Ann Arbor Review


Robert Nisbet
Alan Britt
Jennifer Burd
Michelle Bailat-Jones
Running Cub
Elisavietta Ritchie
Odimegwu Onwumere
Laszlo Slomovits
Lyn Lifshin
Ramesh Dohan
Silvia Scheibli
Alex Ferde
Richard Kostelanetz
Richard Gartee
Irsa Ruci
Duane Locke
Janet Buck
Nahshon Cook

Jim Daniels
Fred Wolven
Peycho Kanev
Ali Znaidi
Sunday Eyitayo Michael
Karyn M. Bruce
Arsim Halili
Engjell I. Berisha
Muharrem Kurti

Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2015 Francis Ferde
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida

AAR history note:  in print 1967 - 1980.  Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.  As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 48 years all together....


Francis Ferde
Silver Grey Fox
Running Cub
Fred Wolven


Submissions via e-mail:




The basso was Hungarian, the tenor, Greek,
the pianist was Roma, a Rumanian or Turk.

While the basso bowed, and passed his beret around,
a horn and piano played Romance by Adolphe Blanc. 

the drink, low the lights, the evening was enhanced
by mystery and music to  intensify a dangerous romance:

who might hide behind the drapes, maroon velour,
what listening devices nestle among the petit-fours?

Mornings downstairs while the café still was shut, I’ve spied
the concierge untangling wires, sprinkling pots, hiding wires.

Tonight we pour our dregs of grog into the pot. Might
any bugs short-circuit?  But no sizzle, no flash of light.

Next table over, two men in dark hats, dark overcoats,
check their watches,  sip their grog, and scribble notes.

Hence my guest discusses weather and an antique balladeer
centuries ago who seldom dared to sing his own songs here.

My guest stands, gives me a mournful kiss.  The men
at the next table stand, herd him out the door.  Then

the basso bows, thrusts forth his beret and steps up his rounds.
To mask sounds, musicians bang out waltzes, Strauss, Johann.



                                                    For X & X & X

We first must be approved, then tip guards
to send a parcel to an innocent or wayward
locked-up child—Could we have rescued…

            Yet in another century and land,
            Anna Akhmatova lined up beyond
            the Kresty jail in Leningrad
            to pass through that window hatch—
            with essential bribes for guards—
            a parcel for her dissident son, detained.

A wrinkled woman recognized
the poet, in a whisper asked,
“And this, can you describe?”
“I can,” Akhmatova replied,
and wrote her epic cycle Requiem.

We too compose our chronicles, find
an uncertain solace in our sisterhood.



Time alone! But no paper or pen.
Only my trickster mind, again…

           Yet Indonesia’s rebel poets, exiled,
           without paper or pen to desert isles

did they write with twigs at low tides
on sand till surf censored their lines?

In jungles, might captives slip off to write
on mud in monsoons on a moonless night,

in Siberian jails, ink on snow and ice?
Solzhenitsyn: “Toilet paper sufficed.”

Mandelstam’s jail mates learned his lines
and men who survived their confinement

smuggled his poems out in their heads,

kept his work alive after he was dead…

Are my lazy mind, seeming liberty,
pencils, laptops, forms of captivity?

Must not give in, admit my own defeat…
Cracked pen works on a ripped receipt…

No matter if later
I cannot decipher.



No, the mountains between our clans
are not tall or rugged or sharp
as mountains are meant to be.

Their language rougher than ours,
they mispronounce our words,
malign our gods. Like their dogs,

they slink around, sully our land
steal our fowl, our sheep, our goats,
and worst of all, our girls—

Our mothers seldom know from which clan
is their baby, the father one of us or of them?
The children unsure of provenance,

our villagers all become mothers, fathers,
our elders grandparents. Every table holds
an extra bowl, each house has an extra cot.

So it has always been, my friend, so
it may always be. You will find the hay
in our stable dry, soft enough for a bed.

(credit:  above poems from Guy Wires, Poets’ Choice Publishing)


Elisavietta Ritchie, Broomes Island, Maryland


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