Thank you to the 151 authors who participated in our WHEN I MOVED Poetry and Prose Series

It is always a pleasure to participate in the Silver Birch Press Series. This one in particular  got my creative juices flowing. I loved the feeling of exploring some uncharted waters and losing myself in the vortex of childhood memories. Thank you SBP for your continued support and your wonderful prompts!

Silver Birch Press

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Thank you to the 151 writers — from 33 states and 17 countries — who participated in our WHEN I MOVED Poetry & Prose Series, which ran from August 9 – September 27, 2016. Many thanks to the following authors for their moving work!

Reina Adriano (Philippines)
Janet Banks (Massachusetts)
Cynthia Anderson (California)
Prerna Bakshi (China)
Shreerupa Basu Das (England)
Ruth Bavetta (California)
Gary Beck (New York)
Alice Venessa Bever (Wyoming)
RIck Blum (Massachusetts)
Katley Demetria Brown (Massachusetts)
Mary Buchinger (Massachusetts)
Larry Burns (California)
Alex Carr-Malcolm (England)
Susana H. Case (New York)
Abby Chew (California)
Jackie Chou (California)
Tricia Marcella Cimera (Illinois)
Sara Clancy (Arizona)
Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)
Joan Colby (Illinois)
Clive Collins (Japan)
Chloe Cotter (Canada)
Neil Creighton (Australia)
Barbara Crooker (Pennsylvania)
Gareth Culshaw (Wales)
Howard Richard Debs (Florida)
Carolyn Divish (Indiana)
Evel Masten Economakis (Greece)
Barbara Eknoian (California)
Kristina England (Massachusetts)
Ruth Evans (Massachusetts)
Peter Faziani (Pennsylvania)

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Sofia Kioroglou – “Hypochondria winking at grime”

Sofia Kioroglou is a two-time award-winning poet, author of two poetry books, flash fiction writer of ” Cubicle Coma” to be published by Books’ Journal & Planodion and prolifi…

Πηγή: Sofia Kioroglou – “Hypochondria winking at grime”

Download Sophia’s free Poetry E-Book

One of the reasons why I love wordpress is because I have met a lot of  beautiful and kind people like Quarksire or Thomas. I feel blessed that I am surrounded by their love and protection. A speci…

Πηγή: Download Sophia’s free Poetry E-Book

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“In the myrtle fields”now included in Halkyon Days Magazine

SOFIA KIOROGLOU

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Halkyon Days’ first edition is here! I am so excited I am one of the contributors with my poem “In the Myrtle Fields”. Thank you Monique for the amazing work you have done! It is nice to be aboard!
Issue 1
Contributors: Adam L. Brown; Anne Levesque; Carol Oberg; Carolyn T. Johnson; Donal Mahoney; Donna M. Davis; Dora Lafleur; Douglas Campbell; Elizabeth Kranz; Eva Chapman; Gregory Dotoli; Ingrid Bruck; Ion Corcos; J. Forrest Wellman; Joan McNerney; John Rowntree; Linda Barrett; Melanie Wilcox; Michael Salcman; Paul Hellweg; Paul R. Davis; Ruth Deming; Sharon Frame Gay; Sheikha A.; Sofia Kioroglou; Steven Tutino; Taylor Losier; Virginia Boudreau.

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Saint Chariton the Confessor of Palestine

My trips to the Holy Land have always been a source of inspiration for my writing. Today’s feature is about Saint Chariton of Palestine who was a great miracle-worker.

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Saint Chariton with his extraordinary hardihood made full use of  adversity in a manner far afield from the usual approach to spiritual perfection. Like so many of the Christian leaders caught in the web of pagan persecution, he suffered cruel punishment, but unlike so many others he survived to go on to greater things. It was the setting of these greater things that makes his accomplishments all the more unusual.

Saint Chariton the Confessor (Greek: Αγιος Χαρίτων) (3rd century, Iconium, Asia Minor, 4th century) is a Christian saint. His remembrance day is September 28.

