Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The FinNALA Newsletter
Communication of the Finnish North-American Literature Association

Volume 8, No. 3

 Publication of the Finnish North American Literature Association
© December 10, 2015

Beth L. Virtanen, Editor-in-Chief
Sirpa Kaukinen, Assistant Editor
G.K. Wuori, QC Watchdog
It’s time to Subscribe/Renew your Membership for 2016 in the
Finnish North American Literature Association (FinNALA)

The Perks of Membership:
·         Receive online access to Kippis! Literary Journal
·         Receive access to the FinNALA Facebook group
·         Get announcements of what’s happening in the Finnish-North American literary community
·         Get online issues of the FinNALA Newsletter

Membership Fee for 2016
·         $20.00 US
By Mail
·         Send your name and address and your membership fee in the form of a check or money order made out to “FinNALA” to the following address:
                        Beth Virtanen, President
931 Bayshore Road
L'Anse, MI 49946  USA
Use your credit card for online payment
·         Visit us at www.finnala.com
·         Click on Membership and submit payment with PayPal
·         You don’t need a PayPal account—look for link to pay with your credit card.

 Announcements and News

FinNALA Website Working on New Look
The FinNALA websits is undergoing renovation. After much research to locate an appropriate web designer, FinNALA is planning a new look in a new webhosting tool. Keep watch for an unveiling in the coming year. In the meantime, do not worry if you wish to update your membership and all you can find on the website is the 2015 renewal form. That form is still operational, so you can use it. Any memberships submitted during this month will be processed for the year 2016. Thanks so much for your patience with this much-needed update.

Membership in the FinNALA Facebook Group Growing
For the past couple of years, FinNALA has operated a private group for its membership to share announcements and updates, and to provide opportunities for networking among its membership. Membership participation has grown and each month sees new members joining the group. Please do feel free to request membership in that closed group in order to share information about your own publications and publications of interest to you, including links to your own websites where your publications might be purchased. As well, readers can share reviews of the works they would like to recommend. FinNALA is pleased to see a vigorous exchange among our members and guests.
To join, simply search for "FinNALA" and request membership. An editor will approve your request quickly.



Dettman's New Book in Print
Diane Dettmann’s book, Courageous Footsteps A WWII Novel, was recently awarded runner-up in the 2015 Great Midwest Book Festival young adult fiction category. Set in a Japanese interment camp in the U.S. Courageous Footsteps is a poignant story of two teenagers, the hardships they face and choices they ultimately make that change their lives forever.


This compelling story pulled me in from the first page. I felt deeply for the hardships Yasu, Haro and their parents were forced to endure.

Diane Dettmann
 —Jane Dunlap, Teacher, St. Paul Public Schools


DIANE DETTMANN is the author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal. She is also the co-author of Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants and a contributing author for the national Women’s Voices for Change organization in New York City. Diane is currently working on the sequel for Courageous Footsteps. For information about her books visit her website at http://www.outskirtspress.com/footsteps.

Finlandia University’s Campus Read Committee announces
Writers of the Northern Persuasion

Finlandia University and the Michigan Humanities Council are sponsoring a project that supports regional authors of all genres. Several authors will be visiting Finlandia University’s campus and making public presentations in March 2016. All presentations will take place Tuesdays at 4:15 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Matthew on the FinnU campus, Hancock, Michigan. There is no charge to attend any of the events. Books will be available for purchase.

March 15th       Andrea Scarpino, U.P. Poet Laureate. Her book of poetry Once, Then has been selected as the spring 2016 Finlandia University Campus Read

March 22nd      Sonny Longtine, author of five books of non-fiction, most notably Murder in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

March 29th       John Smolens, author of eight novels and a collection of stories. His latest, Wolf’s Mouth, will be released in February.

