“Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.” Read more about Amnesty’s work here
Extract from Mia Avramut’s review on Amazon.co.uk:
“From a symbol of the divine (“A Life-Changing Story), to an object of meditation and near-worship in Syntagma Square (as in the title story), to their possible end in a soup kitchen destined to feed hungry children (“Pigeons”), doves’ journey functions as a counterpoint to the human sacrifice and quest for nourishing truths. Several glimpses into silent, sometimes tortured lives, end in haiku. It serves to deepen the reader’s understanding, and add new dimensions to the prose. And it’s a treat, as Pierides is both an archeologist of experiences, and a mistress of haibun.
Since Yourcenar and Kazantzakis, nobody has illuminated with such wisdom and compassion the often unseen lives that make the humanity what it is: a traveling, travailing organism with feet of myth.”
Mia Avramut is a Romanian- born writer, physician, researcher, and poetry editor at Connotation Press.
Having left Greece in her youth, the author of “Feeding the Doves” returns to the country of her birth through a collection of stories that lie at the heart of Greek identity.
About the Book: Greece has been in the headlines for a very long time. Recently, the headlines have been gloomy and negative, the country facing some of its most difficult years. Against this background, “Feeding the Doves” explores recurrent elements of the Greek psyche, tracing them back to challenges posed by the country’s history, culture, and environment.
The widow, the old loner, the refugee, the immigrant, the young, the writer, the expatriate, tell us their stories, touching upon themes at the heart of Greek being: Love and loss, civil war, immigration and diaspora, emigration, poverty, religion, history and catastrophe, and above all, the will to survive.
“What I admire here are the shining moments of revelation, of truths large and small bursting through the lives and memories of these characters. So many characters, and so rich!”
—John Wentworth Chapin
Founding Editor, 52|250 and A Baker’s Dozen
“Stories to surprise and entertain, to wake and calm, to wrench and elate, to tell the Greek story, past and present, and everyone’s story.”
-—Michael Dylan Welch, poet, writer,
and editor/publisher of Press Here books
87 pages, 90gm cream interior paper
Full-color laminated cover
129 mm x 198 mm trim size
Price: £8.00 UK
her scuffed shoes—
Haiku News, Vol. 2 No. 17: Karma Tenzing Wangchuck, Stella Pierdes, Michael Henry Lee
May 13th, 2013
First appeared on NaHaiWriMo
her scuffed shoes –
NaHaiWriMo prompt: shoes
whistling through deserted streets shrapnel
NaHaiWriMo prompt: war. A difficult prompt to respond to… so many past wars, so many going on today… I opted for a single moment, the sound of flying shrapnel, the danger of it.
the cup fills with news
NaHaiWriMo prompt: taste, but not of food or drink
charred blankets -
NaHaiWriMo extension 2011; prompt: consequences of war
He scours streets, bus and tube stations for newspapers. Two years since he arrived in London and he is still amazed at how many newspapers lie discarded around. Although he cannot decipher the writing, they are ideal for keeping warm.
He stuffs them inside his pullover and feels like a king: he needs for nothing. He is warm and fed: the city overflows with leftovers. He beds down whenever he is tired, wherever he finds a warm doorway from where he can look at the sky.
He loves summer best. At night, sneaking into Finsbury Park, he heads for his favourite bench, near the lake. It is cool and the sky is full of stars. Not as spectacular as the sky in his village, in the floodplains of the Mesopotamian Iraqi marshes, where the stars shine like diamonds on black velvet, but it works.
It illuminates the memories that follow him like his shadow: the rice fields and the boat he made himself from reeds, the water buffalo; his father, punting through narrow channels. The Garden of Eden.
Then he counts the stars, looks for patterns, for directions; for a sign that it is safe to return home. His heart, filled with nostalgia, trembles like a bird. Often though, he counts his blessings: here, among the floods of people filling the channels of this city, he can blend in and feel safer than in the marshes of his homeland – till it is time to return.
Hot from my computer keyboard, this new short story written for the 52/250 A Year of Flash project, was first posted on their website. A story about a war-savaged, homeless man sleeping rough in Finsbury Park, North London, and the cruel strands of present-day displacement and identity.
10 December 2010
Where is your home?
For photos of Finsbury Park I took myself, see here
This poem was published in the Big Pond Rumours ezine, summer 2006. It won second Prize in the Big Pond Rumours Poetry Competition.
I wrote it for Tania and Jaque’s house-warming party and it is dedicated to them.
If Trees, Then Olive Trees
You ploughed the seas. You crossed the skies. Saw the shipwrecks. Gathered
your wealth in words. Then, like Odysseus seeing the smoke rising, you decided
to become trees. To grow roots, you wrote. To grow. And while the bulldozers
work round you, while the Fates, the Wars, the Envious, the Arrogant,
lay siege to you, as they always do and always will, remember to stand your ground
like thousand year-old olives, twisting golden brown trunks and holding hands. Expand,
burrow deeper and fashion a silky smooth quilt, a glowing oil lamp, a warming hearth,
a spacious kitchen, a deep well and a cool, vine-clad terrace.
Odyssey is a memory. A treasure and a well-kept secret. Your home always yearned
for you. Your olive-tree bed rooted to the ground. Penelope with outstretched
arms will hug you. The lyre and the xylophone. The drum and the flute will lead you.
And you will dance, and dance and sing the life she could only dream of.
And if, like the man of old, you find your journey not yet over,
embark on each new voyage with zest. Plan each trip in language,
build your boats with words. Thread your sails with rays from your joyous souls.
And for fuel, for fuel employ the subtle beating of your hearts.