Skete of Saint Chariton – Fara

The Rebirth of the First Monastery in the Holy Land

Wildly beautiful, with sheer white cliffs and a lush green valley, Wadi Faran is the site of the very first monastery established in the Judean desert. St. Chariton, an ascetic from the 3rd century, found this place an ideal site for prayer and contemplation. Historians now say that this valley may even have been visited by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Massive white rocks and sheer cliffs overlook a ravine. Directly below the skete, a spring feeds a stream as eddying pools of water give life to flowering bushes and trees.

Birds dive straight down from the terrifying heights of the cliffs over-head, sweeping upward just before reaching the bottom of the ravine. Conies scurry about their lairs (Psalm 103 [104] :18), pausing to gaze curiously at visitors.
Across the valley, an enormous mountain of striated rock, rippling like a sea of stone down towards the spring and dazzling in the morning sun, hides over a dozen caves.

These old monk cells dot the cliff walls,the largest of which served for centuries as a church. Access to this cave church is provided by a ladder passing through a narrow hole cut through an enormous slab of rock.

The church is a small space, with uneven walls and ceilings covered with centuries of soot. It is connected by low passageways to other caves, where monks ate, slept and prayed. Some of these cells were accessible only by rope ladders, which, when drawn up, guaranteed that their monastic solitude would not be disturbed.

The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission is bringing this skete back to life. Not only monastics but pilgrims can once again sense the very same breathtaking and sublime beauty that St. Chariton and so many holy ascetics experienced for hundreds of years.

 

Life of Saint Chariton
In the year 275, a Christian named Chariton, imprisoned for his faith in Iconium, was freed and set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Before reaching his destination, however, he was abducted by bandits and brought to a cave in Wadi Faran.

That night, the kidnappers died mysteriously. According to tradition, a snake poisoned the abductors’ wine with its venom, which they drank along with their doom. Chariton decided to stay in that very cave as a hermit. Monastics gathered around the wise ascetic, already known as a miracle-worker, and the first monastery in the Judean desert was born. Each monk lived in his own cave and met weekly for prayer.

Chariton soon fled from his followers in search of solitude-in this way, he was to found two more monasteries. His love for Wadi Faran, however, lasted throughout his life, and he was laid to rest there, according to his wishes. His tomb is found just below the caves where he first became a hermit. From then on, the monastics who gathered in this region numbered between 10-14,000, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem appointed an archimandrite just for this region.

Rediscovery of the Skete
In the 12th century, the Russian pilgrim Abbot Daniel visited the Holy Land (the very Daniel who first lit the flame at the Tomb of Christ for the Land of Russia). He wrote of Wadi Faran, “…And there is a monastery nearby on the river Efam, near the sea of Sodom, in the mountains of rock, a great desert, wide and fearsome, waterless and arid…and beneath it is a labyrinth of rock, vast and exceedingly terrifying.” St. Chariton’s monastery was also, in his words, “Beauty amongst the mountains of rock, surrounded by a city…”

The Holy Land was ravaged by Saracens, Persians and “Crusaders”, and the era of great monasteries was at its end. By the 16th century, only one monastery remained in Palestine, that of St. Sabbas the Sanctified.

Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, took a small group of monks in 1865 to search for the monastery on horseback. There was no longer a city surrounding the site, nor was there a road. The pilgrims’ horses were left behind and they continued on foot. They traced the stream leading to the Dead Sea until they found a cave with seven openings, the very cavern of Chariton’s salvation. Before the First World War, a delegation of Russian monks from Mt. Athos under the guidance of Fr. Panteleimon purchased the cave of St. Chariton along with some surrounding land. The monks reestablished a skete there, living in the caves, gathering as they did in St. Chariton’s time, only once a week for prayer.