An all-author forum will take place on Saturday, April 9th, from 10:00 to 4:00, at Finlandia’s Finnish American Heritage Center. This will be open to all regional authors and will include book sales along with other events yet to be determined. There is no charge for participants, but registration will be required. Contact Terri Martin if you would like more information or would like to be on the list to receive future information for the events and registering for the all-author forum. terri.martin@finlandia.edu or 906 487-7512

This project is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rossi and Brooks Have New Book Out

“No Home for My Heart” by Karen Rossi (AKA Kaarina Brooks) is coming out as an e-book Fri. Dec. 4 on Amazon.com as well as their European sites in England, Germany, and France, B&N, and All Romance e-Books. Over the next couple of weeks, they’ll also start appearing on Kobo and a few smaller retailers thereafter.
Sometimes, love is not enough...
No Home for My Heart
Marshall Kenton is content with her life. She's got two great kids and a good man who loves her. It's a far cry from her tumultuous past and the bitter memories of life with her alcoholic ex-husband, Robert. After nearly fifteen years of healing for herself and her eldest child, who has never outrun the demons of his ravaged childhood, Marshall has finally found a place of peace. But when, after  a family funeral, Robert reappears into her life, her hard-won peace is destroyed. She'd be mad to even look at the man, but she can't help the feelings he kindles within her, this intense, passionate man who was—and, she learns, still is—her true love.
Recovering alcoholic Robert Kenton can't pull himself away from the woman standing before him. He knows the hell he put her and his children through—the baby girl who doesn't even remember him, and the son who will never forgive him. Shrouded by remorse, but unable to walk away, he tells Marshall he will prove to her that he's a different man, and that he will always be the man who loves her. He's been dry for years, runs his own construction company, and has a beautiful sailboat moored out in the bay. But when he takes the family out for a sail, a storm rises that threatens not only the delicate truce between them, but their very lives. And even then, the ghosts of the past don't always rest easy...

Creative Submissions

Calendar with Doors 
Eero Sorila 
Christmas, the noblest among feasts -‘Joulu juhlista jaloin’ is an old Finnish saying.
     How true the saying rings specifically when I recall Christmas times as a child in my native Finland.
     As the first born son among six siblings I had certain privileges in the pecking order. One was mostly due to the fact that I was taller than my younger brothers and sisters.
      In our childhood ‘ kamari’- living room, the pre-Christmas spirit was heightened to a fever pitch, due to an wall-calendar. The Advent- calendar hung above our heads in a teasing manner. Fortunately standing on toes helped to gain a direct view of it.
      After waking up in the cool December mornings, my first move was to make a B-line to the calendar. The ‘pönttö uuni’ which was like a ten feet high barrel used for heating the house had not been fired up by the time I sprinted from my bed. The excitement made me warm, no matter how cold it was. 
     Each day was numbered in the calendar with a small door. Words cannot describe the excitement of flipping open a new door each morning, which had a Christmas related picture inside. The picture could be of anything imaginable about Christmas, a Santa clause wrapping gifts, the elks stirring porridge etc.
      It was equally exciting for me to tell my shorter siblings what I had seen inside the small door.
      As I grew up to adulthood in North America my curiosity to open many other doors in life continued, but I will never forget the Calendar with doors.
     To me, Christmas remains to be the noblest among feasts.
Photo by Eero Sorila

Come in stranger
      My travels took me to Malaga, Spain where I opened a door to a room which I had rented in an old house. I was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean without knowing a soul. The warm memories of Christmas at home and among loved ones intensified my loneliness. I had never spent a Christmas alone.  A knock on the door broke the silence.
      I had at least learned  one word of Spanish; ‘ se’- yes to respond to the knock. The elderly landlady with graying hair and a prominent nose said that she is going out to spend Christmas with her relatives. Her gaze had an inkling of pity as she looked at me.
      After her words ‘ Feliz Navidad ‘ – Merry Christmas, she slammed the door with a bang. It was to prevent the cold air from entering my room. A good gesture.
     After the bang, I  laid in bed on my back and stared up. The embossed metal ceiling was my Christmas decoration. Using my imagination I could think of a glowing Christmas candle.
     Intense darkness covered the windows and crept into my soul.
It was 11:30 pm. I could not take it any longer. I got up and went out. The warm wind blew lustily from the Mediterranean Sea as I walked along the ‘ Malecon’ – seaside promenade, to the center of Malaga.
     There I found a big cathedral. The massive door was wide open as if beckoning,’ come in stranger’. As I walked into the cathedral the choir was singing. I did not understand the words, but the melody was familiar. The notes of, Silent Night, Holy Night, fell into my heart like drops of warm‘glögi’- Christmas drink in Finland.
      Spiritually nourished, I returned to my room and fell asleep, a stranger no more.


