September 21, 2014 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION




Ilona Martonfi


A blind sister’s funeral


April 28, 1944 – April 16, 2014


On a cold April day


small white flowers bloom

yellow dandelion weed


spring has come to Potters Road,

muddy Otter Creek, oak and beech


the Tillsonburg Cemetery family plot

appear small among cornfields

cerulean blue sky


the entire village arrives

to walk behind my sister’s coffin


an old neighbour woman

wearing black cotton kerchief


song sparrows keen Ibolya Eva.







Thistles of the Baragan



How many dispossessed?

 “Class enemies”

for many long years

Baragan Romanian Gulag


white sun, white sky

uninhabited —


“You have three hours

to pack your belongings!”

Grandfather Ludwig’s sister, Anna,

brother-in-law, Peter,

labeled as kulak,

lands and animals confiscated.

Ethnic cleansing of Banat villages.

Blotted out, displaced.


Rattling of steel wheels.

Where to? For how long?

Windowless cattle wagons.

Wolf carcasses. Steppe bald eagle.

Line ending at Gura Ialomitei station.

Pale pink and yellow blossoms

cotton plantations. Lucerne. Wheat fields.

Treeless. Motionless

dust and drought

constant blizzard wind

dugout smelling of earth,

the roof knotted with reeds.


Country of violet thistles.


It’s as if nothing exists beyond.











Ilona Martonfi Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press 2012). Published in Vallum, Accenti, The Fiddlehead, Serai. Poet, editor, teacher. Founder/producer of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Poetry and Prose Readings, co-founder of Lovers and Others. QWF 2010 Community Award.



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