Poet of the Month

2021: Poets featured as Poet of the Month 

January: Rebecca Lowe (Wales). February: Jim Gronvold (USA). March: Carolyn Mary Kleefeld (USA). April: Tozan Alkan (Turkey).May: Byron Beynon (Wales). June: Michelle Chung (USA). July: Jim Gwyn (USA). August: Jonathan Taylor (England). September: Beata Poźniak (USA).

 

SEPTEMBER: Beata Poźniak (USA)

(c) 2021 Beata Poźniak 

Beata Poźniak is a performance artist, activist and poet. She won two EarphonesAwards and received five Voice Arts Award nominations for narrating Penguin Random House and Scholastic’s audiobooks, which included the most recent Nobel Prize Winner, Olga Tokarczuk’s “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead”. She writes and directs experimental filmpoems and was featured in the newly released (2021) Sarah Tremlett’s encyclopedic book  “The Poetics of Poetry Film”.  

Beata is considered as “a new voice of her generation”. She has been invited by the Yale Club to read her work. Her poems were published in Bengali, Korean, Armenian and Greek languages. As an actress, she has starred in over 30 films, but mostly remembered for her role as Marina Oswald in the eight time Oscar nominated film “JFK”. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree and served on the faculty at UCLA and USC in Los Angeles, USA. She is a human rights activist and introduced the first bill in the history of US Congress to recognize officially International Women’s Day in the United States.

 

Twenty Six – The Farewell Waltz
Dedicated to Fryderyk Chopin


1:26 a.m. 
Young paradise of embarrassed eighty eight black
and white stars, full of life and light. They watch me, 
enjoying their own fullness
and harmony of touch. 
A peaceful-sleepy-dark chord holds my fingers tightly. 
Warm wind tries to escape, the dancing 
quarter notes leave, 
improvising a new pattern,
simply playing hide and seek.
Breeze.
Surrendering.
A nocturne cries its name in the distance,
a mournful owl. 
Suddenly, in a flash 
of Marienbad my heart is drumming away.
The rhythm is carried by its movement and sound.
Fingers, toes are tingling still.
A bird that flies by
breaks the mood with two plus six repetition.
All parts of my body are opening to a new song,
a new symphony of thoughts. The music in me
grows fuller as the stars fade. 
Disappear. I’m peeking out of my shell.
The illusion fades away
with the night. New sonatas of thoughts are born
and ready for the journey.
Dawn is just minutes away. Madame Sound takes my hand. I am.
I am twenty-six years old. 

Note: Marienbad is the location of Chopin's meeting with Maria Wodzinska, whose parents forced her to reject his marriage proposal. He was twenty-six years old.

© 2021 Beata Pozniak


(c) 2021 Beata Poźniak 

 

“ Isolated Island”

 
The spiderweb of roads in my brain
Are shaking in the wind of thoughts:
Where do I go?
What do I do?

A gypsy soul is looking down 
At my left hand with railroad lines, 
vains. A clue. Daily breathing 
becomes vain - she says:
No blood anymore. Dry.
Puts a prune in the womb 
of my right hand. Feel - no pit! 
You. Empty. Old. Soft. Still.

Right.
Left?
Isolated island of a hand seeking comfort.
Where do I go?
What do I do?

You are entering a world in which all roads turn.
Clap.
Choose. 
Now!

Where do I go?
What do I do?

I have no gas in my legs of life. 
My thoughts are like a sleepless metropolis.
All recognizable landmarks in my heart are gone.


© 2021 Beata Pozniak

 
“People on the Bridge”  

Translated by Beata Poźniak 
from the original Polish poem,
“Ludzie na moście”  by  Wisława Szymborska

Odd planet and the people on it are odd too.
They surrender to time, but they won’t face it.
They have methods to express their protest.
They make pictures like for instance this one:

At first glance, nothing special.
You see water.
And one of its shores.
You see a boat arduously struggling against the current.
Over the water you see a bridge and people on the bridge.
The people are clearly accelerating their pace
because of a sudden shower blasting down from a dark cloud.

The whole point is that nothing happens next.
The cloud doesn’t change its color or shape.
The rain isn’t intensifying or stopping.
The boat sails without any movement.
People on the bridge are running in the exact same 
spot where they were before.

At this point it’s hard not to make an observation.
This is not in any way an innocent picture.
Time has stopped right at this moment.
Not caring about its laws anymore.
Deprived of its influence on the course of events,
Disregarded and spurned.

Caused by a rebel,
A certain Hiroshige Utagawa,
(a being, who long ago passed away 
as one would expect),
Time tripped and fell.

Perhaps it was all a joke without much meaning,
a prank on the scale of just a couple of galaxies,
but just in case, 
let’s add the following:

From one generation to the other it’s very proper
to highly appreciate such a picture,
to marvel at the image and be moved.

For some, this is not enough.
They go so far, as to actually hear the sound of the rain, 
They react to the chill of the drops that run 
down their necks,
they look at the bridge and the people,
as if they saw themselves right there in that moment,
in that very same run on a road without end 
To be travelled endlessly 
And they are bold in their belief that this is how things really are.

Note: Beata made a filmpoem based on Szymborska’s “People on the Bridge” - https://www.facebook.com/PeopleOnTheBridge/

 (c) 2021 Beata Poźniak