Born in a small village, amidst the dunes,
not during dawn or dusk but mid afternoon.
Progenitor’s countenance was delighted at a glance,
angels in heaven were rendering the radiant dance.
Stillborn made her mother’s womb a barren field,
seed sown bore fruition after commanding her to yield.
In true terms, since birth she was a survivor,
laden with entire kin’s load made her a coherent driver.
Continue reading A Benevolent Midwife – Poem by Tausif Mundrawala
After my father died my mother slipped into a chaotic state of dementia. Over time and after countless conversations we concluded she was very attached to her anger. It was if she was raising up her problems as her new children. She preferred her alternative view of the world and it would become her undoing.
Continue reading Asylum Conversations – by Martin Kimeldorf
or… Why There is No Room for Naysayers and Negative Viber
A long-term client recently called me worried that Diversity and Inclusion would be put on the business back burner. “What will happen to support for Diversity and Inclusion now that Trump is president,” he asked.
Continue reading Five Diversity and Inclusion Moves to Make Now – by Simma Lieberman
In a time when racial, political, economic and religious divisions in the United States are increasingly obvious, the people of one southern city, Chattanooga, Tennessee, are attempting, through dialogue, to understand the religious beliefs of one another. On a chilly November Monday evening a group of over fifty people gathered at a Hindu temple for the Sixth Interfaith Panel Discussion. The attendees and panelists were ordinary people, with extra-ordinary beliefs concerning the value of gaining knowledge and understanding of the faith traditions of one another.
Continue reading Interfaith Panel in the South: A Community Responds – By Gay Morgan Moore
It’s 1959. I’m a Southern religious teenage girl raised on the fire and brimstone of the Baptist Church. My boyfriend is a second generation Italian Catholic. My mother, recently divorced from my step-father, transforms from a “Betty Crocker’ housewife into a bird set free from a gilded cage. This turn of events leads to her elopement with one of her many men friends to Elkton, Maryland. Butch and I go along as witnesses. After spending the night in her Buick at the A&P parking lot, waiting for the courthouse to open, we finally walk out of the wide court doors—married—all four of us. Mom and Sal drive off to Florida, I move in with a girlfriend and Butch goes back to his home, as if nothing stupendous happened.
Continue reading My Contra-cultural Marriage and Religious Chaos — by Micki Pelusi
Every now and then, a convergence of world events causes us to think more deeply about who we are and where we have been. The current refugee crisis is one such confluence of occurrences that have caught the attention of individuals worldwide. In the midst of the scramble of countries to make appropriate adjustments in their national lives to accommodate an influx of newcomers, many individuals are trying to do something to ease the refugees’ discomfort.
Continue reading Welcome to the New World – by Judith Nembhard
As I look back sixteen years, I can’t help but thank God for how much He has done for me. I especially thank God for my parents who decided to keep me, instead of aborting me. To all my family, friends, classmates and church members, thank you for encouraging me when I was down, and spending time with me when I was recovering from my craniofacial surgeries.
Continue reading Sweet Sixteen & Craniofacial Acceptance Month – by Philip Matthews
We live in rapidly evolving societies, so why doesn’t our environmental sensitization adapt/conform to these changes?’’
Williams S. Anarfi explains – environmental education is becoming increasingly important as our lives, cities and priorities change. As our cities become more congested and busy, knowledge of the impact we each have on our surroundings becomes more and more crucial. Equally important however, is our understanding of how we can contribute to protecting the environment around us.
Continue reading Environmental Education Is Key to Solving Our Waste Problem – by Olumide IDOWU
and turned out the lights,
I heard my mother pray
with all the others.
The room stank
like stables. Foul air
burned my nostrils.
Soon, moans replaced
the prayers. I wondered
about the promised water.
When the valves creaked
open, I felt no water,
only something invisible
on my skin. We were naked
as the truth that could not be
hidden any longer.
My mother squeezed me
to her bossom—I never liked
the smell of almonds.
The last thing I heard was
the sweet sound of violins,
the trumpeting of angels.
First published in A Quiet Courage: A Journal of Microfiction and Poetry in 100 Words or Less (November 2015).
Author’s Notes: The order to exterminate the Jews was signed in July 1941. At Triblenka II, the path leading from the undressing barracks (many were fooled into thinking they would be getting hot showers) through the forested area into the gas chambers was cynically called die Himmelstraße (the road to heaven). But the killing process at Treblinka—suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning—differed significantly from the method used at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the poison gas was hydrogen cyanide (which has the smell of almonds).
Clear water plunges through the sandstone basin,
tumbles over lead-gray limestone. Fragments worn
smooth, edges rounded.
He stands amidst the stream, surveys the bottom
between the ripples all the way to where the sky
edges the water’s mirror. He kneels in the stream bed,
rifles for pebbles matching caliber of the sling-pocket
of his leather-thronged catapult. His fingers search,
Continue reading Five Stones – Poem by John C. Mannone