser
brushed out of a rut
iron-heater on the hip

dull knives cut the meat
how far is paradise?

sunflowers placed
drapery of flags
a princess in blue

a transcendental view
then the loss - the fury

the clocks fall still
coloured bric-a-brac
dashed on the floors

all to want and wish
dissolved in a black square

the hand that helps the head
in a thousand ways
brains take the sense

bread and butter first
the daydreamer flies

explosions on canvas
outside: decayed latex
shapes tumbled over

feelings of adoration
under the Roman vaults

an electronic signal
people leave the showrooms
with unsteady steps

old oaks catch the wind
railings roll to 2000

fragile balance
everything unchained
interview your soul

fire relics near the pond
eros of prayers


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Deadline for the next issue is: September 1, 2001

  Poems Copyright © Designated Authors 2001.
Page Copyright©  Jane Reichhold 2001.

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