Thursday, January 19, 2012


Anne Elezabeth Pluto is Professor of Literature and Theatre at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she is the artistic director of the Oxford Street Players. She was a member of the Boston small press scene in the late 1980s and started Commonthought Magazine at Lesley 18 years ago. She has been a participant at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 2005 and 2006. Her most recent publications are in The Lyre and in W_O_M_B, The Buffalo Evening News Poetry Page, Earth's Daughters, Blackbox Gallery, and Helix.


I’ll wake this world for you
each sunrise to the moon
stretched taut and drawn
back waiting for the arrow
You are the mark, darkened
by time and terrible space
this is what remains of
love, a grove of flowering
trees, the songs of birds
the emptiness of no promise
or prediction – the knowledge
that time does move – never
backwards, but ahead – in front
of itself, and it takes us along.

Jung in the hands of the Mujahideen

born on the eve of World War I
I live your conscience
daily reminders that
the world is a frightening place
you never dreamed as you spent
the Second World War traveling west
landscapes away from your home
that New York would be the site
of terrorist activities
on the day of your 50th
wedding anniversary
in the third millennium,
in your second century.

As a soldier,
you lived Central Asia,
traveled the Middle East
Byelorussian, in a British
uniform, having escaped death
in a soviet prison
the names of cities
roll off your tongue like Turkish
delight, now ruined
Beirut, beleaguered Damascus
starving Baghdad
mysterious Alexandria
and bleeding Jerusalem

I played store with your war
souvenir coins
turning over the bas relief of pyramids
and camels
my kingdom for a beggarly denier
I see the world is round
and hold it in my child's hands
well traveled in your stories
I pray now that we can realign
against the evil
religion brings to the oppressed
that magi lift their hearts to god
and climb the mountains of Babel
holding words instead of weapons,
and as their voices reach
God hears the faithful ask forgiveness
for themselves and all of history.
amen and amen


Sigh lanced
like Jesus pierced
I will cry alone instead
of bleed – and plead
what innocence
I ascertain – so tired
of being
my own
advocate. and you
blameless in your
corner – drawing
the line and redrawing
the times I stepped
over it. you need me
to agree – I want to
get out and over,
the rain
as a cover
to wash me clean.

1 comment: