So Many Voices

Poetic Matrix Press’

So Many Voices Cover

20th Anniversary Authors’ Anthology

246 pages, Price $20.00, available from Small Press Distribution (SPD) www.spdbooks.org

With material from our 60 books and 45 authors (including new pieces from many) this is a true reflection of So Many Voices that we have had the privilege of publishing. This is an interesting and beautiful compliment to our publishing efforts. With editorial assistance from John Peterson, James Downs and Joe Milosch and Forward from James and John and cover art from Molly Weller.

Kim Shuck, Francisco X. Alarcón, James Downs, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, john (peterson), Diana Festa, Anne Whitehouse, Patricia Nelson, Brandon Cesmat, Joseph Miloach, Ashley Gene Pinkerton, Arthur W. Campbell, Mun Duk-su, Peter Gibson Friesen, Joseph Zaccardi, Hassan El-Tayyab, Joe O’Connell, Joan Michelson, Leroy Franklin Moore, Jr., Grace Marie Grafton, Yearn Hong Choi, Lyn Lifsin, Rayn Roberts, Chris Olander, Molly Weller, Charles Entrekin, Gail Rudd Entrekin, Sandra Lee Stillwell, Tomás Gayton, Joel Netsky, J. P. Linstroth, Ruth Rosenthal, Bonnie Joanna Gisel, Peter and Donna Thomas, Reverend James Fox, Alex Landon and Elaine Halleck, and many more.

Poetry from Katrina by Lyn Lifshin

lifshin-162x250

 

Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary

AS ONE MAN SAT IN AN EVACUATION
CENTER IN BATON ROUGE

he could not stop watching
the images of hurt and
crying children on TV.
Known as Grandpa Grady
the elderly man in his
River Ridge neighborhood
was sickened by the images,
was saying “ya’ll get those
children.” To calm him,
family members lied
and reassured him they
would rescue the children
he was seeing on TV.
But as the day wore on,
sounds grew quieter
and he stopped eating or
speaking. A nurse stopped
by but did not send him
to a hospital. Last Thursday
he died in a single bed
in a small room at the shelter.
“I think,” his daughter
said, he grieved him
self to death”

 

CONVENTION CENTER NIGHTMARE

one woman arrived with
2 children, 6 and 2. “Soon
as I got there I saw fighting.
I saw people throwing
chairs, pull a gun out right
in front of little children.”
She saw a boy who could
not breathe, asthma or panic.
She pointed it out to one
police man she saw and the
officer checked the boy,
said there was nothing they
could do. The boy was dead.
Another officer appeared.
The others figured he would
remove the body but the
officer said it was just to
check some gun shots

 

HEARING ROBERT WISE DIED

almost this time of year,
the aspens crackling
the drive out from Boulder
up into the hills
Octoberly crisp.
Peanut soup in an
out of season restaurant.
The Rockies blue.
We were all at the
Denver Film Festival,
would never meet again
but that warm perfect after
noon, none of us could
have believed that

 

DOWN IN THE FONTAINEBLEAU AREA

the watermarks 6 feet high,
visible on some houses.
Signs of life slowly are
returning with the trickle
of residents who’ve gotten
in to look at what is left.
It’s freaky, everything
just floated. I’m going to
spray it all someone says,
spray it down with Clorox.
“Look at my counter
tops. They were so pretty.”
“Water knocked my new
refrigerator over, my lovely
mahogany door. I spent
$13,000 this year on my back
yard. It was beautiful. Now
it’s a disaster but it’s a
fixable disaster.”

 

THIS IS ALL I GOT

one man said, stretching
his arms and pointing to
a red t shirt, blue jeans
and a pair of slippers.
“we lost everything.”
But that’s not his
biggest worry. He has
not seen his wife, kids
or grand children since
last Saturday. He heard
they were in Baton Rouge.
One woman was nearly
hysterical Saturday
morning when friends
went to wash clothes.
“I want to go home,”
she yelped, “I can’t stay
here forever.” Volunteers
have few words of
comfort. “Reality really
hasn’t begun to sink
in for these people. They
are still in a state
of shock.”

