2 Poems By Zigi Lowenberg

Hamsa (Eye of Fatima): Sheltered in Place

My Kurdish comrade, journalist all of twenty-five with the soulful eyes of fifty

We meet again in a grid, half a dozen video boxes and I see you

from my treelined reflected window, afternoon sparkles the roofs of Oakland

I see your window grow dark in Brooklyn as you tap-tap, tap—a slender object

similar to ones that destroyed my father

Favorite comrade, half my age who brought me the silver Hamsa with the Nazar blue & white Eye to ward off Evil

A souvenir I requested, perhaps its journey here protected you?

Perfunctory Evil spreads in many forms

camouflaged like military exercises, your compulsory visit home to Turkey months ago. Or forcing our incarcerated brothers to dig mass graves in Potter’s Field today.

Hamsa amulet hangs on the wooden cabinet in the Harlem hallway.

Protect Us. Watch Over Us. Bless us.

(To whom I address, with whom I question—I still struggle.)

Ruminate as we ZoomMeet over a policy matter. You light up. I watch your gridbox carefully. You inhale deeply … exhale. Your eyes cloud over. This miasma we’re in—a crisis of the lungs.

Our meeting is drawing to a close. My mic is on. I address you, young union brother. Raising my hand, clear my throat. My gridbox illuminates. Eye of Fatima blinks wide open— 

“NOW’S THE TIME, dear Ekim,

Please, please stop smoking.

We need you here for the long road ahead.”

—Zigi Lowenberg, Oakland California, April 2020


“If He only had a brain”

we ain’t in Kansas anymore—

or in Oakland, or Harlem, 

Tokyo, Moscow, London or Accra

landscapes rest, weary and wary,

taping our paces six feet, 10 feet

on the Yellow Brick & Mortar

Road to nowhere with lil’ stores a’shutter,

Moms & Poppies … BEWARE THE BLEACH!

go for walks to slide off screens during this pregnant Pause

we greet each other eyes a’grin brimming masks 

on the block shameless pink roses busted out since yesterday, or has it been three weeks inside?

this road through Pause, we arrive in OZ

technicolor broadcast bazaar of creativity, raise the curtain on our wizardry—

swap visuals and dance in squares, worldwide beats

compress into buds,

this moment before blossom, we Pause

pregnant with revolution.