New Poetry from Andy Levine

In the silent wood on Prospect Hill

they say the souls of children stay,

hoping to be found they wander and cry

underneath the darkened sky.

Those who stay the night to find one

are not the same by morning.

Ruined by the howling deep

the branches aching in the still wind

as if the children climb in the stiff black arms,

the haunted complaining boughs,

cracking and weeping from the weight

of their disappearance.

In the tent the huddled couples hold tight

as the withered souls surround their fire’s light,

to surrender and embrace their pain and cry:

the plucking of their stars from an ever darker sky.

 

 

 

 

 

SLEEPING YET APPROACHING

by James Keane

Perhaps your sounds asleep are signs

you wander furtively through

fear, praying darkness alone

will touch you in the tunnel

 

you blunder through.  Soft

pressing unleashes a sudden

ghost, grabbing. Bleating, you

struggle away, prey to shadows

 

sucking you further in: malice

from a jealous brother, hatred from

a dead mother, love of a living father

who ignores you still. What

 

angels, weeping, kind as you,

would adore in you,, sleeping

yet approaching, your shadows,

creeping, hovering, blind as you,

 

would kill.  Open your eyes,

and they never will.

 

VENUS AND SERENA

I see you standing tall, not

basking, together in the after-

glow of the ESPY Awards show,

African-American daughters

to the core, your graceful

smiles born of ebony,

beauty, maturity, success

and so much more, when

a sudden thought gently

stirs me to smile

out loud: if you were

my daughters. I would be

so proud.

 

 

AS THE HEAVING VAN SHUTTLES

by Andrew Levine

As the heaving van shuttles

into the dark morning

the ragged bluegrass banjo and fiddle,

haunting Appalachian harmony,

accompanies the swinging cross

behind the rear-view mirror,

a song of faith,

trials, and poignant resolve.

 

The Ethiopian  driver

not wanting to be mistaken

in this troubled world,

for a Muslim,

his radio turned

to southern arcana,

the bluegrass tales

of love lost and lives too short

from harder work

than a man ought to do,

in this world.

yes, in this here sunny world.

 

As the cross swings,

a pendulum passing through

all the quarters of this world

and perhaps the next,

the breakdown banjos

above the din of the world

rattle past road repairs

in the dart swerving morning.

 

Three hours of sleep

never felt so good

against the grateful voices

ripe with the sorrows

of the mines in West  Virginia;

this sweet life

slipping away

in the cool damp

of the rattling of the van,

as salvation

and meetings on the other side,

and the sweet by and by

resolve all and any anguish

pumping high speed

as the airport approaches.

 

Andrew Levine was born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1947.  He has been writing, drawing, and playing the sax since child hood.  He has practiced Tai Chi  since the 70s. He has published nine books of poetry to date as well as six comic novels written with a friend under the pseudonym Jug Brown. He has also published a novella, Bagman’s Soup. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Master’s degree in nutrition. He spent twenty years running his own business manufacturing herbal extracts and formulating herbal products. He lives in Oregon. He is currently looking forward to making a cocktail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and perhps

some poetry by Andy Levine

AYAHUASCA MEDICINA

Will I drink tonight?

and watch the stars?

Will I wander the vast rivers

of death?

Sad natives mourning

on the banks,

black hair, heads bowed.

Will I reach that ultimate moment

and embrace my own finale

amidst  the singing,

the buzzing cosmic bees

and the cascading gems?

Is it my night to reset  the clock

and start again

born to rainforest parents

who know my true history

near the shinning lattice

and jeweled veins

of healing shuddering love?

I am given birth

by the trailing prisms

it is a gift

that I am returned

from the dead

beached on the shore

of this river.

I am caked in mud.

dormant and still

noticing that I breathe.

Will I visit my parents again

by a different hand

and awaken

once more

a tired child

without memory or regret?

For now the questions will wait

nourishing sleep beckons

and I won’t be late.

 

 

 

 

 

New Books

From the Sounds of Chewing

George Pereny is the real shit, says Jim Klein in his intro to George’s From the Sounds of Chewing. That may seem a strange way introduce FROM THE SOUNDS OF CHEWING, but I have my reasons. First, I’ve known George ever since the fall of 1972 when I started teaching English at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, and George was doing grad work there. George’s voice is as clear and pure as George is. He’s had the experience all right, but his voice is natural and innocent. Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, George actually combines both. The apparent effortlessness of his work even gets me thinking back to the Aeolian harp, the Romantic image of inspiration caused by the wind blowing through the mountains. George has distilled the complexities of who he is, and was, and yearns to be into the verse testimony you have in your hand.

Available at lulu.com.

My Mothers Home Town

My mother’s family, my godfather, and my confirmation sponsor, were all from a small Hungarian town called Gyongyos in Heves(mountainous) County an hour north of Budapest at the feet of the Matra Mountains on the northern end of the Great Hungarian Plain. In 1944, there were 22,000 people living in Gyongyos, including about 2500 Jews, most of whom, like my mother’s family, perished. A handful, including my mother, survived. This is their story.

Available at lulu.com.

The Bus for America

George Pereny’s great new book is a mixture of memory, history and poetry, telling the story of a remarkable life that started under the repression of Soviet rule in his native Hungary. His family made a brave and dangerous escape from Hungary when Pereny was a boy, crossing the ocean and coming to the United States after a momentous decision to take the bus for America rather than the bus for Canada. Pereny had an adventurous education in America, coming to love rock music and words, eventually deciding on a teaching career that took him to inner-city neighborhoods and kids in desperate need of his poetry and vision. Along the way he discovered an aptitude and passion for the martial arts and had a spiritual rebirth in Christ. George’s story is also a quest for love that brings him to many women until he finds the right one. Like many great books, THE BUS FOR AMERICA ends with a wedding and a new chance for a happy life in Pereny’s adopted America.

Available at lulu.com.