April 8-14: 15th Annual Yom HaShoah Issue

Our fifteenth annual Yom Hashoah
(Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

Adam D Fisher
Amiel Schotz
Austin McCarron
Avril Meallem
Bernard Mann
Bill Gleed
Breindel Kasher
Carol Dorf
Carol Kanter
Channah Moshe
Chris Flynn
Clint Hirschfield
Colin Lichen
Colin Dardis
Dana Negev
Daniel S. Irwin
Daniel Y. Harris
David Fraser
David Swan
Desmond Kon
Devin Wayne Davis
Dina Jehuda
Dominic Bond
Donal Mahoney
Donna Gebron
E.B. Lipton
Eamonn Lorigan
Eddy J. Homer
Emer Davis
Eric Evans
Ezra Ben-Meir
Gabrielle Mittelbach
Gary Jacobson
H. Schneider
Hanoch Guy
Harriet Mozes
Howard Camner
Howie Good
Irene Bloom
Ivan Klein
J. Barrett Wolf
Jan Theuninck
Jean Colonomos
Jim Bennett
Joan Fishbein
Judith R. Robinson
Judy Foner
Katherine L. Gordon
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Lana Hechtman Ayers
Leah Schweitzer
Lesley Burt
Lilian Cohen
Linda Larson
Mack Smith
Mary Ann Castle
Matthew Harris
Melanie C. Campos
Michael Duke
Michael H. Brownstein
Mick Moss
Mike Cluff
Mike Scheidemann
Mindy Aber Barad
Neil Ellman
Pam Larson
Patricia D’Alessandro
Paul Charles Howell
Paul Brucker
Peggy Dobreer
Peter Steele
Rachel Heimowitz
Rayna Momen
Richard Murphy
Rifkah Goldberg
Robert Klein Engler
Rolland Vasin
Roy Runds
Shaun Hull
Stanley H. Barkan
Stephen Mead
Steven Sher
Susan Olsburgh
Sy Roth
Tamara Tabel
Wanda VanHoy Smith
William Doreski
Zev Davis
Zvi A. Sesling


Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK
consideration. Click here for submission guidelines.


Adam D Fisher
adamdfisher@optonline.net

Bio (auto)

Adam Fisher’s poems have appeared in a wide variety of publications. His three books of poems are: ROOMS, AIRY ROOMS, DANCING ALONE, and ENOUGH TO STOP THE HEART. He won First Prize for Poetry at the 1990 Westhampton Writers Festival and one of the 1991 Anna D. Rosenberg poetry awards sponsored by the Magnus Museum in Berkeley. He placed first place in the PPA poetry contest in 2008 and 2009. He was a first place winner of the PPA 2011 Haiku contest. He has been the Poetry Editor of the CCAR Journal (Quarterly Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis), since 2006.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Adam D Fisher and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Eishyshok Photos

(Eishyshok, the shtetl, which is now part of Lithuania,
40 miles from Vilna, belonged to Poland in the years
between the World Wars. Jews lived in the market town
since the 11th century. Before the Holocaust, the Jewish
population of Eishyshok was 3,500. Most of the Jews
were massacred in 1941. After the town was liberated by
the Russians in 1944, the surviving Jews returned to
Eishyshok where there was a pogrom led by uniformed
Poles in which many were killed.)

A young man shaves
in his undershirt.

Teenage boys show off
muscles at a beach.

Cantors pose
in tallitot.

A couple smokes
in their bedroom.

Kindergarteners sit
for a class picture.

A man on a bicycle
brings home bread.

A mother and son
rest in a hammock.

Three sisters in hats
wear plaid cotton dresses.

A boy in shorts
sits on a swing.

A couple smiles
from a heart-shaped photo.

 

Remember, each one —
murdered.


Amiel Schotz
wordbyte@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Amiel Schotz: from Scotland, celebrating 48 years in Israel, a veteran member of Voices Israel—Poets Writing in English and former editor-in-chief. Delighted that we finally have a lively, inspiring Beer-Sheva/Southern Voices group. Always mourning my beloved Margo who passed away a year ago, I nonetheless live for the future. At 77, a first time doting Grandad to Mia Margo, who can already wrap me around her tiny fingers. I continue to edit and translate academic papers and live in Metar, near Beer-Sheva.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Amiel Schotz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Unending Journey: Galicia

1. On Our way to the Dedication Ceremony.

In Bolechow, in Stryj, in Drohobycz,
the streets, the railway tracks, the homes
with their standard corrugated roofs,
all go about their business, stolid
unconcerned, incurious,
under the steel blue sky.

The locals view our clumsy bus,
warily expectant—serve us our meal
blankly polite and distant—while
the deputy mayor and the local priest
welcome us in fulsome tones,
talking of the brotherhood of man.

2. Ruined Cemetery. Rozdol

Over the lush grass, green as innocence,
among the few fragmented stones,
the waddling geese honk contentedly,
the sheep crop lazily.
Such peace, obtained at such a cost.

3. Walking from the Mass Grave, Tanyava Forest, Ukraine

The grass grows tall, the rutted track
is muddy from the recent rain.
A tiny frog hops nervously
around the stalks. The swaying trees
scatter rain drops coolly on
our pounding heads. The air smells sweet.
Quietly we talk, amused
a trifle by the Rabbi’s
long oration, while, back there
in the clearing, neatly framed,
under the untidy greyish sod,
a thousand spirits nod in sympathy.

It has taken them this long to dim
the horror of their final days.
It has taken me this long to feel
the rifle butts, the tearing bullets,
the falling into eternity,
to feel the blood behind my eyes.

4. Statistics

Of the Jews who worked the shops,
the lumber yard, the tannery,
the barrel works, the doctors, lawyers,
teachers, Rabbis, and the poor,
who lived “down there, across from the church,
in desperate conditions,” ninety-
eight point six percent were killed.

Of eleven thousand in Stryi—more
than half the residents, a whole
three hundred made it out, in holes
in the ground, behind false walls,
in niches thirty inches wide,
in carefully hidden forest caves,
built for six, holding sixteen.

5. Another World

In Glasgow (Scotland) I grew up
“during the war,” but never knowing
my father’s pain when he thought about
his folk, back there in Estonia.
In time, he heard how they had died,
hung from the windows of their house
by neighbors. Until then, he
kept his fears from us—the worst
I suffered was the rationing,
two ounces this, four ounces that a week.

But we were clothed and fed and went
to school, and played and laughed and lived,
while ”over there,” the S.S. men
crammed hundreds in a hall: “Here comes
your dinner!” Then, a hail of bullets.

And now, the houses and the trees,
the grass, the same Hungarian plums,
the street down which they trudged their way,
the shivering platform where they stood,
the tracks that carried them away,
remain, essentially the same,
witnesses to what had been,
silent and unmoved and yet,
screaming to the ends of heaven,
mute, yet shouting “Here we stand
to tell the world of that lost other world.”


Austin McCarron
mccarron.ahc@live.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Recent work in Robin Hood Anthology, Chapbook at Camel Saloon, poems in Poetry Salzburg Review, Snakeskin, Ink, Sweat and Tears and other. Austin McCarron lives in London.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Austin McCarron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Death Camp Survivor

Heal my eyes with prints
of light, although the winter
sun is starved of hands.
Drink in my memory the smell
of heaven’s food, white corpses,
grilled to perfection
on plates of piping hot flame.
I see in mirrors of darkness the
mood of fate.
On sands of water
I release a sound. By the rivers
of origin I kneel in music
until all I am is ecstatic and blind.


Avril Meallem
aemeallem@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Avril Meallem, a retired pediatric physiotherapist and complimentary therapist originally from London, UK now lives with her husbandmailto: in Jerusalem, Israel. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies in Israel, USA and India. Her published poetry collections are “Dancing with the Wind," a collection of her own poems, and “Tapestry Poetry” an innovative form of collaborative poetry writing developed and co-authored with Indian poetess Shernaz Wadi

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Avril Meallem and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

From Train to Train

I heard the screams,
The clanking of cattle cars.
I smelt the stench of human excrement and sweat.
I saw only shadows
as shafts of painful light
squeezed through the wooden slats.

I travel in comfort
Speeding along the railway tracks of the Jewish Homeland.
I hear the chatter of excited children
The rhythmic sound of the passenger train.

I smell the fragrance of blossoming citrus trees.
I watch the contended faces of my fellow passengers,
lit up by the sunlight of freedom
streaming in through the open windows.

I was one of the lucky ones….


Bernard Mann
rmann@riversstudio.com

Bio (auto)

Bernard Mann is drawn to the terrain and seascape of words and their inherent rhythms, secrets, and powers. He is a poet, a writer of fiction, and author of work on landscape and environment. He lives in Austin, Texas.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Bernard Mann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Survivors’ Songs of Triumph

Writing poetry
after the Holocaust,
Adorno told us, is barbaric, and
in one way, we honor his view,
but Kitaj knew he would attempt
to do Cezanne and Degas and Kafka over
again, after Auschwitz,
and Anne, that awesome phrase-wright of a girl, one
of a million like her, wrote, in a tough-chinned voice,
that she didn’t think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains,
and Evgeny wrote that he is each old man
shot dead here, each child shot dead here,
in the killing canyon of Babi Yar,
and Shostakovitch wrote thunderously
to echo these words,
and Elie painted the memories, grim
and stark and blighted with murder
by Schutzstaffel and other killers,
but elegaic with the monumentality
of his revelations, and Primo sang
of the Jewish will to prevail, and
tens of thousands of number-tattooed
others have read their drumming verses
to tens of thousands and millions
in their hearing, and millions more,
the Jewish Diaspora, with millions of others
on The Land, have danced and are dancing
in an endless rhyme-rich circle,
a Mobius-strip hora of the never-eclipsed
Davidian spirit of poetry and its deepest hues,
have sung and have shuddered the planet
with the great refrains of triumph
over the hideous Nazi evil.
With their poems and songs and
sonatas inked onto scraps of paper,
their drawings folded and stuffed into
the thinnest of cracks, barely hidden
from the cold, cruel eyes of the
Schutzstaffel,
it is the Six Million, heralded by
their brave artist sons and daughters,
who are the victors
of that hideous era,
and will be so remembered till
the end of human memory.


Bill Gleed
BG101962@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Bill Gleed was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts and grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He is a 1995 graduate of the master’s creative writing program in poetry at the University of New Hampshire and has been a New Hampshire resident since 1988. He has taught English and writing at several colleges and universities including Southern New Hampshire University, Hesser, and Franklin Pierce colleges in New Hampshire, and Northern Essex Community College and Middlesex Community College in Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell, Massachusetts. He’s also written news and features for Seacoast Newspapers and The Portsmouth Herald in Portsmouth, NH . He has been a contributing editor to now defunct Maelstrom magazine, and was poetry editor at the UNESCO award winning web site Moondance. His poetry and other writing has appeared in numerous magazines and journals including the Boston Globe and on the web site of Harvard University. Currently he continues to teach in Massachusetts, and spends his summers as the manager of the Robert Frost Farm state historic site and national historic landmark in Derry, NH. He is cofounder of the Hyla Brook Poets workshop, reading series and The Robert Frost prize for metrical poetry, all of which is located at The Frost homestead in Derry, NH. He currently is living in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Bill Gleed and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

All the Holocausts were our own Fault

I. Rising at dawn, irises open

I fall out of bed– unknowing, but condemned,
And there is no sound–
No cars on the interstate in my back yard–
No bird’s singing.
No T.V. babbling endlessly from the next room.
It’s very quiet, but I feel several billion people here.

I bulge my eyes and strain to hear all that life wet with tears–
Then I stare at the ceiling through big white balls,
little red veins– ears stoppered,
Irises open. What have I done?

II. The Charge:

I would like to pick myself up
off the floor of my bedroom
But over the last 110 years I inadvertently tried to wipe out
certain classifications of people. Just kill them all
in Armenia, Poland, Iraq, South Dakota, Bosnia–
maybe a few more– Maybe
I’m alone because I’ve killed them all.

From beneath the door
Guilt addresses me directly:
Murderer–

Before I can throw open the windows to daylight
I am struck with a dream.
In this dream I am wearing animal skins and jack-boots
with the words
Nuremburg and Zyklon-B after Wounded Knee,
Sabra and Shatila, Halabja, Srebrenica, Abu Graib, Homs
written in blood and neon
all over me.

III. The Defense

Later when I’m dreaming before a judge
I hear myself say:
May it please the court… I wasn’t there myself when they died.
Reason with me your honor–
for the sake of preserving our sanity
how could all these deaths possibly be on me–
The whole world knew and looked away!
Move to dismiss… over and over and over…

Then the judge always says:
Take it easy–
Go and sin no more.


Breindel Kasher
b.lieba@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Breindel Lieba Kasher is a published poet. She has won prizes for her poetry. Her work has been translated into German, Polish, and Japanese. She worked as an independent documentary film maker, spending over a decade in Eastern Europe recording the last fragments of Jewish life. From her travels she made a film in Yiddish, Der Letzter Lubliner, (The Last Jew from Lublin) It has been well received world wide. Born in New York City, Breindel has spent half her life in Israel, near Jerusalem.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Breindel Kasher and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Normal Life

In the buildings
where people were living
every day people died

on one side
men shlepped the dead
in small wagons

on the other side
the living tried
to carry on
a more or less
normal life


Carol Dorf
carol.dorf@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Dorf lives in Berkeley, California. Her poems appear in Antiphon, Qarrtsiluni, Spillway, OVS, Canary, Sin Fronteras, In Posse Review, Poemeleon, Fringe, Moira, Unlikely Stories, The Prose Poem Project, and The Mom Egg. They have been anthologized in Not A Muse, Best of Indie New England, Boomer Girls, and elsewhere. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing, a member of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, and teaches mathematics.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Carol Dorf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Image of the ideal

Dreams invade morning with broken teeth,
extra rooms, something strange in the trunk

Take the day and fold, cut out around
the edges, unfold and start coloring.

Avoid tape, enjoy random fluctuations.
Property of death, yes, but hold on to your tickets.

The train has not been vetted; watermelons
fall out of the open cars as it rounds the bend.

The letters come and go, as ephermeral
as cloud, as the child’s drawing.


Carol Kanter
cnkan@cnkanter.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Kanter’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Atlanta Review gave her three International Merit Awards before publishing two of her poems. FinishingLine Press published her two chapbooks, “Out of Southern Africa,” (2005); “Chronicle of Dog,” (2006).“No Secret Where Elephants Walk,” (2010) and “Where the Sacred Dwells, Namaste” (2012) Carol’s poetry to her husband’s photography from Africa and from India, Nepal and Bhutan. Check it out: www.DualArtsPress.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Carol Kanter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auf Wiedersehen

Each Labor Day—when brown leaves
curl in as if to guard their hearts
from impending cold—Demeter begins to mourn
her daughter, gone to some Otherworld
a sea change away.

Nana cries each time we leave.
She insists on walking us down three flights of stairs
to the sidewalk to wave goodbye. And cry.
As if she will never see us again.
As if we never call.

We wave back, head home across the city,
but slow to watch her turn to go inside,
stumbling predictably
on her grief, threatening to fall.
Never does.

Small and frail, barely protected
from Chicago winds
by a thin, frayed coat held closed over
a polyester dress she’s worn for decades.
Refuses luxuries.

My husband’s parents hired her to care
for him, toddler to teenager.
She claims he’s hers.
But she accepts me, adores our kids.
Shares him with us.

Her accent thick but her meaning sehr clear,
even with the German phrases
that baste together everything she says.
Ach! Was ein leben!
Very dramatic.

Or so I used to think.
Before my own children grew up, went away—
to pay home visits, faithful
as Persephone’s, though briefer.
At last I see.

Neither Demeter nor I must wave again
with each goodbye
to our father, sister, mother, life
carted off.
Never to return.


Channah Moshe
hanamoshe@013.net

Bio (auto)

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, Creative Writing from the American University in Washington DC. I was born in Jerusalem Israel, and lived 21 years abroad (Switzerland, England and the States). 23 years ago, I returned to Jerusalem, Israel, where I currently work as an editor and translator.mailto:The poem below I wrote after hearing the final ruling of the Israel Supreme Court on John Demjanjuk in 1993.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Channah Moshe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Damn Janjuk

He stood
The man
Clothed
Fed and
Aged
"No! No"
He proclaims
"I am
Not he
Who smashed
Babies’ skulls
Who knew
Women
Operated
Without even
An Aspirin
Who whipped
Skeletons of men
To labor
To ‘shower’
And rise
As smoke
To witness
That man
Can be
As dark
As the inside
Of an oven

He stands
In court
To be judged
Identified
Without
A yellow star
To guide
All
To his fate
Regardless
Of name
Rank
Past
Ambition
Or talent

Man is
A man
He is
By reason
Of reasonable doubt
Acquitted


Chris Flynn
cflynn34@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Chris Flynn, who lives in Davenport, Florida, wrote this poem about his father-in-law’s painting. The painting was completed weeks before his father-in-law passed away in an Alzheimer’s facility. "My wife and I tried to ask him about the painting but he looked at as if he had never seen it before. Since he lived in Le Havre, France up until the time he was sent to a concentration camp, we can only guess this painting represented a short moment of peace."

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Chris Flynn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Painting of a Tree in Le Havre

This was the only painting he ever did in his
ninety-something years, this gentle man
who once escaped from a moving cattle-car.
It was a pastoral; Le Havre, he named it.

