Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hope is in the Air

How nice to feel the love and faith
Of hope that is in the air.
We talk to each other sometimes.
We dare to relax our anger,
And remember why we are there.

Our lives have changed over time.
Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
Always a hope
That we will leave a good earth,
Happy, not sad.

We give to our children
A promise of faith
That we hope will last years.
Through it,
Lives this dream of ours
That all humanity,
No matter where,
Will share our dreams
And believe in our care.

The saying goes:
You live in hope,
You die in despair.

Larry Kal is a poet/writer and member of the "Tea and Tales" writing group, which is a part of the Programs for Older Adults, LAUSD, North Hollywood Poly Adult School.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Keep the Hope: An Armenian Genocide Memoriam

An Object with a Subject

A small plastic bag
Full of precious soil
From the occupied
Lands of my forefathers
Sits on the top shelf
Of my library.

A friend of mine
Brought as a surprise gift,
On her return
From Eastern Turkey,
Historic Armenia.

That handful of soil
Reminds me.
The drops of silemt tears
Of my mother and father .
It reminds me.
The persecutions and massacres
Of 1.5 million Armenias
95 years ago, as if yesterday.

It reminds me.
People leaving their homes
walking barefoot under the bruning sun
Into the unknown
Into the valleys of death.

The silent soil in my library
Looks at me
Inspiring me with hope
That those lost lands
Will be ours again.
"When and how?" I ask.
"Keep the hope," it says.

What a sweet hope
With which to live.

Jeanette Kassouny is an essayist and poet member of the LAUSD North Hollywood's "Tea and Tales Writing Group."


Isn't it funny when you think about sugar? Well, I could tell you all about sugar.
From the time I was a small child, I really enjoyed dipping my fingers into the sugar bowl, which was my favorite thing.
I used to get the little round stool, bring it over to the dish cabinet in the kitchen, climb up on it, reach up to the cabinet doors, and open up the dish cabinet.
I would dip my fingers into the sugar bowl while Mother was sitting in the living room reading.
"What are you doing?!" she would ask.
One evening, when the table was being set up for dinner, as soon as the sugar bowl was placed on the table, I started up again,until Mother had to put the sugar bowl on top of the grand piano to keep me out of it.
Meanwhile, a repeat performance took place in the kitchen. I would pick all of the pieces of the yummiest chocolate cake that my mother kept in the dish cabinet for tea time.
One afternoon, I got caught red-handed! Oh boy, did my other get angry when she saw that the cake had been picked over by yours truly. Who else?!
"Zoe! Naughty girl! Don't you touch that cake. Now, do you understand me?"
I can still see that angry look on her face.
Shortly, before we left for California, we went over to Uncle Milton's Candy Store. Uncle Milton and Aunt Ellie were taking over the lease on our apartment. While Mom was talking to Uncle Milton, I went back behind the candy counter and tasted an orange-sliced jelly candy, then a lemon one. This is one time Mother never found out about!
After we moved to California, we had company one afternoon. The chocolate cake had been taken back to the kitchen. I exited the living room, to get away from the boring grown-ups or so my parents thought. I then took part of the icing off the chocolate cake. When Mother came into the kitchen and noticed the partly naked cake, I went back into the living room. I thought all hell was going to break loose, when Mother said, "Zoe, you took the icing off the cake!!"
When I was in my teens, Danish Almond Horns were my all-time favorite, courtesy of Ralph's Market. One day, Dad pulled a royal trick on me. He put the package of cookies in the washing machine instead of back into the kitchen cabinet. (I wonder why!)
This was to keep me from nibbling on them, so incessantly.
His message, and one by which I still struggle to abide: Leave some sweets for others!

Zoe Dawson is a member of the LAUSD North Hollywood Adult School's "Tea and Tales Writing Group." She is an avid chocolate fan, poet, essayist, as well as a lover of gardens, crafting, and singing.