 

SOME WERE MOANING, OTHERS SEEMED TO
BE LOST IN A VACANT STATE OF RESIGNATION

one mother sat beside
her son, a 34 year old
paraplegic who had
been carried up eight
flights of darkened
stairs and evacuated
to the airport. Inside
the medic tent she
stroked her son’s fore
head. His arms were
curled to his chest. His
mother took a towel
from her bag of
belongings and put
it on his arms so he
wouldn’t get cold. “I am
not letting him out of
my sight” she said

 

Katrina by Lyn Lifshin

available from Small Press distribution (SPD) www.spdbooks.org

see more at www.poeticmatrix.com

 

 

Katrina by Lyn Lifshin

Lifshin

If you have attended to the news lately you know this is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that so devastated New Orleans and the gulf region.  In 2010 our press had the opportunity to recognize Katrina’s 5th anniversary by publishing Lyn Lifshin’s book of thoughtful personal poems, Katrina, about the people caught up in this most difficult experience.  These poems are so indicative of Lyn’s direct, personal style.  Lyn writes without embellishments so that the lives of the people can be seen. She is a master at this kind of direct, immediate poetry.

Katrina by Lyn Lifshin is available at our distributor Small Press Distribution (SPD) www.spdbooks.org. To see more on Lyn’s book Katina and her recent book that our Press has published, Malala, about the courageous recipient of the 2014 Noble Peace Prize for her work go to our website www.poeticmatrix.com.

See some of the poetry from Katrina by Lyn Lifshin at our Forever Journal.

MALALA by Lyn Lifshin

Excepts from MALALA by Lyn Lifshin published by Poetic Matrix Press

Pakistani Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for 2014 along with Indian child advocate Kailash Satyarthi.

LIKE CHILDREN TRAILING GLORY

Malala, still playing with dolls,
believed she could change the
world, cure cancer, live on the
moon, make a difference in
the world. Did she imagine that
some day those who
believe in violence could
share the same sky’s
beauty, that the light of
childhood could bring
a glow to darkness?

 

SO FEARLESS, CHANTING WITH OTHER SCHOOL GIRLS

in the school yard
the last day before
school’s done
along the sun
drenched roads.
Again and again.
until next time
God willing. Then
helicopters and
guns turn the air to
dust, birds
explode up from
the flowers. Many
crash dead. Blood
and petals. A war
zone of flowers.
This hide and
seek goes on all
night. We are very
afraid. This, Malala
writes, is my life.

 

ON OCTOBER 9, 2012

a Taliban gunman shot Malala Yousafzai
as she rode home on a bus
after taking an exam in
Pakistan’s Swat Valley. “Which
of you is Malala? Speak up,
otherwise I’ll shoot you all.”
When he found out which
girl was Malala he shot her twice.
Once in the head and once
in the neck.

 

IN MALALA’S SPRING DREAM

the pond is a dark blossom
unfolding. If she were to
move to the window in the
dream, there would be white
lilies thru blinds, suspended
instead of a moon.
Fog lips on roots
and willows filtering into
dreams of swans. The light
polishing water, connecting
what was behind her to
what’s ahead.

Malala

Malala
Lyn Lifshin
New from Poetic Matrix Press
Available on our website

ON THAT DAY

the teenagers
chattered with their
teachers as the school
bus rattled along the
country road. They
just finished a term
paper and broke out
singing a Pashton
song. That music must
have been the last
thing Malala heard,
one of the last she
remembers.
Two men flagged down
the bus, boarded,
screamed. Which one
is Malala? Silence.
The rust leaves all
that moved in the
breeze. The girls,
terrified, frozen. Only
their eyes moved to
Malala.
That one the gun
man said. Fired two
shots. Then he fled.
The Teacher said
Drive
to the local hospital,
stared in horror at
Malala’s body, bleeding
and bleeding, unconscious
in her friend’s lap.

In Malala’s Spring Dream – Lyn Lifshin

In Malala’s Spring Dream

the pond is a
dark blossom
unfolding. If she
were to move to
the window in the
dream, there
would be white
lilies thru blinds,
suspended
instead of a
moon.
Fog lips on roots
and willows
filtering into
dreams of swans.
The light polishing
water, connecting
what was behind
her to what’s
ahead

 
 
Lyn Lifshin is a prolific poet sometimes know as the Queen of Small Press poetry. Poetic Matrix Press published her 2010 book Katrina. This poem is excerpted from her upcoming volume, Malala.