Archives for posts with tag: WWII

d day by LF
Sir: I Missed You
by Stephen Howarth

in wistful tribute to Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am still waiting for
travel restrictions to be eased
to let me visit the Bolinas cemetery
and pay respects to
a young officer, US Navy, who
by delivering three sub-chasers
across the steep Atlantick stream
to the islands of Shetland,
halfway between Scotland and Norway,
played a small but vital part in
my father’s wartime spy-ring.

Despite having had a lifetime
to learn of his involvement,
I never knew of it, so
I am still waiting to try
my best to overcome
the missed opportunity of
astonishing coincidence

missed through ignorance
that could have led me to City Lights
armed with a unique connection to
its admired founder
that could scarcely have failed to
engage his attention
activate his memories and maybe even lead
who knows
to some kind of lasting link

I am still waiting in hope
though can scarcely say for what
and I am still waiting in wonder
at the greats that have gone before me

I wouldn’t have dared aspire to friendship but
who knows
and now I never will unless
something wonderful occurs
after my own death
and so
I am still waiting

PHOTO: D-Day, June 6, 1944, off the coast of Normandy, France. Photo by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

lf navy

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: During the Second World War, my father David Howarth and his best friend Richard Dimbleby, a rising megastar of the BBC, became the world’s first radio war correspondents. Bored with the “Phoney War” period, my Dad moved on to join the Royal Navy, initially on the lower deck, and was soon granted a commission as an officer. In 1941, neutral Norway was invaded by the Nazis. Knowing and loving Norway, and as a speaker of Norwegian, he gained a posting to Shetland: Britain’s most northerly part, the island archipelago halfway between Scotland and Norway. Until the war’s end, he worked there as second-in-command (and in daily operational charge) of a spy ring that became nicknamed “The Shetland Bus.” In a book of the same name, first published in 1951 and never out of print since then, he told this truly heroic story in his typically self-effacing style. ¶ Happily and proudly half-Shetland, I grew up with this as an essential part of my life. The Bus functioned independently of the British Admiralty, and in its history there were two almost distinct periods. In the first, Norwegian fishing boats were used to take war supplies (weaponry and ammunition, explosives, maps, radios, and so on) to the Norwegian resistance, as well as commandos, agents and saboteurs. Their voyages had to be done under cover of darkness, which in those Northerly latitudes meant entirely in winter, often under gale conditions. The entire nature of the operation was transformed when the US Navy provided three sub-chasers to take over the role of the fishing boats. ¶ Despite growing up with this, I am still learning about it—and something I never knew until too late was that the young American naval officer who showed the Norwegians how to work those sub-chasers was Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

PHOTO: U.S. Navy Lieutenant Lawrence Ferlinghetti aboard the submarine chaser he commanded during WWII.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Howarth has been an independent professional author of history all his working life. He served in the Royal Naval Reserves, both on the lower deck and as an officer, and wrote the official centenary history of the RNR – for which he was appointed an honorary Commander by HM the Queen. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Life Member of the US Naval Institute and The 1805 Club. He earned a Master’s degree (with Distinction) in creative writing at Nottingham Trent University.

wojciech grabowski licensed
Landmark: Sitra Achra confronts Arbeit Macht Frei
by Joanie HF Zosike

1. In 1995, while on tour with The Living Theatre,
my brother Bobby, our friend Mendel (the tzaddik), (1)
and I, took a bumpy drive in Mendel’s clunky VW
over unrestored rural roads of Malopolska province

to an innocuous town, just 50 km from Kraków
Here the Wisla and Sola Rivers intertwine
The train tracks terminal in front of an epic gate
I arrived. I arrive. I will always arrive there

1 million pilgrims come annually to witness
a hazy horror that refuses to fade
The gate announces an ignoble canard:
Arbeit Macht Frei

I was never on that train
but my blood was
This is history, everyone knows it
or dismisses it

Arbeit Macht Frei prattles over every camp
from Egypt forward and prehistory backward
Every difference is a provocation to gather bags
of alien bones, queer bones, state enemy bones

2. Three Jews from The Living Theatre stand
frozen at the landmark gate: Arbeit Macht Frei
Our friend Mendel, the tzaddik, as a child,
escaped with his mother to the U.S…
only to return later to Germany

Bobby and I, pulled by cellular memory
conveyer belt, look for traces of our
Great-Aunt Czivia, who perished in Aushwitz,
or so we believe, but aren’t certain…
We search for her name among the
scrupulous SS records but can find no entry

How ugly is this day with its gleaming sun
Glorious summer flowers taunt our encounter
As we enter, we look our Akedah (2) in the eye
Each step assaults us with the Kabbalistic charge:

Sitra achra, “the other side,” a force of ill that
comes from within…Try to balance, confront it
head-on…our ears fill with a ghostly chorus:
Shema Yisroel Adonai elohenu, Adonai echod (3)

We steel ourselves and enter the Museum
370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments,
88 pounds of eyeglasses, 44,000 pairs of shoes,
hundreds of prosthetic limbs, 32,000 pots and pans,
7.7 tons of human hair, piles of valises, and
many, many, so many gold teeth….
Mein Unkempt

Paying homage as best we can to a stony silence
we wander through antiseptic barracks to—here it is
Cell Block 11, where prisoners were dragged for
summary executions to a still blood-soaked wall

The dead tug at our leaden feet, bodily fluids leak
from cracks in earth. Here the gallows, next to
crematoria, here gas chambers, chimneys, the smell,
the smell…Wait! The perfume of summer flowers
I nearly faint in the courtyard

Confront it! Can’t recall how long we stayed
Can’t measure how much we ached, questioned
our pain—how can it compare to that of
Jewish ectoplasm roaming empty barracks

Their sweat and scars, bodily waters soaked
into every crevice, crunch of eroded bones
We turn our backs and flee, flipping that
Blemmyae, Herr Arbeit Macht Frei, the bone

3. Suddenly voracious, almost giddy, get back
in the car and drive to picturesque Oświęcim
Find a diner and eat like barbarians to fill
the hungry hole, regain energy, reaffirm life

Showtime rapidly approaching in Kraków,
haul ass back to the hotel, beaten and numb
Smoke, talk, try to comprehend…can’t
The question lingers

Why must we bear witness so long afterward
What has our journey changed? Nothing
Except to attest that such gates still stand for those
who passed through them and never came out

4. Adolf Schickelgruber had a dream
To live in a world without Jews
One’s utopia is another’s hell

My brother Bobby, Mendel, and I
sweat our testaments that night
when we perform our play, Utopia

As we enter the stage in darkness
we hold up multi-colored lamps, moving
closer and closer to each other
20 actors in a comforting cluster
of human warmth
We thrust the globes skyward
into one inextinguishable ball of light


1. Tzadik (Hebrew: צַדִּיק [tsaˈdik], “righteous [one],” also zadik, ṣaddîq or sadiq; pl. tzadikim [tsadiˈkim] צדיקים ṣadiqim) is a title in Judaism given to people considered righteous, such as Biblical figures and later spiritual masters.

2. Referring to Abraham’s binding of Isaac. The Akedah became in Jewish thought the supreme example of self-sacrifice in obedience to God’s will and the symbol of Jewish martyrdom throughout the ages. (

3. “Hear o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The Hebrew prayer considered by many the seminal prayer in Jewish liturgy, and the ultimate declaration of faith, often uttered at time of death.

PHOTO: The gate of death at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Poland by Wojciech Grabowski, used by permission. The legend above the entrance “Arbeit macht frei” translates in English to “Work makes one free.”


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On January 25, 1945, Monowitz, Auschwitz, and Birkenau camps were liberated, by happenstance, by Russian troops. Prior to their arrival, the SS Totenkopverbänd gathered up viable survivors, driving 60,000 deportees in tattered striped uniforms westward with truncheons, rage, and terror to cattle cars in trains bound for concentration camps in Germany. On that day, the Red Army found, aside from 600 corpses, 7,000 abandoned souls left behind, hiding in bunkers. Job’s cry of  “Lo, I cry ‘Violence!’ and am not answered,” rendered in Yiddish verse as “Ot shray ikh gevalt un ver nit geentfert” by the early 20th-century poet Yehoash (Solomon Bloomgarten), was never so apt. ¶ In his testimony quoted in The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and its Aftermath by Dan Stone, Red Army Colonel Georgei Elisavetskii spoke to a body of ravaged shades, peering through benumbed eyes, barely recognizing that, at last, rescue had found them. ¶ You are free, comrades. Do not be afraid. I am a colonel of the Soviet Army and a Jew. We have come to liberate you. They rushed toward us shouting, fell on their knees, kissed the flaps of our overcoats and threw their arms around our legs…and we could not move, stood motionless, while unexpected tears ran down our cheeks. ¶ Many inmates were too overcome to be moved to hospitals or shelters. Even after medical care and food, by June 1945, 300 survivors still remained, too feeble to be moved.

PHOTO: Sign at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Poland.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike, 2019 Writer’s Hotel Sara Patton poetry stipend recipient, hosts Pandemic Poetry Workshop through School of Creative Judaism in New York City.  She is published in Between Ourselves: Letters Between Mothers and Daughters, Women In American Theatre, and 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy. Chapbooks include Character Poems (Chez Chez) and Bliss, Not Weight (anthologized in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, Silver Birch Press). A frequent contributor to Silver Birch Press’s blog, she also appears in Bastille, Dissident Voice, Heresies, Home Planet News, Jewish Forward, Levure Literraire, Maintenant, Public Illumination Magazine (PIM), and Syndic Literary Journal. Joanie received an Albee fellowship for her play Inside, produced at American Theater for Actors in New York, a NYSCA regrant for 12 Steps to Murder at The New Theatre, and a Foundation for Jewish Culture grant for …and Then the Heavens Closed, performed at The Jewish Museum New York City. She acted with The Living Theatre for 30 years, directs DADAnewyork, and co-directs Action Racket Theatre. She splits her time between the Lower East Side of New York City and Ocean County, New Jersey, where she’s a part-time caregiver to her 94-year-old Mom.

1600px-Aldermaston_Manor malcolm gould 2009
The Greatest Generation
by Alan Walowitz

      Thousands of protesters from the
      Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (C.N.D.)

      converged on the Berkshire village of Aldermaston yesterday to
      commemorate the birth of Britain’s anti-nuclear movement.

My father didn’t need to go anywhere
since he’d done the continent all-expenses-paid—
they even gave him grenade and gun.
But why not visit Aldermaston, son?
and see the castle there–
this a place he’d spent a week or so
before being tossed in the fog,
through France, Belgium, and on to Remagen,
then deeper in the dark, where,
having being trapped so long,
he hoped I might see
any place he’d actually been.

I took a shot with my Canon
through the ornate iron gates,
which masked the steel supports behind
sunk meters deep
and reinforced up top with ribbons of razor wire.
Then a man in uniform emerged from the manor
marching smartly in my direction.
He figured I was CND
and out to case the joint,
or start a riot then and there
and get my mug in the dailies.

He said he’d hold the camera
but I should feel free to walk the grounds–
outside the perimeter–
and notify the sentry when I was done.
An hour later, the camera was returned, but film gone,
and, at the only pub in town, I bought
a fine picture postcard of the castle,
taken from inside the gates one fine May day–
with lays of lilies aground,
festive balloons in air
and battlements festooned with flags of all nations.

When I returned, I offered that postcard
with the pride of a man
who has accomplished much
in the face of great adversity.
Dad studied and agreed, That’s the place.
I told him, The picture’s for you to keep.
He tossed it back as if
it had been brought by a dangerous stranger,
and exploded in my hands with a—
What would I want with that?

