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The Literary Groong - May 7, 2005

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	By Knarik O. Meneshian

	Past the mountain Aragats,
	Beyond fields of cabbage and potatoes,
	The mooing of cows, and the call of roosters,
	Amidst rocks and stones and dusty roads,
	Past twisted scraps of metal and concrete chunks
	Heaped on a winding path
	Near rushing water,
	An ancient church - Marmashen,
	Blackened with candle smoke and time,
	Stands crumbling
	In the coolness of moss
	And tall grass
	Bowing in the wind near royal tombstones.

	The ancient church
	Stands vigil still
	To the occasional prayers
	On bended knees
	As candles burn
	And coins are dropped into a plate.
	At times, as in the old days,
	Prayers are released to Heaven
	On the wings of doves.

	And in the nearby city - Gyumri,
	On a street
	Lined with domeeks
	Molded and rusted long ago,
	But still called home,
	A man is dead.
	No candles burn for him.
	No prayers are said,
	Not even a tear.

	Ignored by passersby
	In life as in death,
	The man,
	A son of Armenia,
	In tattered clothes,
	Lies dead,
	Face down
	On a littered, crumbling sidewalk,
	With only the weeds at his side.

	Doves cry from above.


	To those Sons and Daughters of Armenia
	who are seen merely as
	`The Bums and the Homeless.'

Knarik Meneshian was born in Austria.  Her father was an Armenian from
Meghree, Armenia, and her mother was an Austrian from Austria.  She is
married and is a writer and teacher.  In 1991, she taught English in
the village of Jrashen, (Spitak region), Armenia for several months.
In 2002-2003, she and her husband, as volunteers for one year, taught
English and Computers in Gyumri as well as in Tsaghgadzor, Armenia.
Her works have been published in various Armenian and non-Armenian
publications, with the majority of them in "The Armenian Weekly."
Currently, "The Armenian Weekly" has been publishing her pieces about
Gyumri and life in Armenia.  She has authored a book of poems titled
Reflections and translated from the Armenian to English the book Musa
Dagh - The Banishment of Zeitoun and Suedia's Revolt by Reverend
D. Antreassian.

Knarik lives with her family in Glenview, Illinois.

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