Monday, April 30, 2007


They ask me to be involved.
I send 50 blankets,
100 bars of unscented soap
and 1000 pencils for schoolchildren.
I can’t send my shock.
They ask me to shed tears.
My river overflows.
My dry eyes sigh.
My morning juice sours.
I see double sometimes.
They ask me to spread the word.
I type too fast.
My images are pasted on the past.
My daily trek is vexed.
Memory still consults my mind.
They want a monument.
Spitak and Gumri are still floss
on the mill of no response.
I hew names on the marble of thoughts.
This is too heavy to send.
They wish remembrance.
I name my poems for them.
I light 50,000 beeswax candles
in the church of national history.
My ideas are edged with commemoration.
They say I should listen.
The announcer of 1988 gave the news
loud enough for a century
of survivors and sympathizers.
I heard and continue to understand.

Time to turn from nature's mannerism, remembering earth is not an enemy; to recommend soil that gobbles seeds and gratifies us with plants; to plant our reprimands and gather the green of their leaves;
to suspend negative moments like dangling participles in a sentence;
to repair the crafts that need new glue, even flour mixed with water;
to repair ourselves and the twitch of face that happens after dearth;
to fill the lanterns outside ourselves with light and craved raves of esteem.

Copyright Helene Pilibosian
This poem appears by kind permission of its author.

Helene Pilibosian's work has recently appeared in such magazines as The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, The Hollins Critic, North American Review, Seattle Review and is pending in Art Times. Some of her poems have won prizes or finalist status in competitions such as New Letters and Madison Review. She published her first book, Carvings from an Heirloom: Oral History Poems, in 1983, and the second, At Quarter Past Reality: New and Selected Poems, in 1998 under the imprint Ohan Press. The latter won an award from Writer’s Digest. Formerly she worked in journalism and editing at The Armenian Mirror-Spectator; now she is head of Ohan Press, a private bilingual micropress which has published seven books. The web site is at

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