Tag Archives: Golos

Dream: The City: Baghdad, 2008, by Veronica Golos

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdviserCommemorating Ten Years of Poetic Resistance, PAW Post No. 13

During the month of February, Writing for Peace  commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.

*Parental Guidance Warning –The poets featured during our February Daily PAW Posts write of war and its effect on the human heart. Writing for Peace has not censored these poems, and we encourage parents to review the content before sharing them with children.

To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.

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Dream: The City: Baghdad, 2008, Arabic translation by Nizar Sartawi

Dream: The City: Baghdad, 2008

by Veronica Golos

Who am I that I sit here at this door?
In my dream, there is a long alley, a place I learn Want.

The city is a mirror. Inside my reflection, old men are on fire—
Flaming like red kaffiyahs.

Litter ignites into funeral flares; the bread of the dead is baking.
Above the moans of children, soldiers warm their hands.

Avenues widen into downpour, detours unfold, flower into cemeteries.
Into this narrow place, two rivers clash.

Am I the one covered with brine, smelling of tides?
Or am I the stone, lifted like a flag?

























Dream: The City: Baghdad, 2008”, was previously published in Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011).


Veronica Golos, Writing for Peace AdvisorAbout Writing for Peace Adviser, Veronica Golos

Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award, as well as A Bell Buried Deep, co winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press). She was Poet in Residence at Sacred Heart Academy in Greenwich, CT in 2005, at the Nassau Museum of Art, and Yaxche School in Taos,New Mexico. She has lectured on Teaching Poetry to Children at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and Colorado State College. Golos’ work has been widely published and anthologized nationally and internationally, including Meridians, Drunken Boat, Orbus (London), and Liqueur44 (Paris). She has performed at the Nuyorican Café, LincolnCenter, and Cornelia Street Café in NYC, and many venues in the Southwest. A lifelong activist for social justice, humanitarian and peace causes, Golos uses her poetry not only to interpret and question but “to challenge and act.”

Learn more about Veronica Golos here.


Writing for Peace News:

All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at editor@writingforpeace.org, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.

2013 Young Writers Contest

The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe.  The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Contest deadline is March 1st, 2013. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.

DoveTales,  An International Journal of the Arts

The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world.  We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!



Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.


Bop (k)not: Juba! Juba! by Veronica Golos

Veronica Golos, Writing for Peace AdvisorWhat Could Be More Important?

by Veronica Golos

Veronica Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), and winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award. Her poetry immerses us in everyday beauty – the line of sheets drying amidst hollyhocks and russian sage – while tearing away the illusion that we, as Americans, are somehow uniquely entitled to our gardens. Her poetry doesn’t allow the comfortable notion of distance, that war is something that happens across the ocean to “others.” A mother and father’s love for their child is the same in America, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, or Vietnam. Children all across this fragile globe are equally entitled to security and peace.

When asked to talk about her award winning book and the reasons she joined Writing for Peace, Veronica had this to say:

Vocabulary of Silence is a book of poems of witnessing-from-afar.  It is an effort not to escape the trial of what the country into which I was born is wreaking upon Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, and its own countrymen and women.  But I mean the poems to be poems, that is, to have some song in them, to have passion, music, truth in them.  To be crafted.  The Bop (k)not: Juba! Juba! poem is in a new form, The Bop, devised by poet Afaa Michael Weaver.  Bop(K)not: Juba! Juba! was first published in Pemmican Press, and is included in Vocabulary of Silence.  (The Bop is a poetic form of recent invention, created by African-American poet Afaa Michael Weaver.)

I am glad to be part of the Writing for Peace organization.  What could be more important?  The entire world seems to be spinning toward war, with the United States invading, occupying, and being the colonial empire.  I do think that Writing for Peace, and also the idea of localized peace effort, is a wonderful one.

Bop (k)not: Juba! Juba!

problem…roses.  You’re hanging the just-washed clothes in the stringent sun,
the hollyhocks sigh their deep sighs as they lean their heavy stems against the wall,
the first lavender iris has come and gone, the russian sage is sunning itself. The wild
roses multiply, base and prickly, their bunched pink faces exhale a perfume to make you
giddy as you flip the wet sheets over the ropeline you’ve strung from fence to tree.
The birds are almost speaking.  You are happy.  Juba!

Juba: A city in southern Sudan on the White Nile River;
formerly, in the American South, a lively rustic dance with much “clapping and thigh-slapping,” the word Juba! repeated as a refrain;

an elaborate flounce, lacey twirl-swirl soft plated spin-spiral pine design of overlap:
the Golden Mean.  I mean: I part the leaves of the flower,
lift one then another & another to find the seam, flotsam of my dreams,
and there she is, the girl running to me, her face of chaste petals
tearing, her puregirl mons venus-bomb-napalm-photo-run—
I am strung
between Juba! and sorrow-song—

Juba: A city in Sudan on the White Nile River;
in America’s South, dance with much “hand clapping, thigh-slapping,” Juba! repeated;

the brazen sun revolving, stroking and spilling over me & the wide-mouthed poppies,
the buzz-hum iridescence of birdwhirling—what rises here I can barely name, how is it possible, this Juba!?          Nonong qua! nong qua! her Vietnamese girl-voice
clicks, too hot too hot—no—I say back, I love the sun—nong qua! nong qua!
she moans –  I turn –  I can’t turn away –  she is here in my garden…
how will I turn back – nonq qua! – how?  to my Juba! again?

 Juba: Sudan. White Nile. Dance, clap Juba! Repeat.



Get Involved:

Call for Submissions: The Writing for Peace Literary Journal, DoveTales is accepting poetry, fiction, essays, photography, and art. Find Submission guidelines here.

2013 Young Writers Contest: Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction divisions, ages 13-19. Find guidelines here.

Volunteer as a Writing for Peace Mentor: Learn more and apply here.




Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.