Eight Poems for the Wall



At Checkpoint Charlie

customs huts


The death strip – scraped earth



Sepia postcard of the Brandenburg Gate.

Organized bus tour. A one-day visit.



Windows are bricks instead of glass.



A summer day, lapis-blue sky.

My husband buys a rucksack.

“These East Berliners look unhappy,” he says.


I remember, his leaving bruises.


The Mauer, the Wall, cuts through houses.

Ripped-up cobblestone.



People are forbidden to wave

to family and friends.



White crosses under an old elm.


A Strasse becomes a cul-de-sac:

from a steel viewing tower

one sees the street life.

Blank faces of passers-by.



People break the Wall with hammers,

take home souvenirs. 1989.



We are a family, divorced.



A piece of Mauer still stands along the river,

one kilometre long. Dandelions, graffiti art.


Centre of the city under construction.

Ilona Martonfi Blue Poppy, a first book of poems, forthcoming with Coracle Press. Published Coracle Press chapbook, Visiting the Ridge (2004). Martonfi’s poems have appeared in Vallum, The Fiddlehead, Carte Blanche, Headlight Anthology, Accenti, Bibliosofia, (Italy), Arcade, Helios, Serai, Carve, Soliloquies, Fire With Water, Poets Against The War. Finalist 2007 Quebec Writing Competition. Published story, “My Daughter, Marisa,” in CBC Story Anthology III, In Other Words: New English Writing from Quebec (Véhicule Press, 2008). Poet, editor, creative writing teacher. Founder, producer/host of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Poetry and Prose Readings. Co-founder, producer/host of the annual Lovers & Others.