301 kph on a Bullet Train
M.L. King
While stilled scenes flee before they’re seen, sways strung
ever eastward fling sudden jolts from right
left.  Wheels spun to max grind iron rails,
whose shrieks a peaking charge
suppresses.  Splayed
for bids to move about,
folks reach for what
was stowed, do belly flops
on luggage dropped

when westward bullets hurtle past.  I clutch
overhead rack, strive to stay upright.
Conductors scowl, check my ticket, advise

I seek an unclaimed seat since I insist
they not remove a mother with her child
from mine.  I struggle to a vestibule,
press beside a window, from which I mark
walls outside are frenzied in haste to hide
exploited lands before their views are known.
Home Port
Josef Aukee
Think of all the places
Been to, seen and done, escaped
At ease and longing for a replacement
When none is needed or desired
Open up to the never-ending possibilities
Safety in comfort zones
Songs of familiarity
Blooms never noticed
Walkways never walked
My anchor, my coil, my hopefulness
Resting here among the slips
Carried over from the past unseen
Until the break of day
The small bits of time recovered
In the spontaneous gatherings on ships
Pointed toward the sea
Looking out for adventure
The homeport
Where time stands tallest on the whole
Anchor up but tethered
To people, land, water, memory
It’s a sinking feeling
When the railings need a sanding
The rip in the jib mending
The hold a cleaning
The crew replacing
Think of all the places
Yet to go
Think of all the places
Still to hear of
Think of all the places
That could have chosen us
Think of all the places
Underneath the moon
Think of all the places
We call our own
Think of places
Think of here
Just think
How the tide cures
Colors the day
How the sky reminds
Gives directions
Uncovers currents
About how we’ll navigate our ways
Four-Part Harmony
Josef Aukee 
Build a chord one note at a time
Sometimes a melody calls out the progression
Other times the bass line gives the cue
Words themselves often offer a clue
Winter can chill the tonal landscape
Strings bent like wind on cypress trees
Horns determine the midnight moon
The young build a repertory of style
Linguistic maneuvers that reflect a mentor
Experiments and fast cars to expedite the high
Deferments and false starts build character
Spring choices are now or never, risk or regrets
Voices echo in memories rare to dispose
Lyrics cemented in hooks to hang a hat
In a rush come work and love and buying things
It takes extra stanzas, codas and crimes of rhythm
Rush into minor keys and starry promises
The chorus returns in a jazzy variation
Summer brings a hot percussive interlude
Woodwinds roar an ocean’s breaking wave
Cymbals crash and foghorns moan a diminished view
Every choir distinguishes itself with character
An urbane appeal, a croon, a children’s fable in unison
The voices mingle, color in the tone, tell a story
In ageless cathedrals a pipe organ offers sage advice
Autumn becomes the sentiment of major resolutions
Guitars amp-up in strength like polyphonic madrigals
A composer scribbles each note in mind on the staff
Configuring the harmony ready for those who will listen
A Simultaneous Sting of Bees
Charles Peltosalo
Ridgeland, SC
21 Nov. 15
Shocked into the moment or knocked out from that moment by
The simultaneous sting of bees,
2 non-local souls occupy same space,
A particle of soul occurring in 2 places at once against higher
Plane and lower level-
A shift of each other’s cords framed by
The deceptively plain hard flat floor of white-spiked
Green at dimensions’ ends.
Cross-hatched by the warp and weave of some geomancer’s
Chalk-paint lines dividing up the day from moments before
Or after, the synchronous jolt creates
2 particles in space the same.
All essentials sweated out by the Chesapeake’s assault on my
Tree-line timing, I rust and freeze in rapid waves.
Just a rock or two of NaCl from shaker on porch table will
Unlock my retinal muscles, free my eye,
Maybe my heart’s smaller muscles will unstiffen
Or my lungs,
Or relax other myriad organs to life,
Not tighten towards death’s dark and painful doors.
As you walk past my yard, full of thoughts of me that
Have survived the seasons,
I consider you’re the last sight I’ll see
As we’re both stung by a simultaneous sting of bees.
The last sting was set this endless afternoon we inhabit-
Cloudless skies cloaking the gathering bolt;
It was a thunderclap of happenstance,
A drop of nectar wrung from May’s fine clover.
Back to back at Father’s wake,
The center of the Gibson Island rotunda,
Unnoticed by the other, facing the wheel’s turning mourners,
Like a tidal bore we reflected in the other’s surface
Flowing past and through each other.
Our 2 directions splay mighty outwards while
An enormous charge builds between our slaved particles
As they spark madly towards the next horizon.

Book Review

by Beth Virtanen

Dettmann, Diane. (2015). Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press. ISBN: 978-4787-5558-6
Dianne Dettmann has created a heart-wrenching masterpiece in her latest work, Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel. In it, she tackles the topics of inequity, bigotry, and intolerance in an unemotional manner which allows the hard truths that underpinned (and perhaps still do) American culture to come to the fore for examination in this her latest work.
The novel shares the story of a middle-class Japanese-American family made up of a teenaged girl Yasu, her brother Haro, and their shopkeeper parents as the country is swept up in the anti-Japanese hysteria following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The primary narration is through the eyes of Yasu, the high-school girl whose future is upended

The Japanese-American family strives to preserve some dignity while they suffer the loss of nearly all they possess—their means of livelihood, their possessions, their home, their security, and almost their dignity. In this dark tale, life goes from bad to worse in terms of living conditions and prospects for the future, especially when Haro is drafted to serve on the European front and leaves young Yasu with her parents in the detention camp.  
In a nearly absurd parallel, Yasu’s high school friend, a white, middle-class girl, completes the plans that both girls had set before themselves of going to college and seeking their individual success. The letters shared between the two serve to highlight in stark contrast their prospects, which at the opening of the story had been identical. One girl is detained and forced into manual labor in the detention camp while the other completes high school and is accepted at Berkeley.
The maddening and relentless progression of the story is unavoidable, and readers resists at every turn what we know is coming, until there is a surprising and ambiguous turn of events that allows for Yasu’s accidental shift in fate that suggests a slightly more hopeful, but clearly uncertain, future.  Yasu’s opportunity, we know, is not to some utopian ideal. It is, at best, a transition to a new kind of struggle, but perhaps one that holds somewhat less pessimism than what is located in the detention camp.
This novel is sensitively written, incorporating a complex narrative structure that shifts in perspective among the principle characters. Although told predominantly from Yasu’s point of view, the passages from the other perspectives allow for a richer narrative experience and a greater understanding of the central issues at play that created the diverse outcomes for members at various locations within the social and ethnic hierarchy of the day. While written for and receiving honors as young-adult fiction, this work is suitable for a general audience as well.
Dettmann is author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal and co-author of Miriam: Daughter of Immigrants. This latest novel, building on the two earlier and well-received works, embodies her greatest achievement to date. 




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Help Preserve  Finnish Studies at the U of Toronto!

The Finnish Studies at the University of Toronto is the largest, most comprehensive program dedicated to the study of Finnish language and culture in North America. The program has offered high-quality courses in Finnish language, literature, culture, cinema, and immigrant experience for more than 1300 Canadian and Finnish-Canadian students.
Sadly, during the economic downturn the Finnish government was forced to drastically reduce its 25-year sponsorship of the program resulting in an urgent need for program funding.   
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

The FinNALA Newsletter

Volume 8, No. 2

Publication of the Finnish North American Literature Association
© September 16, 2015

Beth L. Virtanen, Editor-in-Chief
Sirpa Kaukinen, Assistant Editor
G.K. Wuori, QC Watchdog


Offer your books for sale
at FinnFest 2015 FinNALA Table
FinNALA is planning to have a booth at the tori at FinnFest 2015 in Buffalo. For a small fee of $25 US, you can have your work for sale there, too. If want to make your book(s) available at FinnFest 2015 (Oct. 9-10) in Buffalo, New York, then FinNALA has a great opportunity for you.
For a modest $25.00 (U.S.) fee, FinNALA will:
       1.  display your book on its table in the Tori for the duration of FinnFest
       2.  keep a small reserve supply to replace sold books
       3.  keep a record of all books sold & pay each author for sales of their books
       4.  keep you from having to pay the $400 fee to rent and staff your own sale table
       5.  staff the FinNALA during all regular Tori hours of the FinnFest.

