Originally from Denver, BRIAN ROBERT FLYNN is currently breathing the fiction and poetry of Washington, DC. His work can be found in (or is forthcoming from) The Moth, LETTERS Journal, Noble/Gas Qtrly, The Rotary Dial, The Learned Pig, Litro Magazine, and elsewhere. He has assured us that no harm came to the endangered Cavendish or any other banana cultivars during the composition of his ‘Dispatch.’
RACHEL TENNANT is a landscape architect, poet and photographer with an award winning design practice based in the UK and Hong Kong. She aims to distil a physical and emotional response to a location that captures and renders the ‘spirit of a place’. Her work has been included in the Glasgow Anthology Tip Tap Flat, From Glasgow to Saturn, and the Gladrag. A poem is also featured on virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie’s website.
HOWARD SINGERMAN‘s late mother was a survivor of Auschwitz. His initial poems were about the Holocaust and his family; his poems now cover a wide variety of topics. He and his wife, with 2 other couples, created the website www.gatheringthevoices.com. It contains interviews with over 30 refugees from Nazi persecution who settled in Scotland, including Howard’s mother. They have also created a mobile exhibition about these refugees and take this to schools and provide talks.
Watching a human eat
a banana counts among
the most peaceful of things.
185 lbs. A farmer.
Tough enough, if he wants,
to squash me with his fists.
Capable of unpeeling
& devouring whole bananas
at a time! Of digesting
each without a problem.
But he does not. Instead,
he is ritualistic: His fingers
go to work. He eyes
his fellow humans & checks
for safety, for predators.
Peeling the fruit’s skin,
he wavers for a spell,
an accumulation of peelings,
all the time passing him by.
A moment of consternation
ensues before getting on
with business. Eyes calm,
he discards the oxidized peel.
He understands what
it means to finish.
Brian Robert Flynn
يمكنك وضع الصيد السلامة على الرجاء
At Hamra the road unspools
around and down
the mountains from the high corniche
another world interrupted
at times by distant fireworks
far below in the city.
Monday morning, the work run,
past the post at Marad in the west
and every time through the car window
an AK47 its hair trigger
held by a check point child soldier
with a nervous finger.
The only lines learnt
sun dried in my memory
the safety catch – shukran
Candle Flame on the Clyde
It is Friday night, my wife lights the candles, and says the prayer,
now silently, she makes a wish, for her family’s welfare,
then she turns to me, says “ Good Shabbos”, and we kiss,
and I know that all I need and all I want is this.
I turn out the light, and we leave the room in darkness,
except for the candle flame, which sheds a little brightness.
Later, I come back in, and watch the candle flames flicker and flit,
reflected in the frozen water of the picture, hanging above where they sit.
It is a Duncan Shanks painting, Frozen Clyde at Crossford.
As the candle flames dance, I watch entranced, without a word,
and I remember staring at other frozen water, in Auschwitz Birkenau,
at the Lake of Ashes there, where the remains of my mother’s family lie.
The candle flames flare and gutter, they nearly go out, but they survive,
and I fleetingly think, that’s how it goes, with our lives.
But I’m wrong, so wrong, for the six million died,
and more still die, and nobody hears their cry.
If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Flynn, Tennant, Singerman Poems
All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com