TATRANEWS

February / March Newsletter
Dear Friends: We are indeed living troubled times: as if climate change and the pandemic were not enough, we now have the prospect of a global war to contend with, as Vladimir Putin's rogue régime in Russia has invaded democratic Ukraine. I am stunned: I thought the world was beyond the prospect of edging toward nuclear Armageddon, and that we would somehow come together to fight the huge problem of climate change that we have created. Wishful thinking. We have seen this type of aggression before, and indeed, I am the product of such an illegal invasion, the squashing of the Hungarian Revolution by Russian forces in 1956. I lived through similar scenes to what we are seeing now: Russian tanks creating havoc in city streets, brave citizens fighting with Molotov cocktails against the invaders, and hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the terror of war and occupation in search of a safer, better life for their children. My very first memoir, For the Children, is about this childhood experience and it makes me tear up for the Ukrainian people even just to think about it. I am sure there will be similar memoirs written about this current situation, but if you wish to get a sense for what it is like to live through an invasion, you can order the book from Amazon (where it is currently on sale for $11.42 at amzn.to/3hpOrR0) or through your bookstore. The other reason for my mentioning For the Children is that March is Women's History Month and in the book, it is my mother who is the heroine. She was the one who insisted on fleeing Hungary at the risk of all of us losing our lives, but resolute in demanding a better life for her children. This is the heroism that many women throughout history have shown, and Ukrainian mothers are exhibiting now in fighting the oppressor or choosing to flee with their children. My poem to share this month (see below) is one I wrote in memory of my mother, who alas passed away many years ago at the age of 54. But first, some writing news to share: I am delighted that Deux Voiliers Publishing, the wonderful Canadian publisher that published both the first book in my thriller trilogy, Twisted Reasons, and my third memoir, The Fencers, has decided to publish my fifth volume of poems, Poems for our World. This will be my fifteenth published book, and I will give further details on when it will be released in subsequent newsletters. To celebrate Vermont's Poem City, I will be reading my poetry, including poems from Poems for our World, along with the past and current presidents of the Poetry Society of Vermont, George Longenecker and Bianca Amira Zanella on Monday April 4 at 7PM. This will be via Zoom, and I will communicate details on the reading but you can also find them at: https://www.kellogghubbard.org/adult-programs. I am working on other events and will let you know about these as they firm up. As promised, here is the poem I wrote in honor of my mother. Photographs are all I have Photographs are all I have to remember you, dear mother— once we were one, I within you, me, your egg fertilized by sperm from my father, your husband— I knew your body, inside out: I exited between your thighs, left your warmth for the cruel world, but you held me close to your skin and had me suckle at your breasts. You cared for me when I was sick, cooked for me, sang and read to me, taught me language and manners, sparing no time or energy to make me a better person. You lavished such love on your son only a mother could or would. Alas, you departed this world of flesh and blood some years ago but I look at myself and know that we are still one being and you will always live on in me though my memory of you fades. Take care and here's to freedom and peace, Geza










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