Originally appeared in the D-Day 70th Anniversary Anthology (mgv2>publishing).

PHOTO: “Aldermaston Manor” by Malcolm Gould (2009), used by permission.

Alan 1974 scary passport photo-page-001

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Like my father before me, I’m not much of a traveler. I wasn’t one even before the pandemic. When I visited England in the mid 1970s, however, my father seemed pleased that I’d visit the “castle” in the village of Aldermaston, where he had been stationed during World War II. He didn’t know that in the years since the end of the war, the village—and the castle, itself—had become a center for nuclear development in England, and was the focus of many anti-nuclear protests. PHOTO: The author’s passport photo (1974).

Alan without mask copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan Walowitz is finally retired from his second career as a professor of education. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry.  His books are Exactly Like Love (Osedax Press) and The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems (Truth Serum Press). A forthcoming chapbook, In the Muddle of the Night, co-written with Betsy Mars, will be published by Arroyo Seco Press.

postcard hamlin lake1
Hamlin Lake, Michigan, 1940s
by Joan Colby

A smell of damp, of mildew
Permeated the cottage, lakeside,
Built of simple unfinished planks,
Nothing polished or complicated,
Floorboards, thin walls
So every conversation could be overheard.

A red pump by the chipped sink
That groaned to expel tinged water.
A woodstove my mother cursed
As we stood dripping from our lake baths
Holding bars of Ivory, thin towels wrapped
Around our waists.

The beds were headed with bars
Like jails. Hard in places,
Sunken in others so you could spend
The night spinning from one pole to another
Like a confused explorer.

Outside, the splintery dock
Where father diving into waters
Surprisingly shallow that year
Nearly broke his neck. A rowboat
With heavy recalcitrant oars
To tug us across the lake for supplies.
The splash splash of progress.
Our spitz shuddering in the prow,
He’d fallen in once and remembered.

White birch whose bark could peel
Into testaments on which we wrote
Our having funs and see you soons
Anything with a stamp could be posted
Father contested and was correct.

Rainy afternoons on the porch,
The screens plinging with out of tune
Instruments, we played Sorry,
The colored jacks marched on the board
In militant steps or landing badly
As paratroops were sent back
The way a child was sent to bed
Too early, sleepless, listening
To the mysterious things they said.

IMAGE: Hamlin Lake, Michigan, postcard, available at ebay.

joan colby

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 14 books, including Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize; Properties of Matter, Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books); Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press), and The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press). She has two new chapbooks Ah Clio (Kattycompus Press) and Pro Forma (Foothills Press) as well as a full-length collection Ribcage (Glass Lyre Press), which received the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.

We Are at War
by Gina Larkin

My brother set up his soldiers
in neat lines and rows
at the end of the long hall.
We are at war,

my mother says.
All my uncles are far away
and my aunts
wait each morning for the mail
and whisper to each other
so I can’t hear.
But I see the little flags
in the windows,
and the gold stars when
someone has died,
Mrs. Nunn has three stars
in her window.
There is one in Nana’s
for cousin Peter.
We are at war.

With so few cars now,
I can go alone
to Bill’s meat market.
Today’s ration stamps are for margarine.

Bill hands me the slippery plastic bag,
breaking the orange tablet in the center.
squeeze the bag til you get home.”
My part in the war effort.
I push the orange color from center to edges,
turning the soft grey jaundiced;
only good for spreading,
it doesn’t melt
separates into water and yellow glue.
Now, I mix the color in
til my hands hurt.
We are at war.
Each night, the air raids screech life
to a dark halt,
blackout shades in place,
street lights extinguished.
There is silence except for
the ground shifting hum of the mills.
The mills never close,
their always blasting furnaces
turn out steel
for the war.
The sky’s constant red slag glow
mocks the air raid black.
If a plane flies over head
the rosary beads fly
through my mother’s fingers
praying it away;
we live a half mile from the mill
and we are at war.

