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Volume 7

May 2011

scientia   IZ mundus

Number 1

Literary Contributions

New Man in New York

Hunters mistaking men for deer,
Earphones dangle from every second ear.
A man gives half an eye to the pavement underfoot,
Walking home at the end of an August working day.

Thermal drafts along the broad street
Send his blazer billowing, a snapping sail.
Eyes hidden behind the long chain molecules of his polarized lenses,
Preventing the glare of sunset.

The smooth tip of his right index finger
Traces across a pixilated screen in his left hand.
His awkward gait modulated
By the careful movements of the finger.

Wires lead up from the screen to his ears,
A stethoscope searching for a heartbeat.
Sounds of the city become partially muted white noise
Against the rhythms of his pre-programmed music.

Made to slow at an intersection,
And gently bumping into a navy blue dress.
He raises his eyes and gestures an apology with muted lips and fingers.
The woman smiles, staring at the crown of his head through her glasses, dark and wide.

He signals back, momentarily drawn,
Red ramparts of hair cascading over her shoulders.
The crowd moves again, she is swept forward.
An incoming call and the man takes it.

Once across, she stops and looks back at him.
His head is down in conversation.
Both of them standing still, a long moment.
The crowd walks around them like the flow of blood.

She lowers her glasses,
His head down, finger frantically tracing his pad, scheduling a meeting.
Her dark, wide shades are slowly pushed back to the bridge of her freckled nose.
She turns and walks on.

August sun over New York burns and falls imperceptibly.
Walking again, sweat running off his forehead,
Tracing down his cheeks out from under his polarized lenses.
He tucks the pixilated pad into his inside breast pocket, and presses it up against his heart.

Bateman-Ezra is a published poet and academic living in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Clinton Van Inman

Color coded complete with picture I.D.
We'll teach you to be like us.
Give you a turtle neck or bow tie
You will be our kind of Mensch
Complete with certificate of authenticity
Credit rating and charge account,
Security, savings, and even disability.
We'll teach you how to walk and talk
in circles as if you had some sense.
We will give you some brand named shoes
We'll even call you Frank or Frankie
We gave you a brain doesn't matter
Which for they all are just the same,
But why are you still reaching for

Clinton Van Inman is 65 and was born in Walton on Thames, England. He is a high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida. He has had many publications throughout the years.

The Egyptian Room
Martin Burke

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis
Which is crueller -tell me.

We move in the Egyptian Room where big cats move on ornate walls.
What happens when a fresco come to live to live the life it wishes for - when an image enters the living day.
When a beast is stirred from its static poise - when there are no impersonators left to play their role?
No one knows but no one feels safe: already the shadows are moving among other shadows.


I cannot sleep - I prowl the house and smoke a cigarette -yet not to let my shadow define me
no more than Rilke did.
My blood mutates against me.
It is dark in the world, I do not see the trees, the harrowing of the world has not yet done with me
I prowl the house and smoke a cigarette


Witness, mute or active, the world is active before you, yet your chronicle unfinished, as if it were the only one which will be written.
Witness - the perspective of observer or participant - history's necessity, citing numbers and names -the unquiet beasts upon the shadow-covered floor


The zoom lens fixes on a blur behind a ditch, then clarifies it as a tank.
The reporter gives the tonnage and scope then estimates how far the maimed and displaced are from its range.
Some paces more and they reach the point the gunners have waited patiently for.

"A veteran at nine of three previous migrations, this one is no worse than the other ones were.
Her eyes are cold or indifferent or have ceased to be eyes having witnessed so much 'that is neither right nor reasonable'.
She has highly developed survival skills and is no longer, unduly, frightened by the shells.
However regarding 'solutions' -let us not be too impetuous.
Genocide is a distressing crime -but do the dead constitute sufficient proof?
Our committee will draft a balanced outrage and present it for discussion.
Tact is the key and protocol a necessity here.
You may quote that in this we will fully succeed"


Gesture, truth or history -a hand reaches for a brother hand until a bullet separates them.
A twenty-first century 'incident' in which the bullet comes to rest in these lines, as does that handshake -

Gesture, truth and history

The victim at the already bloodied core.

Martin Burke is an Irish poet/playwright/editor living in Belgium with books published in the USA, UK, Ireland, & Belgium. Note: the Egyptian Room of the title and opening lines is an actual room in a 19th centuary Castle in the town of St Niklass, Belgium, about which a hospital was built and is now something of a tourist attraction.

Soldiers of the Bulge
Michael O'Connor

Cold, callous, crippling tears
Never once allowed to cry
From the steeled black hollows
Of a soldier's burning eye.
Curled to seek a lonely rest
In a blanket knit of snow,
'Til the night lie shattered, shaken, torn,
About a thousand feet below.
Winter split hands grip boldly
At freezing instruments of death,
And innocence evacuates the body
In every visible wintry breath.
Extremes in regal fashion
Blunted by the fight,
And Hell's own angels ascend
To take possession of the night.
And spirits of a better nature
For a far off land have departed,
To comfort mothers, brother, sisters,
Fathers soon to be broken hearted.
Youth's blissful illusions
Of paladin's integral sword,
Fade in pain drenched strokes
Reaching a hushed, grim accord.
"Up now and to your posts"
A call lifting above drizzling fog,
And a thousand rays of light
Charge a blackened demagogue.
So brothers locked in battle
Moved forward by unseen force,
Like a current pushing patterned waves
In rhythm from their source.
Grieving widows will be born
From the Bulge's empty womb,
And a soldier's bonds forever strengthened,
Lifting brothers to their tomb.

Michael was born in Hartford, CT and graduated from the University of Connecticut. After spending some time in Ireland and Prince Edward Island, he returned to New York City to pursue screenwriting. After several successes in the film industry as a writer and independent film producer, he turned his writing to non-fiction historical works on the Second World War, publishing articles for the Centre de Recherches et d'Informations sur la Bataille des Ardennes. He has maintained deep interest for poetry, being influenced by Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. He was most recently published in the Birmingham Arts Journal. He currently resides in the Boston area.

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