Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Annsfire, Anderson and Wilkinson

The Covered Woman
by JOAN ANNSFIRE

 

Pulsating with bodies,

the street is dangerously alive,

Libya, Syria, Yemen, countries where

muscular, young men

make their way through teargas, rubber bullets

and live ammunition.

 

The people rise up,

or half the people rise up.

 

But where are the other half?

 

Confined to interior rooms,

pacing cages like exotic animals

whose unleashed power could

take down the entire social order?

 

Being kept safe?

 

A virtual impossibility because

a woman is never safe,

not in raging streets

but especially not

in the captivity of her home.

 

In Afghanistan,

small hands weave intricate rugs,

the weavers speak in hushed voices,

create, magnificent art sold

for the profit of the men

who possess them.

 

The women who tried

to go to school

had acid thrown in their faces,

some were blinded, all disfigured,

yet afterwards, every one of them

vowed to fight on.

 

In Iran the women are not allowed to sing,

In Saudi Arabia they cannot drive

and if the heels of their shoes

click too loudly on polished surfaces

they are subject to arrest.

 

From beneath her burqa, her hijab, her chador,

the covered woman watches me

with the one part of her body

always permitted public view,

her eyes.

 

They convey a world beyond the limits

of my understanding.

 

She says:

You speak to me of liberty

I only see your scars.

 

The “choices” you’ve been given,

bloody tokens for their wars.

 

When your glass ceilings all lie broken

and all your doors swing open

let every hair on your proud head

stand naked in the sun.

 

But don’t preach to me of freedom

until your battle’s won.

Joan Annsfire is a librarian, a writer and a long time political activist who lives in Berkeley California.  Her poetry, short stories and non-fiction pieces have appeared in various literary magazines and web sites including previously in Poet’s Basement on Counterpunch.  In her blog, lavenderjoan: http://www.lavenderjoan.blogspot.com/ the personal meets the political.

12
by KEMMER ANDERSON

(On the first day of its promised offensive, the Taliban used a

12-year-old suicide bomber.)

 

After reading the news about the 12-year-old

Boy – suicide bomber kicking off the spring offensive,

I discovered an interview with Donald Hall,

Who began to write poetry at the same age,

Finding an explosion for words.

 

I stare around the classroom at my soccer team

Of 12-year-old players gathered at a pizza party –

Unknotted school ties, T-shirts, chanting, laughing

Waiting for their bodies to deliver the velocity

Of a goal that corners the market on that diving man

Header that drives the ball into the net with power.

 

Here in this room with Time magazine covers from history,

Posters of JFK and Martin Luther King, computers lining

The western wall with windows to Lookout Mountain,

The shredded body of the boy, the suicide bomber, lives

Never to take a direct kick at Henry, our goalie,

Or climb a tree house to read a book about Western England.

 

I would like to face off with his Taliban coach

And schedule games after a guitar concert

When snow melts through the Afghan mountains

And poppies bloom remembrance along the pitch

Of football fields lined for 12-and-under teams

From Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya.

Kemmer Anderson, a former goalie at Davidson College, coaches soccer in Tennessee.

Polished October
by DR. P. WILKINSON

Piety

preferred

Sanity

deferred

in the month

that ends with all saints.

Alone

they walk

hostile

they talk

from the years

since baptism waits.

Churches

filled

Graves

of those killed

in the dreams

that wake their dead. 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!

October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail