Irene Lipshin


Photo by Irene Lipshin

Irene Lipshin is a member of the Red Fox Underground Poetry Workshop in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She is also a peace activist, photographer, and reading and ESL teacher. She frequently spends summers traveling, and through her adventures has reconfirmed her belief that we share the human story of loss and gain, personal, political and global, throughout the world. Her work has been published in Rattlesnake Review, including a broadside, Territorio Nuevo; in Poetica, Brevities, Chaparral Updraft, and Song of the San Joaquin; in the anthologies, We Beg to Differ (Sacramento Poets Against the War, 2003); Outcry: American Voices of Conscience, Post-9/11; and in the forthcoming Little Town, USA: The 2006 Anthology of Sierra Foothill Poets. In addition, Irene has been posted on the Poets Against the War and Voices in Wartime websites, as well as appearing in other publications.


Irene Lipshin Poems


Moving to a new house,
its old hinges stuck
from years of closing
out the world,
we loosen the locks,
release the shutters.

Sunlight filters
through wide slats,
I read between
shadowlines —
light opens darkness,
heat vanquishes the chill
of gathering tempests,
banishing the dark
backward of time.


If we are to reach real peace in this world
we shall have to begin with the children.

Opening the morning news, I stare
into the face of a mother cradling a child,
blank saucers gazing at her house of rubble.
Who should she trust in this quest
of men against men and war of gods?
Words on the page written in blood
scrawls revive our terror colored by alerts
and warnings of anything that moves.

Yet, when we discover
the fox in our yard, intruder of our space,
we do not banish her, do not shoot to kill,
do not fight over boundary lines, last breath
going down. She is merely passing through,
touching the soil with wings we know, wings
that will fly us to the same heaven — foxes,
Iraqis, Americans all in the same grave,

mothers leaning over to cover children
with the same good-bye.








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