1. Underground
Don't run away from panic. When you feel the panic mount,
take a deep breath and, as you breath out, let go. keep trying.
Stay there almost as if you were floating in space.
Don't fight the feeling of panic. Accept it. You can do it.

2. Fear
Fear is very useful.

You know it prepares your body

for "fight or flight" response.

3. I saw my lady weep




1.  Evil night

 leaving me
 with such dreams
 a weave of loss
 and light
 that blinds

 my eyes

2.  I don't know who

to turn to now

that you

have turned away




turn I say

always saw life

as a cycle

while you

with your arrow

want only


a linear






3.  I want to hear it again

what you said then

about always

loving me

just for the memory

I want to hear it

even though I know that

we never will lie


until we die.




There was a moment you should

have touched me - one moment alone

in both our lives -

you know that moment,

even now

wonder if





How sweet of you to notice

my agony, my dear, how

kind of you to inquire again.


We will leave it

at that, of course.


Even I

have my


of pain.



6.  Once,

 mid love-making
 I remembered how
 even the great passion
 of my parents
 did not save them
 from dying  slowly

 in the hands of strangers





How did we get into this lover's fight?

All night you push, I resist, wishing

we were sleeping our separate sleeps

in that warm bed you brought with you

to my place.  By dawn this waste of love

seals my heart and with the sun I love you

not at all.  You point a knife to your chest

but the investment is lost. 

After a month someone comes for the bed.


8.  Guy breaks up with a girl

she tries to kill herself

girl breaks up with a guy

he tries to kill her



either way it's her fault



9.  café



Amazing how some insignificant café

emerges in your memory, some night

when insomnia has gripped you and you know

you’re not going to be any good for that big day ahead.

Tonight there is an old olive tree shading the street

and a tiny table rickety on the cobblestones

with two cups of  splashing coffee,

and the mood makes for a dreamy contented sleep

even as the coffee keeps you alert, worrying what

the source of this memory really





All texts, with the exception of Panic, are © 2005 by Karen Alkalay-Gut.