Summer Camp    on the border

Yes    dear children    we are doing this    out of love

this is camp    your camp    concentrate    my dears

and you will see    see the pool

(although there is no pool)    see the stream

(although there is no stream)    do not be

impertinent    see what we mean

See the frog    eating the frog    see three

little fishes    eating three little fishes    see

scorpions    lighting up the strand    they light up

for you    my dears    out of love    and

three buzzards    circling the sky    don’t

worry    there will be more    and more

And tiny sobs    and weary    weary

do not worry    we are here for you

listen    listen    to reveille    when

none awaken    and revelry    when none is revealed

and taps    at eventide    when a man with a badge

taps you on your shoulder    taps    when all

           when all will end    out of love

                      my dears    out of love


  • 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]