Glass, a new poem by Neeli Cherkovski


a glass vase with flowers
pleasing to the eye
like the music of Vivaldi
sits on the edge of a glass tabletop
in a quaint living room
far up north where the musk oxen gather
and people are made of glass
by skilled craftsmen
who learned from their fathers

there is no word for “glass”

men in the villages
gnash the flesh of time
whilst the Muezzin praises
a distant belt of stars
in a strong plaintive voice

a crack in the glass
looks as if the cosmos had come
down on the vase
and split our poor lives
into fragments

enough afternoon light
enters without permission
through long and narrow windows

take a shard of glass
up the mountain when you go and celebrate
the dead men who wrote
on the land late at night
songs of love
until the minarets shattered
and pieces of glass infected the soil

men went around with blood on their lips
every day the old man
polished wood frames and spoke
to the aspen

ask for a glass jar
filled with Great Northern Beans

you are built partially of sand

mirrors serve as a means
to look on your echo brows, you are
transparent, and though fragile
you prove durable for at least seven
or eight decades

there are eyeglasses
and shopkeepers
who show you how to
make a fragile unicorn

embrace glass arms at dawn
odd green goblets with deep pock marks
and smooth glass surfaces
fit your mind

or do you give a damn
for anything resembling joy?
dust settles

the district manager
is killing eucalyptus trees
and nobody cares

do you care if the world sinks?
you’ll be dead anyway

you are clear-headed and
you know many things
but do you experience humility
when the mirror cracks?

will you come for a dry martini?
do you care to walk alongside me
in the gloom garden behind the house

keep your hands
at your side and have no fear

row after row of toys
people herded into pens
people pissed on
and melted in ovens

public beheadings
and a cow on the loose

I regret having
left you alone
by the molten river

I love those rose- colored glass beads
hung round your mind
in honor of those travelers
who will not abandon the road

October 2014

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Support Summer Read SF 2015 – And Double Your Gift’s Impact!

LaBoulangeFriends has been presented with a fabulous matching gift opportunity from La Boulange and Next World Capital to raise money for the Library’s popular Summer Read SF program.  Summer Read SF helps keep San Franciscans reading during the summer by offering prize incentives and age-related programming. This program is particularly important to students to help them keep up their reading level for the following school year.

For every dollar Friends raises for Summer Read SF 2015 between now and October 24, up to a total of $10,000, Friends will receive a matched dollar for the program because of the generosity of La Boulange and Next World Capital.  This is a wonderful way to leverage donation dollars for a great cause.  Please help us reach a goal of raising at least $20,000 for Summer Read SF 2015 with this opportunity by making a donation before October 24 by going to Summer Read SF 2015 Double Impact Gift.  Any amounts are welcome and appreciated; contributions of $5,000 or more will be acknowledged as a sponsorship of Summer Read SF 2015 if desired.  Questions? Please call Laurie Berk at 415-626-7512 x106.  Thank you for your support!  And thank you to La Boulange and Next World Capital for this wonderful opportunity!