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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


by Laurie Kuntz

On a Friday afternoon in southern Jerusalem ,
17 year-old Rachel Levy was entering a Supersol market
to buy a pepper for the Sabbath meal.
Another girl, 18 year-old Ayat al- Akhras, a Palestinian suicide bomber,
also walked into the market alongside Rachel Levy.

the soil is tilled
pepper plants
gingerly grow

in a measured line of ground
side by side, yet apart
under desert sun and rain
its bellied shape ripens
to fireball red
a plump season of sweetness and spice
the weighty stalk peppered
in greens and red leans to ground
    the pepper easily falls,
over soiled lands into toiled hands

consider the pepper
consider the possibilities
    the soil is tilled,
                                                the soil is stilled.

Laurie Kuntz’s bio is as elusive as her estrogen levels. Sometimes she remembers she is a poet and sometimes not. During her five minutes in the sun Laurie has done the following: She is the winner of the 1999 Texas Review Chapbook Contest and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, is published by Texas review Press (2000). Blue Light Press published her chapbook, Women at the Onsen, in 2003. Edwin Mellen Press published her poetry collection, Somewhere in the Telling in 1999. She is the author of two English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) books, The New Arrival, BKS. 1 &2(Prentice-Hall, 1982, 1992). She was the editor of the University of Maryland's Asian Division's literary magazine, Blue Muse, and was a contributing editor to Hunger Mountain Magazine. Currently, she is a contributing editor for RockSaltPlum online literary magazine. In 2003, three of her poems were nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. More on her life and poetry can be seen on Pining for the tropics, she works and writes in Northern Japan.