My brother sets up his soldiers
in neat lines and rows
at the end of the long hall,
then lobs a ball at them.
Some fall and never get up again.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This photo was taken when I was three on the Greenfield Bridge (about 10 miles from Pittsburgh). This was before WWII began.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gina Larkin has had poems published in more than 50 journals including Paterson Literary Review, Exit 13, Lips, and US 1 Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the founding and current Editor of The Edison Literary Review.

With my mother during WWII
By Irina Dimitric

When I was nine years old, the war was on.
The enemy drowning fast at last; the end
Was near, but first the Allies had to bomb
Our town to drive the fiend aground, and so
We hid below in shelters, praying loud
While bombs were shaking walls and breaking hearts
And windows; I was always first to grab
My bag with sugar when the siren howled,
Then ran as fast as arrow; sheltered well
Beneath, I thought; the drone of bombers near,
Then whizz through air, then once again, three times
Before the end — the siren shrilling flat.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: With my mother during WWII. This photo was sent to my father, a POW in Lamsdorf, Germany.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I chose this poem as this year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. My father was in a POW camp in Germany, and while the bombs were falling on us, he was trudging through deep snow with his mates, forced to march at gunpoint with the retreating German army for about four months before being liberated by the Americans in Nuremberg on April 17, 1945. This poem won The Poem of the Week award in Susan Budig’s Mindful Poetry Contest 2013. The challenge was to write a poem about our childhood in blank verse and iambic pentameter. It now appears in my book Dreams on my Pillow.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Irina Dimitric is a retired teacher who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and a canary. She migrated to Australia with her family in 1964. Writing poetry and photography are her recent passions. Her work has appeared in narratorAUSTRALIA online and in print. In 2014, she published her first book of poetry, Dreams On My Pillow, accompanied by her photographs. Visit her blog, Irina’s Poetry Corner, at

In the above photo, author Ernest Hemingway (left) dines with director Frank Capra at the Paramount Studio commissary in 1941. Capra holds a copy of Hemingway’s then-latest novel — FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (1940). Set during the Spanish Civil War (1933-1939), the book became the basis for the 1943 film of the same name starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman — actors that Hemingway selected for the roles.

Whether or not Capra was pitching his services during this lunch with Hemingway, he did not end up with the director’s slot — instead, Sam Wood assumed the role because shortly after this photo was taken, the United States entered WWII. Frank Capra served as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, where he remained during the war years (1941-1945) making a variety of military films, including many shot during combat. Hemingway spend much of WWII as a war correspondent in various parts of the world.

After the war, Capra’s first Hollywood assignment was to direct James Stewart in the now-classic IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946). Hemingway did not release another major novel until 1952, when he published THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 and was cited for “his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”


He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he could see the dark of the oiled road winding through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and far down the pass he saw a mill beside the stream and the falling water of the dam, white in the summer sunlight.”


“Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words,’When you are going good, stop writing.’ …if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next…” ROALD DAHL, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Photo: Roald Dahl (left) and Ernest Hemingway (right) in London during 1944.

NOTES ON THE PHOTO: As far as I’ve been able to learn, no one knows why Dahl and Hemingway were together in London during WWII. Dahl, a member of the British Royal Air Force, worked as something of a spy during the early war years—when Britain was fighting Germany and hoping the U.S. would enter the conflict. In this period (1939-1941), Dahl was stationed in Washington D.C., and attended social functions with politicians and other dignitaries, hoping to learn useful information about U.S. plans vis-a-vis the war.

At the time of the above photo, Dahl was 28 and Hemingway was 45 (though he looks much older). At first, I was puzzled when I looked at this photograph — thinking it couldn’t be Hemingway because “Papa” wasn’t that short. Then I realized that Roald Dahl must have been well above average in height to make Hemingway appear diminutive. Further research revealed that Dahl was 6’6″—while Hemingway was 6 feet tall.

