May 11, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Stephen Melkisethian photo



Karen Honnold




Another Attack



The names of the dead no longer fit in our mouths.

The weight of them causes a ripple effect that

spreads in and out, around the continents, to each corner of the world.

There is a tendency to spin a web across each nation cocooning in perceived safe places.

No one is spared.

Prayers don’t appear to be working

religions take each other on

governments blame each other.

Surely, it’s not what was intended.

Senseless acts plunge us into despair with no relief in sight.

We live each day guiltily relieved the wave smooths out

before it reaches our own shore.

Stark reality is here and we live with the knowledge our turn may be coming.

It only takes being at church, watching a movie, attending a concert, running a race.

Then, our turn will look just like the evening news.






Josef’s Belgium Home



Up the sidewalk past the sharp edges of the wrought iron fence

to the home of Josef who is expecting us and has laid a fire.

The smell of wood smoke is itself a nostalgic greeting.

In the living room a wooden is table set with fresh waffles, fruit and farm cheese.

Champaign flutes line the dining room table,

the smell of strong coffee exhales from the kitchen.


Josef, retired brick mason, spoke no English but his smile,

an air kiss on each cheek spoke for him.

With us, an American ex-pat, Judy who translated our conversation

which revolved around travel plans, our relationship to each other, the weather.


During a lull, Judy asked Josef to tell the story of a time in Belgium when,

Allied Troops marched through this small town.

How as a four- year old, he watched trucks, tanks, and men march through.

The parade lasted twenty-four hours.

Josef came away with a pocket full of chocolate and gum.


My Uncle was one of those soldiers.  Skinny, soft blue-eyes, a shock of blond hair,

straight off the farm so far away.

Headed now to the Battle of the Bulge.


And, by the fire in Josef’s tiny home,

I can see my Uncle hand a pack of gum to a tiny boy

standing along the side of the road.





Karen Honnold

Karen Honnold is a poet and artist living in Charleston, Illinois.

She draws inspiration from the woods that surround her home studio where deer, fox, and raccoons roam.

For many years Karen kept a booklet containing quotes and short verses that reflected ideas, activities, and people in her everyday life, but the thought of writing poetry didn’t become a reality until she attended a therapeutic writing seminar in 2005.

During the next few months she wrote and self-published a chapbook containing fourteen poems. She continues to write poetry on topics she chooses from her own thoughts and tell stories about family life and her own life experiences.

Her poetry also speaks to societies habit of judging people by their physical appearance or station in life.  She writes about her observations of the struggles of those addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

In 2005 a short story of Karen’s was published in the Readers Write section of the literary magazine, The Sun.  Her poetry has been published in various journals and newspapers.

Karen says, “I like myself best when I am writing poetry, which seems to me a good reason to continue.” 

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Todd Sukany May 11, at 17:08

    Karen. Thanks for sharing your gifts. I am a fan of the imagery and power of your words. Todd


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