Howard Richard Debs

J’accuse

after Émile Zola

To the world at large,

I am an American Jew whose grandmother escaped to this country
fleeing the pogroms fomented and fostered by Putin’s forebearers from
what … Read more

For the Sake of My Children

 

Painting “For the Sake of My Children” by Lana Matskiv

Ripped from our land,
veins and arteries exposed.
My man must remain,
defend the homeland.

There’s a hole in … Read more

The Generous Stranger

 (For Irpin, Ukraine)

Carried on the back of a generous stranger,
an old woman takes only what she can
hold in her bare hands as they cross
a shaking plank … Read more

Endurance in March 2022

 

endurance
    jaw-dropping

frigid… stunned
    crushed

escaping

against
    all… odds

remarkably

international treaty
    disturbed

man’s will
    to survive

About the Poem

I don’t know if it’s an accepted poetic form to Read more

Performance Art

 

Artwork: istockphoto by Getty Images in public domain

He’s the last man standing.
Whether comedian
or statesman
performance is all
for the last man standing.
Standing in the rubble … Read more

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

 

Image: A woman is visible through the condensation on a window of an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station. by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

A blast, shattered… Read more

SEASON OF LENT DURING WARTIME

 

Ukrainian churches are shelters
for the traumatized during Lent 2022.
As neighborhoods are bombed
to rubble, clergy welcome
households to precarious safety,
saviors fulfilling more than liturgical roles.

Fasting … Read more

Where Are They Now

 

In 1967 I hitch-hiked to Belgrade.

My friend and I would take an overnight train

to stay with our Albanian friends

in what is now Kosovo.

Until then we … Read more

The Poet Spoke for Me

 

The Israeli man I married—and divorced—had parents who were born in Chernivtsi, then in Romania, now in Ukraine. We met on the way to Machu Picchu after he finished … Read more

Songs of the Archipelagos

 For Small Island, Big Song

They come from places you could easily forget,
somewhere between the Pacific and Indian
Oceans: islands where statues gaze at the horizon,
like when the … Read more