They were cousins, almost sister and brother

Ages ago, last night

Their parents took them on a journey

From Brooklyn to Spring Valley, valley of light

They were only four or five, mist was glimmering

They walked along a path, deep into the valley

They opened a curtain, bright and shimmering

Ages ago, last night

The home of Uncle Irving and Aunt Irma

Always loomed in the distance, they never lost sight

Of the home, white and glimmering

A magnet, as they walked along the light

Were angels flitting over the path

Were the cousins beavers and crows

Did a curtain open, did a curtain close

As they walked along the light

Julianne married, moved to the City of Angels

Facing west, near the shore of Malibu

Did she cross the sands of Anza-Borrego

Did a curtain open, did a leaf fall through

Years past, Brandon moved west

Then back east, back to Brooklyn, Gravesend Bay

Near the shore of Brighton

Where he wanders still

Brandon and Julianne once

Asked each other

Do you remember the Valley of Light?

Did a curtain open, did a curtain close

Ages ago, last night


  • Bernard Block was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Cornell University and Brooklyn College. He hitch-hiked to California in 1965 and lived in the Haight-Ashbury through 1967 where he gave poetry readings at the I and Thou Coffee Shop, North Beach coffee houses and Golden Gate Park. He returned to NYC and studied with the poet Colette Inez in the mid '70's. He earned his living as a caseworker with the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City (he is now retired). Bernard has read at all the major spoken-word venues in NYC. He has presented his poetry in venues in Philadelphia, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC. In August, 2014 he was invited to feature in Laugharne, South Wales in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. Bernard curates and hosts the Series “From Whitman to Ginsberg” at Cornelia St. Café. There have been 21 editions of this Series; the most recent was presented on September 28, 2018. All 21 editions were videotaped and can be accessed on his YouTube Channel. He has had 38 poems published in the prestigious European on-line literary journal Levure Littéraire #8, #9 and #12 (Editors: Rodica Draghincescu; Erika Dagnino). Five of Bernard's poems appear in the French/English literary journal Recours au Poème (Editor: Marilyne Bertoncini) with French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi. In an article in this journal regarding the NYC poetry scene, Ms. Brunazzi devotes a significant discussion to Bernard's poetry and his organizing role on that scene. Bernard Block’s book of poetry "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?" has been released by Dark Light Publishing. This is a bilingual edition, English/Spanish, with evocative translations by the eminent Mexican poet, Roberto Mendoza Ayala. It is available on Amazon and from the author: [email protected]