We think this will be a great opportunity for our authors to gain exposure and to make some money, whether they can attend or not.
If you’re interested and will be present at FinnFest, please contact Beth Virtanen, FinNALA president, as soon as possible at bethlvirtanen at yahoo.com.

If you are unable to attend FinnFest and wish for your books to be sold at the FinNALA table, please contact the FinNALA president at the email address above so we can make arrangements to make your book available.

It’s time to Subscribe/Renew your Membership for 2015 in the
Finnish North American Literature Association (FinNALA)

The Perks of Membership:
·         Receive online access to Kippis! Literary Journal
·         Receive access to the FinNALA Facebook group
·         Get announcements of what’s happening in the Finnish-North American literary community
·         Get online issues of the FinNALA Newsletter

Membership Fee for 2015
·         $20.00 US

By Mail
·         Send your name and address and your membership fee in the form of a check or money order made out to “FinNALA” to the following address:
                        Beth Virtanen, President
931 Bayshore Road
L'Anse, MI 49946  USA
Use your credit card for online payment
·         Visit us at www.finnala.com
·         Click on Membership and submit payment with PayPal
·         You don’t need a PayPal account—look for link to pay with your credit card.
New Book by Karl Luntta
Karl Luntta has  released a collection of short stories from SUNY press called Swimming. It contains "compelling stories of intercultural contact and survival." 

“Karl Luntta’s Swimming takes us from Botswana to America and back to Africa, in short stories that capture humanity from childhood to old age. Luntta’s great strength: crystallizing the moments when lives are changed and the future (as well as one’s memories of the past) is altered.” — John Coyne

Karl Luntta is the author of the novel Know It by Heart as well as numerous travel books. His stories have appeared in International Quarterly, Talking River, and Baltimore Review. He lives outside Albany, New York.
Here is a direct link to the book page with SUNY press: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6140-swimming.aspx.

Matson's "Pie" a Ploughshares Solo

Suzanne Matson's story, "Pie," online as a Ploughshares Solo, is downloadable through Amazon's Kindle Singles <http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Single-Ploughshares-Solos-Volume-ebook/dp/B00N11XS8G>.  The story has a Finnish strand in the character of Carl, Kathryn's suitor, who is a first-generation American of Finnish parentage.


From Ploughshares"Leaving behind her strict Mennonite upbringing, Kathryn has moved west. America has just won victory in Japan, and a charming older man begins visiting the diner where Kathryn works, taking her out dancing and around town. With her old soldier boyfriends now scattered, and the country flush with postwar happiness, Kathryn takes a chance on her mysterious admirer and moves to Los Angeles with him. But how much does she really know about this new man? In "Pie," acclaimed novelist and poet Suzanne Matson looks at the thrill and danger inherent in the American dream of unrestricted liberty.



Dettmann Releases Historical Fiction:
Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel

Fifteen-year-old Yasu Sakamoto loves living in Glenville, California, but Japan’s attack on Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941 turns her young life into a devastating nightmare. Anti-Japanese threats appear everywhere—in store windows, painted across buildings and in her school. Her hopes and dreams unravel quickly when President Roosevelt orders the internment of all people of Japanese descent living along the West Coast. Within weeks her family is imprisoned in a camp in eastern California. Surrounded by barbwire fences and the constant watch of armed guards, Yasu and her older brother, Haro, struggle to accept the overcrowded living conditions and hardships of camp life. As time passes, the confinement, strict regulations and humiliation force them to make courageous choices that will change their lives forever.

“Once read, Courageous Footsteps will not be forgotten. Teenagers, Yasu and Haro, show resilience and courage in the face of unwarranted hardship and injustice. It’s an important story relevant even todaythat needs to be discussed, remembered and hopefully will inspire the reader with the courage to stand on the side of justice.—Ann Wolff, President of the Stillwater Library Foundation
Courageous Footsteps A WWII Novel is available at many independent bookstores and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble in both e-book and paperback. To purchase books directly, send check for $25.00 (includes cost of shipping) to Diane Dettmann, P.O Box 36, Afton, Minnesota 55001-0036.
Visit Diane Dettmann’s website at www.outskirtspress.com/footsteps for information about Courageous Footsteps A WWII Novel (Outskirts Press).

