GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Anne Frank's Fragments from Nowhere
Bernard Kops life and achievements have been well-documented - and deservedly so. Indigo Dreams has a short version below.
Bernard Kops, now 88 years old, is one of the great post-war Jewish writers.
Born in the East End of London of Dutch-Jewish working-class parents, Bernard achieved international recognition for his first play The Hamlet of Stepney Green.
Since then he has written more than 40 plays for stage or radio, 11 novels and 8 poetry collections.
His autobiography, The World is a Wedding, and the second instalment, Shalom Bomb have received international acclaim.
He is considered a seminal voice of his generation.
For a fuller appreciation go here:
Anne Frank's Fragments from Nowhere
Indigo Dreams Publishing
138 x 216mm
£6.00 + P&P UK
PUB: August 2015
Today we will go to Regent’s Park
with our daughters and our son.
We will stand beneath a chestnut tree
and aim as high as clouds for conkers.
Our laughter will rise into the sky
above these clouds, higher than
those other sounds
our children do not seem to hear.
Then, hungry, we shall hurry home
and spread our harvest all
around the floor.
And I suppose we shall sing,
for songs are the dreams
we capture from the dark;
songs and prayers of the irreligious.
Meanwhile all this will have to suffice
For the Record
They came for him in Amsterdam, my grandfather David,
and with minimum force removed him from his home.
He surrendered to the entire German army,
and that was that.
It is of little consequence now;
so many die alone in foreign lands.
But for the record I must say
they gave him a number, helped him
aboard an eastbound train.
It was a little overcrowded,
but then again they had so many to dispatch.
You might call him part of the biggest catch
in history of those who fish for men.
Anyway, to cut a long story short,
he was never seen again.
I cannot put my finger on the exact day he died.
Nor the time, nor the place.
Suffice it to say it was by gas and in the east.
I write this merely to record the facts
for my descending strangers.
Furthermore, today is the 21st of December
in the year of our Lord 1968.
And it is getting rather late.
It rained this evening but now the wind has dropped
and the moon is shining.
It is 11.33 p.m. Precisely.
“Inspirational! As always, Kops' tales and rhymes of the East End and lost journeys of the Jewish tribe will always retain their energy and compassion. He continues to defy age and sing his soulful ethnic chants with memorable gusto.”
“Shalom Bomb is powerful, ecstatic ... incomparably imaginative, committed and aware writing.”
“Bernard Kops’ work is poignant, life-affirming, deceptively simple, honest to the core and steeped in his Jewish identity. He is one of the great poetic voices of his generation.”
Chry Salt, MBE
Poet, Playwright, Producer
Walking With Peter
Walking with Peter
we were like children
happy and silly
and singing lost songs.
A trio of friends.
Across Hampstead Heath
and in Golders Hill Park.
Erica and Peter and
me in the middle.
We dawdled together.
Every day we were there
talking of angels and god not all there
and Peter hugged trees
in Kenwood in the rain.
And we laughed in the sunshine
for this was our world
in that forest of dreams
where life was forever.
And ever and ever.
And nobody cried.
And nobody died.
Hall of Mirrors
He came for me tonight with shooting stars.
He came towards me in the dark
firing crimson grass.
I love you my brother, creeping through the dark;
I wait for you to hurl the flash and chant the black.
He came for me tonight and sang the trees.
Into the hall of mirrors he scattered eyes.
We elongate, distend and try to pray
and point and grimace, laugh; then blend and sway
into the passage of our father’s psalm;
and end our dream of days and shattered glass.
Shattered glass always figures in my dreams;
in this hall of mirrors where I wait for him.
I wait for him to roll me up in earth,
to take me to the ocean made of mothers’ tears.
For my muse Erica! Who else?