However, the beautiful Athonite-style church they built was destroyed during the war (tesserae from the mosaics can still be seen strewn on the grounds). One of the monks, Fr. Gerasim, patiently began restoring the skete, and built a small clay domicile. His intention was to rebuild the skete as a pilgrimage site, but times were difficult, and Russians could ill afford to make the pilgrimages they once made by the thousands. Fr. Gerasim then sold the property to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. The Society of St. Chariton was formed to care for the site, but in 1948, the skete again burned down.
Two monks re-established a presence there again in the 1970’s. Tourists and soldiers, attracted by the overwhelming beauty of the valley, flooded the area. Desiring solitude, the monks left St. Chariton’s. The monastery’s gates were then broken down, the iconostasis and books stolen.

The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission appeals for your help in the restoration of St. Chariton’s skete. We hope, also, that you make a pilgrimage to this magnificent and holy site, walking the paths Our Lord Himself may have walked and visiting the caves where so many monastics prayed ceaselessly for centuries.

“On the East Side of Eden” published in the Blue Nib

“On the East side of Eden” in the Blue Nib

“On the East side of Eden”

More beautiful than a blossoming rose
your kiss long and intoxicating
it has me swirling around
like crimson full-bodied wine in your glass.

More sublime than ether
your breath caressing my lips
So tender and affectionate,
I’m blessed with love divine.

Your fingertips combing through my locks
so loving and sweet
like a light feather from a Cherub
on the East side of the Garden of Eden

About the writer

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Sofia Kioroglou is a twice award-winning poet, author of two poetry books, flash fiction writer of ” Cubicle Coma” to be published by Books’ Journal & Planodion and prolific blogger from Greece. Her poems are included in many anthologies, including the Poetry Against Terror Anthology, the Poetry Against Inequality among others, and a number of literary journals that include Verse-Virtual, The Galway Review, Lunaris Review, Writink Page, Silver Birch Press, Halkyon Days, Ashvamegh, Fractal.gr, and Winamop to name but a few. She is a member of the Poets Unite Worldwide.

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Rachel weeping for her children

I am so excited that this so -dear-to-me poem got published by one of my absolute favorite literary magazines. I am honored and humbled. Thank you!

The Blue Nib

By Sofia Kioroglou

I remember laughter rippling around the streets

amber of eyes aglow, brimming with hope
children cutting a caper impishly in Aleppo
dad squinting at my fiddling around with his computer
Today, our shoulders are hunched with fear
kids no longer splashing in puddles
knee-deep in rubble and smeared with blood
hollering out war cries, looking for relatives
Some crucified, others  beheaded
no hearse waiting to deliver our people to burial places
Rachel weeping for her children
rising out like a phoenix, splintering husks of shells around
Walking through the cemetary while a couple
are muttering into their swirling Chardonnay
two words collide, two paths diverge
the road to hell is paved with good intentions


About the writer

SofiaSofia Kioroglou is a two-time award-winning poet, author of two poetry books, flash fiction writer of ” Cubicle Coma” to be published by Books’ Journal & Planodion and prolific blogger…

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Το “Αποθανάτισε την στιγμή” στο Fractal

Αποθανάτισε την στιγμή

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Ποίηση: «Αποθανάτισε την στιγμή…»
Της Σοφίας Κιόρογλου // *

Είσαι ο βορράς και ο νότος μου

οι δείκτες της πυξίδας που κρατώ

ψάχνοντας κάποιον προορισμό.

Μην μπερδεύεις τα συμφραζόμενα

και μην ψάχνεις να βρεις νοήματα κρυφά

εκεί που δεν υπάρχουν.

Εστίασε τον φακό της καρδιάς σου

σε εμένα και αποθανάτισε τη στιγμή

πριν απογοητευτεί και σε προσπεράσει.

