The Village Poets Monthly Readings include two segments of open mic for poets, typically reading two poems each, plus 30 minutes from one featured poet or 20 minutes each from two poets.
Hedy Habra is a poet, artist and essayist. She has taught Spanish at Western Michigan University and is currently studying Mandarin. She has authored three poetry collections, more recently, The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019), Winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award, Honorable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and Finalist for the Best Book Award. Tea in Heliopolis won the Best Book Award and her ekphrastic collection, Under Brushstrokes, was finalist for the Best Book Award and the International Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Her book of criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa, examines the visual aspects of the Peruvian Nobel Prize Winner narrative. A seventeen-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the net, and recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Award, her multilingual work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. She has just completed a poetry manuscript "Or Did You Ever See the Other Side?" inspired by women artists. https://www.hedyhabra.com/
Habra has painted the artworks for her book covers.
Information on her Books available at https://www.hedyhabra.com/
Book Reviews available at https://www.hedyhabra.com/
Cover Art by Hedy Habra. Cover Design by Paul Sizer.
The Taste of the Earth
Two fawns cross the creek. One of them pauses, linked
to his mirror reflection by the tip of his tongue, parallel
worlds merge on the fault line of a folded image.
A musical phrase sticks to your skin, the wind espouses
ripples, liquid dunes lick the shoreline, give moisture to
wild brush, blown over seeds and thoughts.
Iridescent hummingbirds hover over purple iris blooms.
The shore is faithful to the stream’s first touch. Like first
love, it nourishes tendrils rising into a green flame,
never forgotten like the taste of the earth. A desert thirsts
for an oasis, a fawn melts into the music of a fable,
a gazelle, new memories map rhizomes twisting,
anchoring us farther with each shoot spreading from our
birthplace to everywhere we’ve lived, to where we live
now, and does it make a difference if the root remembers?
First published by Sukoon Literary Journal
From The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019)
The Apple of Granada
Some say Eve handed a pomegranate to Adam, and it makes sense to me. How can the flesh of an apple compare to the bejeweled juicy garnets, the color of passion, hidden under its elastic pink skin tight as an undersized glove, a fruit withholding the power to doom and exile since the dawn of time. For a few irresistible seeds, didn’t Persephone lose sight of the sun for months? I mean, think of the mystery hidden in its slippery gems, of the sweetness of the tongue sealing the union with the beloved in the Song of Songs. And I succumb, despite how messy it is to crack the fruits open, invade that hive, oblivious to the indelible droplets splattering the sink, reaching beyond the marble counter all over my arms and face, as my fingertips delicately remove its inner membranes, until the bowl is filled with shiny ruby red arils. I add a few drops of rose and orange blossom water, the way my mother did and my grandmother used to do and her mother before her.
First published by Cumberland River Review
From Under Brushstrokes (Press 53 2015)
Go every day a little deeper
into the woods, collect acorns,
twigs, thorns, fallen leaves,
pine needles, a fern's curl,
a bird's nest, a lost feather,
spring air, hot, humid air, a raindrop,
a touch of blue, a ripple,
and why not the hush
of your steps over moss,
the trembling of leaves
at dusk against black bark?
Put it all in a bag and shake it:
you will retrace your steps
within the clearing, hear frightened
flights, watch the rain darken the deck,
flatten oak leaves, answer the root’s mute prayer.
First published by GraFemas: Letras Femeninas
From Tea in Heliopolis (Press 53 2013)
Or How Do You Keep Track of All the Keys You Once Owned?
After Chiharu-Shiota's The Locked Room
keys to unlock one's buried memories
keys to the family cottage you had to sell
keys that once opened different-sized locks
keys that had to be changed after an effraction
keys that yearn for the doors they used to open
keys thrown into a deep well, still oozing blood
keys to the palaces King Farouk owned in Egypt
keys to learning how to deal with oneself and others
keys to the meaning of feelings that you kept losing
keys to the safes holding papers that ruled your lives
keys kept in a jewelry box that must have mattered once
keys, lost, forgotten or treasured as a possible come back
keys to the wrought-iron patio gate half-covered with jasmine
keys that opened the car door that led you straight to the beach
keys to dream's horned and ivory gates that keep getting mixed up
keys meant to reach the heart of a man before he'd change the locks
keys you hold in your palm and run your fingers over and over again
keys to an old friend's house who once relied upon you to water her plants
keys passed on from generation to generation to reclaim the ancestral home
keys that you had to return to the hotel where you wished you'd spend a lifetime
keys to all the cars you've ever owned and led you through long-forgotten crossroads
keys to the office you left carrying a cardboard box filled with what seemed important
keys to the wooden-carved secretary your mother handed down to you that held no secret to her
keys to the homes you kept leaving, from country to country, from one neighborhood to the next
First published by MockingHeart Review