Two poems from Simone’s book Pieces of Thunder (in progress):
Swimming with Carol and the American Lotus
(Boundary Waters, Minnesota)
I find her at the airport,
a woman in a straw hat,
face wide with the wish
for fearless solitude.
Carrying a case of drums,
she’s more generous than the
large expanse of wilderness
we will soon encounter:
giant roots caressed by
blood red waves, dark
boulders shaped and blessed
by the gods of nature.
Afloat along the steep
reaches of our destiny, my
arms rise as though greeting
a long-forgotten loved one.
Though both beginners here,
our boat’s as strong as a
inspires hope and strength
even in an abandoned legacy
such as myself. We pick up
the wands of courage and risk.
Our oars embrace the lilies
and waves. We undertake the
balance of bow and stern,
spurs to our desire to carry our
own weight as gift, not burden.
We reach the edge of the marsh,
swim leisurely through countless
silver petals, taste at last the promised
cool, cool water at the lake’s center.
Spell-bound, we dive closer to the golden
lotus that brings us to our fulfillment.
Like a goddess of the soul, she arrests us
with such lavish grace, we gasp for air.
(a CHANT in memory of Bertha Obiedzinsky)
How could we forget what we didn’t know?
We could never forget what we did not know.
It was in the month of June 1941.
It was in the month of June, 1941
that it was the citizens themselves
of your grandmother’s small town –
it was the Poles of her small town.
It was the Poles of her small town
who massacred three hundred Jews!
300 Jews were massacred by the Polish
inhabitants of Szczuczyn who carried out
yet another Pogrom halted, not enacted by,
the Germans who had already passed by.
They had already passed safely by
without a murmur or a shot from hell,
without a single death or shot from hell!
So it was that later, though Poland was conquered,
all around them Poland had been conquered,
the Poles themselves murdered 100 more.
One hundred more were murdered by the Poles
before the Germans returned and finished the job.
The Germans came again and finished the job.
Thousands more remained to be massacred.
Thousands more remained to be massacred
and sent to their final destination: Treblinka.
Treblinka was their final destination, the final
grave of far too many lost and fevered souls.
The final grave of so many lost and fevered souls.
CHANT POEMS simply incorporate repetitive lines that form a sort of chant. Each line can repeat, or every other line. It’s easy to find many poetic forms that incorporate chanting with the use of a refrain. However, a chant poem is a little more methodical than a triolet or rondeau.
A few of Simone’s 2021 COVID HAIKU
A little haiku
I send you along with love today.
Just one way to play.
Who would have thought that,
In the end, it was soap
That would be our best friend?
If you want to know
how much I miss you tonight,
look up at the sky.
I don’t hold my breath
unless I’m under water.
Just thought you should know.
I’ve noticed we see
even the smallest details
of those we care for.
Silence, like sleep, can
be a miracle, or freeze
your heart in fear.
I write because still-
ness shakes me to thin bones
of merciless hope.
Love is like the wind.
It takes your own breath away
and gives it right back.
Other published poetry:
“Roses for a Rose.” Eclipse, Siena Heights University, 2015.
“Mom.” Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning
and Living. Red Beard Press, 2013.
“An Alleluia of Larks.” Bridges. Indiana University Press,
“The Years,” “Life Under Water,” Eclipse, Siena Heights
“Pearl,” Eclipse, Siena Heights University, 2004.
“What We’re Dealt,” Eclipse, Siena Heights University,
“Un Forêt Terrible/A Terrible Forest,” Eclipse, Siena Heights
University, Michigan, 2002.
“In the Wilderness,” Women’s Voices: The Companion to a
Women’s Haggadah, Jewish Federation, Ann Arbor, MI, 2002.
“Giving Thanks,” A Women’s Haggadah, Jewish Federation,
Ann Arbor, MI, 2001.
“Healing Prayer,” “Body and Soul,” Healing Service, Temple
Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor, MI, 1999.
“The Exile Series: A Year in the Life of a Woman Becoming a
Jew,” Ann Arbor, MI: In the Swim Press, l998.
“An Alleluia of Larks,” “Pieces of Thunder,” “Peach Trees,”
“A Stranger Berlin,” “Moth,” “Out of Egypt,” “Chowder,”
and “All That I Can See,” Arts Development Services
Newsletter, NY, 1980.
“The Years,” The Michigan Daily, Ann Arbor, 1980.
“In Camera,” The Village Voice, NY, 1978.
“Matador,” A Change In Weather: An Anthology Of Midwest
Poets, Rhiannon Press, Minnesota, 1978.
“En Route” and “Death of a Nun,” Quadrille, Vermont, 1977.
“Sauna” and “After a Long Winter,” Green House, New
“The Hermit At Devil’s Lake,” Ann Arbor Review #19, MI,
“The Quarrel,” “Exiles,” “Coyote at Death,” and “Waiting
Room,” Astraea, Michigan, 1974.
“Roger, 2,” Anon, New York, 1973.
“Grand Marais” and “Collage,” The New York Times
“No Receipt,” Boston After Dark, Massachusetts, 1972.
“Response to “Facing the Future of American Judaism.’”
Washtenaw Jewish News. May 2019: 5.
“Familiar Strangers.” Bridges Journal (Indiana University
Press) Spring 2011.
“Was I Born a Golem?” Bridges Journal (Indiana University
Press) Spring 2010.
Rasa (excerpt of an original play). Bridges Journal (Indiana
University Press) Spring 2010.
“Charism in the Context of Postmodern Opportunity,”
Contemplation and Sharing the Fruits of Contemplation:
Adrian, Michigan: Lilly Rhodes Consultation Group, 1997.
“Voice of the Other: Multi-Cultural and Women’s Perspectives
in Independent Film” and “The New Underground: Agencies
and Festivals Serving the Needs of Woman and Minority
Filmmakers” in Ann Arbor Film Festival 30th Anniversary
Conference Program, l996.
“Seduction and Deconstruction, Then and Now: Les Liaisons
Dangereuses/Dangerous Liaisons,” Edwin Mellon Press, 1991.