* Η Σοφία Κιόρογλου σπούδασε μετάφραση και εργάστηκε ως αρχισυντάκτρια του Club Gourmet. Ποιήματα και διηγήματα της έχουν βραβευτεί και δημοσιευτεί σε ελληνικές και διεθνείς ανθολογίες και στα περιοδικά Silver Birch Press, the Books’s Journal, The Blue NIb, Winamop, Ashvamegh, Verse-Virtual, Praise Writers, Lunaris Review, Poetic Diversity, Halkyon Days, Ιστορίες Bonsai και Πλανόδιον και Writink Page. Πρόσφατα εξέδωσε την πρώτη αγγλόφωνη ποιητική της συλλογή με τίτλο «Poems» και το μικρό ανθολόγιο ποιημάτων «Πες μου αλήθειες» με βραβευμένα και δημοσιευμένα στον τύπο ποίηματα. Είναι μέλος του Poets Unite Worldwide και του Ι am not a Silent Poet. Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες, επισκεφτείτε το sofiakioroglou.wordpress.com

 

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Ode to Cyprus-Poem by Sofia Kioroglou

“Ode to Cyprus” by Sofia Kioroglou

O troubled Isle of Aphrodite
So battered by hostile winds
that vie with one another
When will this storm abate?

O thou, my father’s land
Thy very heart so torn and so in pain
A castaway from thy native land
thy core is rent in twain

Strewn across thy verdant carpet
Soldiers have trampled thou like mire in the streets
O Cyprus, the lovely isle of fruitful vine
When will you breathe again?

SOFIA KIOROGLOU

O troubled Isle of Aphrodite
So battered by hostile winds
that vie with one another
When will this storm abate?

O thou, my father's land
Thy very heart so torn and so in pain
A castaway from thy native land
thy core is rent in twain

Strewn across thy verdant carpet
Soldiers have trampled thou like mire in the streets
O Cyprus, the lovely isle of fruitful vine
When will you breathe again?

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/ode-to-cyprus/

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“The apple of discord”poem by Sofia Kioroglou



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"The apple of discord" by Sofia Kioroglou

God created Adam and Eve

the fruit of the tree of knowledge

they were bidden not to eat

It is always an apple, the cause of discord,

the true Dead Sea apple or coaxing talking serpent 

that far famed fruit of the tree of Sodom

tempting to the eye, deceitful to the sense




*The poem is inspired by the life and death of Saint Christos the Gardener, a not so well-known saint.




Biography of Saint Christos the Gardener

Saint Christos was born in Albania. However, he lived in Constantinople, where he exercised the profession of gardening. One day while he was selling apples in the town market, a Turk came and wanted to buy all the apples in a humiliating price. Christos resisted and they came to a brawl. The Turk became angry and by wanting to take avenge, he went to the authorities and reported that Christos allegedly had said that he will become a Muslim. The judge asked Christos if this was true. "In the name of God," replied the poor gardener, "I never said such words. I am a Christian and can not change my faith even if I must be put into great suffering. Then the judge ordered and Christos was beaten vigorously with sticks. They even gave him a blow on the head and his head was soaked in blood. After that, he was tied up, taken to prison, and his legs were put in the punitive wood.
 At that time, it happened that the famous scholar monk Caesarius Dapontes was also in prison. He felt pity for Christos and asked the guardians to release his legs from the punitive wood and they released him. Caesarius Dapontes even managed to find some food and took it to him. "Thank you, Father" said Christos, "but why should I eat? Will I even live? Let me then die for my Lord Jesus Christ hungry and thirsty. And he took out and gave Caesarius a whetstone made from steel, which he was carrying on him. "Sell it," he said, "and make some liturgies and memorial services for my soul."
 That same day, the guards came and took the Martyr from prison and led him outside the city. He peaceful put his neck down and gave himself to Jesus Christ. So, the gardener of Constantinople left the gardens of the Bosporus to become a gardener of the heavenly Paradise. He was decapitated on the twelfth of February 1748. The monk Caesarius Dapontes wrote about the life and suffering of the Martyr.

The memory of Saint Christos the Gardener is celebrated on February 12.