At this point in his career, Hemingway was a world-famous author and had written three of his most important books — The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls – while Dahl had not yet written anything of note (Random House had published his children’s book entitled The Gremlins in 1943). Perhaps the young intelligence officer and aspiring author (Dahl) wangled a meeting with the old lion (Hemingway), hoping to gain some writing advice or just bask in the presence of the great author.

While Hemingway at some point (I’m not sure when) wrote about his method of stopping before you’re written out for the day, perhaps he gave this advice to Dahl first-hand when they were chumming around London in 1944. (For the record, Hemingway was in Europe from June-December 1944 and became involved in a number of allied initiatives while acting as a journalist.)


In 1949, Kurt Vonnegut sent three writing samples to Atlantic Monthly — hoping for publication or a writing assignment. Instead, he received the following letter:

Dear Mr. Vonnegut,

We have been carrying out our usual summer house-cleaning of the manuscripts on our anxious bench and in the file, and among them I find the three papers which you have shown me as samples of your work. I am sincerely sorry that no one of them seems to us well adapted for our purpose. Both the account of the bombing of Dresden and your article, “What’s a Fair Price for Golden Eggs?” have drawn commendation although neither one is quite compelling enough for final acceptance.

Our staff continues fully manned so I cannot hold out the hope of an editorial assignment, but I shall be glad to know that you have found a promising opening elsewhere.

Faithfully yours,
Edward Weeks

From one of the rejected writing samples (‘account of the bombing in Dresden”), Vonnegut developed his masterwork Slaughterhouse-Five. Toiling away at a variety of jobs (newspaper bureau, General Electric public relations department, Saab dealership) to support his large (and extended) family (six children), 20 years transpired between the Atlantic Monthly rejection and the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five (Delacorte, 1969). Modern Library has ranked the book as the18th greatest novel of the 20th century.

Photo: A first edition of Slaughterhouse-Five issued in 1969, when Vonnegut was still using “Jr.” Signed first editions of the novel currently sell for around $8,000. See this link.

by Ruth Moon Kempher

My Gramma knew the names of all the field
flowers, but I didn’t always listen.  The lavender
lilac was French, she said, which I knew was far off
where there was war, which wasn’t fitting.  Peace—
there were Peace roses in her garden, and Ramblers—
that made sense somehow, since everybody went out
somewhere, but could come home.  Three-Star flag
in her window for three boys, one was for my Dad—
Lily-of-the-Valley and Mock Orange by the porch.
Too long in the south now, where it hardly
grows anything without stickers or violent smell
my favorites were Queen Anne’s Lace and
Dutchman’s Breeches, sometimes called, if I
remember rightly, Butter and Eggs, in lots miscalled
“vacant,” where grasses congregate—bugs
and milkweed pods, oozing moths and butterflies—
the moths that drift, white over dry rows of pea vines
like early snow.  Summer was the best time, then.
Carrot smell, vague, of Queen Anne’s lace
embroidered my days, easy.  Looking up under
its umbrella, kaleidoscope curds, white knurls
on green spokes, turned slowly—Summer
was for hiding then, mostly, looking up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Moon Kempher, an ex-navy brat who was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, has had her poetry and short prose appear in journals and other periodical publications since 1958, and has published many other people’s work since 1994 through her Kings Estate Press in St. Augustine, Florida. She is retired from owning a tavern and from teaching—first for Flagler College while attaining her BA and graduating with the college’s first class; and later, after achieving her MA at Emory University in Atlanta, in the English Department of St. Johns River Community College. The latest of her thirty-three (mostly small) collections is Key West Papers (Casa de Cinco Hermanos Press, Pueblo, Colorado). Her poetry, including “Queen Anne’s Lace,” will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY (June 21, 2013), a collection of poetry and prose written by over 70 authors from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, and Africa.

PHOTO: “Queen Anne’s Lace” by LupenGrainne — prints are available at