Two Poems for Paris

Paris by Carol Alena Aronoff

Paris was always more than Paris:
the light of Monet’s garden
illuminating Renoir’s picnic,
the playgrounds of Matisse, Lautrec.
Art drunk with croissants
every morning
on lace-covered tables
with forsythia blooms
in cerulean,
the aroma of burnt sienna-
cups brimming with water lilies,
pure ambrosia
soft like ripe brie.
The Jerusalem of Chagall
where every man
who sees the fiddler
on Notre Dame’s roof
becomes a Jew.
Even mounds of lush peaches
form fine sculptures
outside Georges Pompidou station,
art, like lunchtime lovers
spilling everywhere.

Exhausted Soil by Alice-Catherine Jennings

Flattened out, zip lined to zero
I feel the flames spear out & rip
through the gambrel of Our Lady—
Notre Dame…“La flèche! La flèche!”
the spectators sob as the spire collapses.
How can I then return in happy plight


to Paris? That roof—lattice of wooden
beams cut from trees in pristine forests.
Trees so huge they exist no more. Now I—
must weep for the trees! And night doth…
make grief’s length seem stronger.
And yet,
in Iraq when St. Elijah, Dair Mar Elia


was crushed by ISIL fever, clouds did
not blot the heavens of my thoughts.


*How can I then return in happy plight and And night doth nightly make grief’s length seem stronger are lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 28.

Carol Alena Aronoff, Ph.D.is a psychologist, teacher and poet whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. She was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has published a chapbook, Cornsilk and five full-length poetry collections: The Nature of Music, an expanded, illustrated CornsilkHer Soup Made the Moon Weep; Blessings from an Unseen World  and Dreaming Earth’s Body : poems by Carol Alena Aronoff, paintings by Betsie Miller-Kusz . Her sixth full-length poetry book, The Gift of Not Finding: Poems for Meditation, is forthcoming in 2020 from Homestead Lighthouse Press and another chapbook, Tapestry of Secrets will be published by Finishing Line Press in November.

Alice-Catherine Jennings grew up in Ohio playing the accordion at poker parties. After years of working/studying here and there in the US and in Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Italy, and Portugal, she now lives in Santa Fé, New Mexico. Her poetry has appeared in various publications worldwide.