Creative Submissions

Stealing of the Sampo: A tale from Kalevala
translated and illustrated by Hazel Lauttamus Birt 
How the Crane made terrible trouble for the Kalevala heroes.
            The great wizard Väinämöinen and his friends Ilmarinen and Leminkäinen set sail by ship to steal the Sampo, a magic mill from Louho, the wicked witch of the North. She had it hidden in the Copper Mountain.

Crane of Finland (woodcut)
by Hazel Lauttamus Birt
            Väinämöinen picked up his magic harp, the kantele and began to play. In no time everyone on the witch Louho’s North Farm was fast asleep. He then played to the Copper Mountain asking it to release the nine locks and ten bolts holding fast the Sampo, the magic mill that ground out not only good fortune but gold and silver.
            Ilmarinen greased the hinges of the door to stop them from squeaking. He boasted as he entered, ‘I think I’m man enough to wrestle this lid of many colors from the mountain.’ But the roots went fifty-six feet deep into the ground and it was only with the help of a strong steer from the North Farm yard that they finally loosened the mill from the mountain and made off with it in their ship.
            As they sailed along Leminkäinen was jubilant. ‘This calls for a song! Why don’t you give us a song, Väinämöinen?’
            ‘This is no time for singing! Time enough when we get the Sampo  home to Kalevala!’ he said.
            But the reckless, handsome Leminkäinen could not contain himself, arranged his face, cleared his throat and burst into song.
            The raspy harsh roar was heard six farms over across the water.
            The Crane was sitting on a stump in the marsh. The sudden noise so startled him that with a great shriek he flung himself into the air. He flew screaming with rage and circled the North Farm.
            The crane’s shrill cry woke the evil domain. Louhi, the witch ran to check her cattle and grain bins. Nothing was missing. Then she thought, ‘The Sampo!’ She ran to the mountain and found the many colored lid torn off from it’s hiding place.
            Louhi was in a rage. She at once used her magic powers to call down vengeance. ‘Mist Girl, hang out some fog. Let down a haze over the clear sea. Turso, evil man of the sea, drown the men of Kalevala! Ukko, golden king of the air, create a violent storm to stop Väinämöinen from taking the Sampo to his Slack Water Farm!’
Väinämöinen said, ‘A lesser man than I would be daunted by so much disaster but I think I can handle this.’
With his sword he slashed great tears in the mist and dispelled it.
When Turso, the terrible creature of the sea reared his head out of the water, our hero grasped by the ears and would not let until he promised to leave the people of Kalevala alone.
Väinämöinen used powerful magic charms against the stormy sea and violent wind, ‘Water, check your child the Billow! Ahto, quiet the waves!
Vellamo, quiet the genius of the water! Wind, rise back into the heavens, back to your own tribe up on high!’
Thus the Kalevala men brought home the Sampo in triumph despite the harm done by the screaming crane.
<>< <>< <><
Author-Illustrator Hazel Lauttamus Birt. Born in New Finland, Saskatchewan she is fluent in the Finnish language. ‘the Stealing of the Sampo’ is from her book, ‘Festivals of Finland’.  She lives in Winnipeg.
Three Poems
by K. Alma Peterson
Meeting the Photogenic Ancestors 
Freckles of disaster airbrushed out. Sepia 
fatigue blurs the vagaries of romance. 
Innocence its own stock takes. Pansies 
for her palsied mouth. Betrayal a long stem.
Plaid the rules of camp. His grin deepens 
and up go the stakes. Meadow-waves of thick
dark hair rile the cicadas. The stamp of pleasure
bears his name. Unrequited. Lies to answer for.
In Full Leaf
The author, who I'd met 
in passing --- she, the turned 
leaf a-shiver in the semi-sun
and I, an upturned stone
absorbent of her veined text --- 
will spend the altered future 
pulling prints and titling a sequel.

