The Knives of Jerusalem
by Thomas Ország-Land (April 2016)
Do your best, mate.
I’ll survive anything
vile – save death.
And that can wait.
Ephemeral lives, and… immortal words. A poet once sang
before his murder: A barefooted blast of wind sprints past
but treads on broken glass and screaming hops away –
Oh, April, with yearning buds beneath a bursting sky!...*
The singer is gone with the past. The words have taken root.
And every year, as his song for spring returns, such bloodied,
small April winds hop along the dusty roads across
our fleeting, our only time and space – the first and the last.
*Miklós Radnóti, Calendar (1941)
I know the icy gale that blows
its kiss inside my warmest clothes
beneath a howling moon.
But this wind whistles my tune.
CITY OF KINGS
While there's still time to sing and laugh
I shall attempt this epitaph.
He was a jester and a king,
and at his best he was much more:
a child, enjoying everything.
THE PRESS CLUB
You’re here to feed your pension and tension.
I’m chasing a soaring bird – the truth.
We are not even friendly rivals.
I covet neither your fancy title
nor your impressive, official hat.
I am a writer. I couldn’t be more
than that – though I could be, I could be, less.
A Pesach egg, quick, on the treble,
rolls down the lawn pursued by trouble:
all teeth, all paws, all fur – a reckless
pack of puppies for a peck.
They nearly knock down as they pass
two tiny giants in the grass.
THOMAS ORSZÁG-LAND is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes for New English Review from Europe and the Middle East. His last book was Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust (Smokestack/England, 2014), and his last E-chapbook, Reading for Rush Hour: A Pamphlet in Praise of Passion (Snakeskin/England, 2016).
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