Poetry & Prose

Arrival at Minidoka (8.10.1942)

Dedicated to George Takei



Photos of Minidoka American

Concentration Camp

Busses arrived  belongings
piled  people dumped,
chaos and dust blown;
everywhere the wind of Idaho,
towers, olive clad, angry
men with rifles ready.

The children no longer sure
as: Okāsan bows to soldiers—
squeaky voiced, pimply men
with silver bars; Otōsan
says “Hai, bosu” to boys
with accents from Chicago,
Little Rock and New York City.

What has happened
to the rice in their pantry,
to the baseball and bat Oji Hiroshi
gave him for his birthday?
What of her Kokeshi
who drives away evil; why
does that doll lie helpless
on the bare plank floor?

Will there be school?
Will they play tag,
speak English, learn science,
geography, sing
the national anthem;
songs of their heritage?
Will Obasan fry dorayaki?
Will grandfather tell them
how to behave
in this strangest place?

Sweaty green soldiers speak
at—not with—.
People smile,  bow,  look away
towards home, towards
the warring ocean

Tonight,  tears come to eyes
betrayed by this  place,
this land of liberty,
this nation of red,  white,  blue
they love son’nani.


Okāsan – mom
Otōsan – dad
Hai, bosu – Yes, boss
Oji – uncle
Kokeshi – a traditional limbless doll with powers to drive away evil
Obasan – auntie
Dorayaki – a sweet treat; a honey pancake sandwich served filled with red bean paste
son’nani – very much









Jeremiah 31:16 by Kenneth Weene

After Jeremiah 31:16

Thus saith Jehovah: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith Jehovah; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

Did they cry for their mothers?
Pray to a god? Ask for mercy?

Perhaps they died without a sound
not a whimper or tear.

Nobody talks about their actual deaths
about this slaughter of innocents.

We remember them for their could-have-beens­:
hopes, wishes, childhood dreams

delusions of a better place where children
are safe from madmen’s hands.

This one an athlete another a chef;
this one perhaps a dancer, poet, doctor, nurse

a writer of tales a lover of dogs.
Now bloodied and their faces blown away.

Did they wonder why their fathers did not come?
Did they shudder at the popping sounds?

Did their dying bodies jerk
about the classroom’s cold vinyl floor?

I wonder if they cried in pain.
Can we explain to them why
that madman came to school that day?

By Kenneth Weene

The Antique Jar by Kenneth Weene

I know not the substance you once held:

food or drink, poison, balm.

For the farmer or his wife,

whose work you did I can not tell.

The potter’s hands that gave you birth

have long ago returned to earth;

and you upon this antiques’ shelf

have wiled years and gathered dust.

I make you mine to hold the past.

I’ll give to you some humble task:

hold copper coins or paper clips

and feel you have purpose yet –

to fill your womb with any what

that I, your newest owner, wants

Bonfire of Poetry

What happens when four poets meet every week to share and discuss? There are sparks of inspiration that can ignite excitement and a desire to share a love of poetry with the world. We, the editors, hope this poetical anthology helps to warm and inspire you and to ignite your passion to read and write poetry. With great thanks to the other poets who have added their fuel to our bonfire, we are Alicia Kimberly, Kenneth Weene, Christy White, and Mark Young.


The poems included in the collection reveal a remarkable poetic excellence. These poems aptly show profoundly imaginative power. No doubt, the poet is an adept in the intimate and convincing analysis of emotions.

Jumping Over The Ram

What an extraordinary story Deng has to tell! It is not just about South Sudan; it is a universal story about survival and determination - how a child can face the most difficult of situations and find a way through them. It is a privilege to introduce you to Deng Atem and his moving memoir, Jumping Over the Ram.  ~Anderson Cooper, CNN Anchor

The Rightful King

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Times To Try The Soul of Man

What do an overweight stripper, the CIA, corruption in New York City, the Israeli Mossad, ancient Inca civilization, terrorism, political intrigue, mad dashes across America, and a waste-case of a teenager have in common? They are the ingredients of this action-packed crime and coming-of-age novel. Much of this story is based on true events, perhaps too true to be believed. Guaranteed to make you think and probably to shudder as you relive 9/11. "In his book Times To Try The Soul Of Man, Kenneth Weene paints a vivid portrait of the peripatetic freelance journalist peering from the outskirts of mass corruption at an American horror show." (Anthony Flacco – NY Times best selling author)

Broody New Englander

Three stories set in New England explore love and seduction, commitment and infidelity, death and mourning. Literary fiction with some hints of science fiction and the paranormal. Broody New Englander offers deep psychological and sociological insights and combines warmth of character and plot with lyrical language.

Sweet & Sour

Short fiction some filled with sweetness and some filled with pain.

Red & White

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Memoirs From The Asylum

What is it like to work inside a state hospital or to be a patient in such a hospital? What is it like to live inside the mind of such a patient? This tragi-comedic novel takes the reader inside the asylum, inside the worlds of three central characters: a narrator who has taken refuge from his fears of the world, a psychiatrist whose own life has been damaged by his father's depression, and a catatonic schizophrenic whose world is trapped inside a crack in the wall opposite her bed. This is the interwoven story of their lives, a story that includes love, sexuality, violence, deaths, celebrations, circuses, and surprising twists. As the plot unwinds, the reader learns a great deal about the nature of futility, frustration, and freedom.

Widow's Walk

Mary Flanagan, caught between her sense of religion and obligation on one hand and her very human desire for love and life on the other, is in emotional limbo. When she meets Arnie Berger, who becomes both her lover and philosophic guide, Mary's world seems to be transformed. Changes also come for Mary's children, who have been trapped in their own dilemmas. Sean, a quadriplegic, is looking for a fulfilled life. Mary's daughter, Kathleen must cope with infertility and anger in her search for happiness. The lives of all three Flanagans are turned upside down by happiness and tragedy.


Hundreds of years have separated Wyndel Blackman and his mother from his father’s homeland in Africa. Now they have come from America to scatter his father’s Ashes. What will they learn on this journey? What will they teach the people of that distant community?

Tales From The Dew Drop Inne

"Tales from the Dew Drop Inne" reads like a darkly humorous sitcom. The tone is both heartfelt and deliciously irreverent, showing that one does not need to hate humanity to appreciate the humor of life. Here are tales of drifters, alcoholics, religious renegades, veterans, and drag queens set in pub that is at once a confessional, a circus, and a psychiatric hospital. --Marina Julia Neary, author of "Martyrs & Traitors: a Tale of 1916"

El Catrin

Can Father Eduardo protect Jesus? Will the Devil best his brother? What mysterious things can happen among those who believe in holy mysteries? Who is El Catrîn? Magical Realism by Kenneth Weene.

Two Tales of Terror

Kenneth Weene Pages

Weene Side

Ken’s Writing Groups