Inhabiting the Disengaged Father

His deerskin night-shoes
make almost no sound. Misgivings
arise in his mind; he lightens
his step when the floorboards creak.
Stops. Steadies himself. A stalwart
boat about to capsize.

No decisions need be made
tonight. His weathered frame
stiffens; so much unnamed
force. His sandbagged family
sleeps behind the wall, waves
him in, a given.

Except this is dry land; his grave
hidden by low hills, wiry pines.
Everything is loamy; even the horizon
shifts, not sure which illusion
to efface.
by Albert Vetere Lannon
            This is a true story.  It is not another bleeding-heart liberal crying towel, but you will have to read it to see that, and why it matters to you.  This is about an illegal immigrant.
            Isaac came from a land of poverty and dictatorship, a land where peaceful protesters were dispersed with violence, where some responded with violence, where military rule was met with assassination.  Faced with conscription, Isaac, like many others, chose to leave.  Alone and scared, the young man braved the many miles of danger to find his way to America.
            America needed the muscle of young men willing to work long hours for little pay, and Isaac was allowed provisional entry.  Not speaking the language he was always the Other, the foreigner, the stranger in a strange land.  He found countrymen, and they made places where they could speak their own language without feeling threatened.  They did things together in the little spare time they had.  They got drunk together to quell the constant fear they felt.  Soon anger replaced fear.  Isaac grew assertive.
            He and his friends joined a rough gang and challenged authority.  When it cost them their jobs they retaliated with violence.  They were labeled “knife-fighters,” and “troublemakers.” With the authorities after him, Isaac crossed the border and went home.
            Things were not any better there than when he had left, but Isaac found a wife and returned to the United States with a new, false, last name.  They were now illegals.  He found work doing the hard jobs others refused.  They had children, sending them to American public schools.  The children never graduated; they, too, had to work, but unlike their parents, they spoke English as well as their native tongue.
            The children, caught between two worlds and labeled as the offspring of foreigners, took on their parents fear and anger, and sometimes acted out.  There were arrests along with rebellion.
My mother was proud of her arrest.  She was sixteen years old and part of a Washington protest against sending scrap metal to Japan to be turned into tools of war, later returned as bombs at Pearl Harbor. 
            Isaac Björklund came from Vaasa Province in Finland to work in the copper mines of the American West, and to escape conscription into the Russian Czar’s army.  He joined the radical union, the Industrial Workers of the World, and fled Butte, Montana, during a bitter strike.  With his new wife and a new, false, name he returned to the United States to work in the steel mills.  They were now illegals.   Isaac and Mary Lund went to the Finn Hall to drink with countrymen.  They never learned much English, but somehow became citizens.  Others did not. 
            Mary and Isaac had three children.  As they quit school to work in factories they learned the customs of their birthplace.  Unlike the descendants of slaves, the “Finlanders,” also derided as “China Swedes” and “roundheads,” could pass.  Many of those first-generation children of immigrants, like my mother, devoted their lives to social justice movements.  They helped make America a better place, fighting for unions and civil rights and women’s equality.  They passed that passion on to their children.
            Those particulars fit several generations of immigrants who came to America from many lands to work hard for low wages, immigrants who faced discrimination and banded together for survival, in unions, communities, gangs and movements.  They came across oceans and met the words on the Statue of Liberty: 
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
 the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,
tempest-tossed to me.  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Immigrants like my grandparents, legal and not, built America.  But without his particulars, Isaac’s story could be a story of today as well as yesterday, and of tomorrow.   It’s our story.  It’s America.
What We Know--What We See
by Gary V. Anderson
My logger friend
paused on our snowshoe walk
and said,
something happened here.

He scraped through
early snow,
then moss,
with his boot;
revealed broken crosscut saw,
runners from sled,
forgotten tools of long ago.

We sat talking
about the war,
difficult work of healing,
loss of soul.
He scraped snow
from my shoulder,
and said,
something happened here.

I recalled a journey:
            A Shaman appeared with an
            opening in his heart.
            Orange light and eyes of a
            raptor were visible.  The Shaman placed a
            ring of orange on my body and a
            raptor came out of my heart. 

and said,
my ancestors acknowledged
my knowing, my seeing.

