PoetryIssue 22 | April 2015

Two poems by Bonnie Bishop

Secrets of Aerial Diplomancy

My friend Phil posted a photo
he took in the Bird Market. 
Several bearded men are staring
intently into a large wire cage
full of brown and white pigeons.
His comment: in Kabul dove charming
is a highly competitive sport.
        Next day,
a teen-aged girl with explosives
in her backpack blew herself up
on a busy corner. Among the dead,
four street kids who worked there,
selling gum, bracelets, bottled water—
Nawab, 17, Mohammad, 13,
Khorahid 14, her sister, Parwama, 8.
They were also, improbably,
fledgling skateboarders, members
of Skateistan, an Australian charity
working with teens in Kabul.

Online, I learned that many Afghani
men keep dovecotes on their roofs.
In the late afternoon, they release
flights of birds which rise up
circling, into the skies. The object
of the sport is ‘to charm’ a dove
from another flock to join one’s own.

Not a word, though, about how
they achieve such a transfer of loyalty.

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About the author

Bonnie Bishop has lived in Italy and Greece and hitchhiked from Athens to Copenhagen. She has crossed Canada by train, marvelled at the terra cotta warriors in Xi’an, ridden an elephant in the jungle of Nepal and gazed at the Taj Mahal as the sun set and the full moon rose. Read her book, O Crocodile, (2013, Finishing Line Press).

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok