March 27-April 2, 2006: Tom Berman and Mary Goff

week of March 27-April 2, 2006

Tom Berman and Mary Goff

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Tom Berman

Bio (auto)

I have been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for over 50 years I am a scientist (aquatic microbiology) and most of my research has been focused on the Sea of Galilee (known here as Lake Kinneret) I grew up and attended school in Glasgow, Scotland having arrived there aged 5 from Czechoslovakia with the Kindertransport in 1939 Further education was in the U.S at Rutgers University and at M.I.T I am married with one wife, three daughters, six granddaughters, a grandson and one mongrel dog Most of my publications to date have been scientific but now and again I have had a poem appear in press (Ariel, Voices Israel, Full Circle, Voices from Israel, Travelling, Across the Long Bridge, The World Poets Quarterly) or on the Web (Poetry Webring Review, Poetry Life & Times, Ariga, Poeticdiversity, Poetry Super Highway, SubtleTea, The Coffee Press Journal, Lily, Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry, Illiterate Hooligan, The Poetry Victims and elsewhere) are still trying to dispose of my first book of poems (Shards, a Handful of Verse) Presently, I am Editor in Chief of the annual Voices Israel Anthology.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Tom Berman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Kippur 2004, Upper Galilee

The day sits brooding
under a bare stone hill
summer parched
expectant for rain

time slows a pace

a breeze floats by
birds at their vespers
pray over fields
and patient woods

in the news-real-world
events happen:
terror, floods
elections, football
mayhem and madness
all is flux
day to day

I listen
to the sky
and take comfort
in the falling
of a leaf

Ocean vista, with gulls
The wind is whirling the gulls
over a white-capped sea
here, where Pacific ends

On our westward way
we seek by this wild coast
what we know not yet

Only the echoing cry
of the circling gulls,
red-tipped beaks
if they know,
or know not,
what message is borne
on the wind’s gusts
or rolls ashore
on the breaking waves
carried five thousand miles
by an oblivious ocean

The wind is chill

We clamber back
into the calm cabin
of our vehicle,
head south

we may be wiser
than the gulls.

Mary Goff

Bio (auto)

My name is Mary Goff and I am thirty years old I am originally from Oklahoma but currently reside in Casper, Wyoming as a stay-home mother I have two children, boys, and I am readying myself for marriage in July of this year I have been writing since I have been able to comprehend words and I have great respect for those who write and write well.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Mary Goff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


My ashtray is so full
That when I put a cigarette out
It continues to burn
what is left in the pit,
and it stinks Stinks like molded paper
or dry leaves burning
alongside a landfill And I think of seagulls,
flying overhead,
calling out, pecking through garbage,
searching in erratic circles,
much like I’m doing now Using my finger to push aside,
the smoldering cigarette ends,
to make room
for a yet another
lung clogging smokestack.

Is my life, as such,
sustained as this?
Wading through small piles
of clinking half crushed tin cans
of beer and wadded tissue,
overwhelmed by my own filth,
submerged in my own decay,
my slow suicide?
Surely, I am not as bad off
as those seagulls Certainly
I’m not
bad off .

But that burning scent
of my dismay
and the vitriolic scent
of stale beer,
that clink of wasted
time wrapped in hollow tin,
reminds me
that I’m a terrible liar Circle on seagull,
Circle on.