The logger thought,
and said,
maybe you could find the
ax I lost here last summer.

Gary V. Anderson was raised along the Columbia River.  He has performed at local and national Finn Fests for many years.  His project, The Sami Exhibit, was at the Naselle, WA Finn Fest 2014.
is poems have been published in Kippis!, a Literary Journal of the Finnish North American Literature Association, and Curio Poetry, New York.  He has been featured in performances on Lyle Haataja’s Scandinavian Hour radio show in Astoria.   He recently performed with Gary Stroutsos, world flute player at Dayaalu Center on Bainbridge Island.  He has published two books, My Finnish Soul and Bunchgrass and Buttercups.

Eros Abides
by Lisbeth Holt                                                            
 Without fanfare, Eros unerringly aimed a quivering arrow into my heart.
Oh, it causes distress…
How exactly do I deal with this uninvited guest?
I’ll ignore it, I promise myself, will it away,
Transform it, ruthlessly rip it out…
To no avail:
Firmly implanted for a reason, an unexpected season,
Just for me to comprehend…
A thorn from a rose!
Fragrance redolent of that most beloved of blooms…
A seed promising growth of dormant powers
Emerging into flower…
A pulsing dart giving no peace but awakening
An ecstatic breaking free of false assumptions,
Wintry acceptances…
     A wild rose defying an arid world yearning for sweet rain,
     The sun’s caress in deep rich loam of blessedness.
     Earthy, sensual, Eros abides;
     Spirit-filled, ethereal, no longer a divide.
A bell clamoring within which cannot be stilled:
Reuniting precious forgotten pieces of my soul,
     Now becoming whole.
Finland Summer 2015
by Elsie Jaehn
Finland was cold this summer, the coldest in 25 years so said the local Helsinki newspaper, and we definitely have to agree with that assessment.  When we arrived at our cottage deep in the forest in mid-May, spring was just beginning to unfold.  As the days evolved into weeks and nature took on a grand green dress, the temperatures didn't want to accommodate the season. 
Jackets and socks and shoes took the place of shorts and flip flops as we walked down the gravel road to drink in the beauty of a huge variety of colorful wildflowers that graced the forest floor.  May turned into June and Midsummer Night on the 21st.  The days were looong, and we were visited periodically by a tall species of Canada geese with their brood of 5 goslings that made themselves right at home at the shoreline of the property.  Koskelo diving mother duck with 8 babies on her back came to visit frequently as well.  On an overnight trip to Helsinki to visit with friends, we spent time down near the harbor, the focal point of the city, wandering through the marketplace enjoying the vibrant scenery spread out before us where visitors are able to take scenic boat trips to a variety of local venues, including Tallinn, Estonia, an hour's journey by hydrofoil across the Baltic Sea.
In mid-July the temperatures began to moderate somewhat, and after all the rain we experienced previously, we were able to go into the forest and harvest an abundant supply of Chanterelle mushrooms that we enjoyed with several meals.  In early August, as fall was beginning to make inroads on the season, we were able to pick blueberries and raspberries right on the property that provided added pleasure to our daily breakfast.  Before we left in mid-August, we had a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s when we could finally discard our jackets.  The night we arrived home in Florida, we were very happy to take a swim in our nice, warm pool that was waiting patiently for our return.
the river, the lifeline
by Anita Erola
in the evening light
the river Danube
reflects buildings illuminated
the water’s sheen mercurial
for musing
journeys past and present
of ancient ships
that navigated their way
this travelers’ waterway
Finno-Ugric speaking DNA
sought their destinies
the waterway link
to ancestral days
and ancestors’ ways
kinship of unrecorded times
struggles of determined lives
and battles survived
persistence forged onward
odysseys to prehistoric futures
across rivers and sea
by moonlight
by north star bright
the compass light
the river, the lifeline
carrying the bloodline
the DNA line
today’s distant cousins
made their way
by water, blood, trade
Finnish and Hungarian words similar
intonation familiar
water vez vesi
blood ver veri
currency valuta valuutta
the connection
the DNA
the lifeline
my connection
my dna
my lifeline