poems that insist on existing

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Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for submissions of poems on human rights. We received many compassionate and passionate poems, where each voice was trying to cope, to understand, and offer hope. We are grateful and humbled by these poetic voices.

We chose some of the more subtle, and indirect responses that do not explicitly speak to the current day politic but address how it affects the trees, a garden, how we listen, how children teach us, and even how we say “poem.”

Mary Ann Mayer writes “Elegy for the Trees” to cope with anger and frustration, but then there’s her hope in”The Roofs are Alive and Reassuring.” Just as Fred Joiner understands with certainty, listening to a poetry reading, that the heart is not a muscle/ but aches as if it were. Eileen Cleary gives us a look at a garden on the West Bank that does not raise onions or peppers/just hillside reds in remnants of sprays. And then there’s Paul Hostovsky finding the sacred ohm in “poem.”

Enjoy, and let’s keep listening to poetic voices, with our whole body, finding peace and recognizing small joys as we move forward into 2017.


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