All posts by Susan Shafarzek

The Groundhog Has Come and Gone


Well, it’s over, the most important day of winter, Groundhog Day. And it’s still winter. How come? The groundhog, after being widely noticed, has gone back to sleep, which seems like a really good idea. Here in Central Virginia, we can’t complain too much. It hasn’t snowed yet. It doesn’t usually snow much. Unless you’ve been pining to go skiing, that’s good news. I haven’t seen any posters or bumper stickers saying “Pray for Snow,” yet this winter, but I have seen plenty in the past. I have to assume there’s a significant group in … Continue reading The Groundhog Has Come and Gone

Singing at Auschwitz by Diane Baumer


For close to thirty minutes that first evening, we danced recklessly and with joy, clasping hands, twirling, and twisting to the beat of the “Havah,” reveling in our freedom and singing with abandon. Our dance line snaked up the auditorium floor and into the Museum’s lobby then circled ‘round the brightly colored kiosks. Forming three smaller circles, we laughed and sang and bumped without grace into one another until finally, as the music died down, we collapsed onto the benches against the wall, out of breath and exhausted. After a few minutes, one of the … Continue reading Singing at Auschwitz by Diane Baumer

Got Your Shopping Done Yet?

colorful knitted caps

The other day I was remarking to somebody that I’d been doing my Christmas shopping and found the stores seemed not to be playing so much Christmas music lately. I’d been to the mall and I hadn’t really noticed any irritating repetitions of that little drummer boy, or any of the usual favorites. She gently reminded me of my deafness. Oh, true. One of the extremely few advantages of being deaf is that, even with hearing aids, ambient music pretty much disappears. Lately, I don’t hear store music — or show tunes in restaurants, for … Continue reading Got Your Shopping Done Yet?

It’s Coming, Ready or Not – A Rant


And you know I don’t mean Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. You do know that, right? I notice that the newspapers, the internet, the TV, are all full of stories about the seasons coming, by which they mean Thanksgiving and Christmas — just as they have been full, of course, about the season past, which is to say Halloween. This is certainly an effect of capitalism, which the media, being its children, cannot ignore. It’s their business, after all.   Halloween? Buy lots of candy! Thanksgiving next, buy your turkey here! Christmas after that, be sure and … Continue reading It’s Coming, Ready or Not – A Rant

An International Celebration of Poetry Right Here In Charlottesville


This coming Saturday Charlottesville’s  WriterHouse will host its own special segment of an international event in which poets all over the world will be gathering in a spirit of global uplift. The Charlottesville segment will take place Saturday, September 27 at WriterHouse (see: from 4:00 P.M. till 6:30. It’s free.  I attended this event last year at WriterHouse and want to draw your attention to it. Polly Lazaron, organizer for the event, reports that this is the fifth of these events in which she has participated and the second for which she has been … Continue reading An International Celebration of Poetry Right Here In Charlottesville

Tourist by Jim Krosschell

Maine coastline

Sometimes a trip starts out innocently. You may not even know you’ve departed. (1963) On summer vacation, a boy and his family travel to the college town on the northern coast. He’s an adolescent, incarcerated for the past year by pimples and prairie, his father having moved them from suburbia to prison – a prison without walls, more accurately with the invisible walls of an ethnic enclave, and him with his driver’s license still several years away. All of this has made the vast flat plain fairly terrifying. The day after they arrive in New … Continue reading Tourist by Jim Krosschell

Summer Has Come In


No longer just “cumen in” summer is with us, all reds and greens and gold (did I leave out anything?) Oh yeah, and the latest issue of Streetlight. Soon to appear in these very pages. As it were. We’re all tourists in this world and right now, right in this spot, it’s a good place to be. We hope to prolong our visit. Oh yeah, and the pond is back. Apparently they weren’t eradicating it, when the fences went up and the earth movers came in, they were just digging it out. We were pretty … Continue reading Summer Has Come In

A Little Bit Haunted


A discussion of place continued. One of the distressing things about place is the way places are always disappearing. It’s an odd thing to think about – or at least, I think it’s odd. That may be because I grew up in a rural area. City dwellers, it seems to me, are more used to change. That restaurant where we liked to eat last year? Gone. The bank at the corner of North and Pearl? A parking lot. Or the other way around (most likely). Rural areas change so slowly, it’s possible to develop an … Continue reading A Little Bit Haunted

Thanks, Jim


Thanks, Jim This is by way of being a thank-you note to Jim Bundy, whose excellent blog of April 28, this year, so well demonstrated what it is to think metaphorically on the subject of street light. The “blurring of streetlights and angels” indeed. That challenge to “transcend the separateness” seems to me to be a very appropriate gauntlet for Jim to throw down not only before himself, but before the editors and potential contributors to this magazine. And certainly, its readers. The unromantic fact, of course, is that the present editors of Streetlight Magazine … Continue reading Thanks, Jim

Lunchero by Larry Strauss

tacos truck

I used to think the school at which I taught should have been named Rodney Dangerfield High because nobody got any respect. Oppressive rules treated students like babies. Weapons checks regarded them as criminals. Teachers faced overcrowded classrooms with shamefully inadequate resources and endured blatant—and often profane—rudeness from students and endless interruptions from everyone. We—the teachers—disregarded administrative rules as a matter of course. Other high schools and the district as a whole disdained us because we were small and had no football team, because our basketball team had a reputation for fighting and mayhem (because … Continue reading Lunchero by Larry Strauss