His studio was a room in an Alzheimer’s home
where so much was forgotten, where the smell
of burnt kraut and schnitzel was somewhat masked
by the magnolia cleanser used there to disinfect.

Just off his cardboard canvas were dark stains;
soiled reminders of stories once told
about things like how a medium-size pizza box
served something else long since forgotten.

Now, the boxtop yields a vision of a maple tree,
a multi-branched mast straight above its roots
on a raft-shaped island, its leaves flopping
like a tattered mainsail in the invisible wind.

The island seems to float downstream, drawn past
a row of pines that border the meadow’s far bank,
a bank so far away, even shadows from billowy clouds
can’t connect the wide expanse between bank and tree.

Off to the right, where the landscape almost ends,
just inside the curved-handle flap, he brushed
flowing strokes of blue and green over a ledge;
an edge parallel to an edge,

a kind of double demarcation over which
the watercolor waterfall falls.
Where, eventually, tree and all, will splash
down into some pool we can only imagine.


Clint Hirschfield
ranger4man@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Clint resides in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. Rural life adds to the pleasure of writing as there is always a need for peace and inspiration.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Clint Hirschfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Scars of History

Many of histories scars lay hidden in the earth,
flesh wounds do run deep but not as deep
as the scars.

Scars in Treblinka
Scars in Piatydni

Over a thousand mass graves unmarked,
they had names like you and I…
but lay nameless.

Scars in Polanka hill
Scars in Vulturi forest

Babi Yar rests Thirty three thousand

All had tried to live the best they could
and there was no peace in sleep,
when efficiently souls were stripped from bodies.

Dignity was replaced with hunger,
slavery’s expression of agony cried out
from a pillaged people.

Tears mixed with ashes that bad people
walked upon, intolerance was rampant
as racism ruled the day.


Colin Lichen
g.another@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Colin Lichen lives in London, England, where he works as an English language tutor and word botherer.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Colin Lichen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nightwatch

And when the light came back on
some of us were missing; taken
in the darkness.
And so we agreed, those of us remaining,
that the light would never again
be left unattended.


Colin Dardis
colonyink@yahoo.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Colin Dardis resides in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he edits the poetry journal FourXFour, and hosts Purely Poetry, a monthly open mic poetry night in the Crescent Arts Centre. He is also a member of the performance group, Voica Versa. His poetry has been published in journals, anthologies and website throughout the UK, Ireland and the US. http://lowlightsforlowlifes.weebly.com

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Colin Dardis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Strangled

I want to tear down the fences
and instead plant stems of ladders,
with binoculars for flower-heads,
so I can at last see my homeland
pass the distance of unknowing.

I want to cut through the wire
instead of its reality cutting me;
perimeter of skin diminishing each day,
eyes sinking into darkness,
the sun, an alarm from Hell.

I want to pile up the bodies
instead of hushing up the truth,
build a black tower of testimony:
here is my heritage, blistered by hatred,
my youth, butchered by death’s brand.


Dana Negev
danan17@cybermesa.com

Bio (auto)

Dana Negev is a writer, poet and teacher living in Santa Fe, NM. she grew up in Israel and has been involved with peace work for many years. Hermailto:book, I Om the World was released in 2006 (Earth Medicine Books)

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Dana Negev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

NO More Pretending

big brown eyes
roamed the country of my youth
landscape of ghosts
and semi ghosts
shivering…
everyone pretended
they weren’t there
no. they were not hungry
(though hunger was their name)
no, they were merely disturbed
"they have come to haunt our dreams"
the new country wanted to live
they wanted to live hard
and coarse
they chased the shadows
under the rugs
where the infants picked them up
they vowed and said
"never again"
but still the ghosts were hungry
begging…

one day I said
enough
and opened the family albums
the shivering was
a disturbed world
the shivering was what they picked up
carrying it on their bones
carrying history on their limbs
when i opened the pages
the shivering dissipated
into the wind

I call them to come home
to cry in my arms
we must let them in
cry with them
and open the table for them
feed them and make them
our most
honorable guests


Daniel S. Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin…artist, actor, writer, soldier, scholar from Sparta, Illinois.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Daniel S. Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Reflection

The old men sit and talk,
Talk of their lives, their loves,
Good times and bad times.
Sweet and sorrow in reflection.
The happy days of their youth,
Long before they came to America.
Always the conversation drifts
Back to long ago days in Europe,
Old friends and family.
Quiet tears and bursts of anger
Topped with a slight chuckle
At the remark that German
Must be the predominate
Language in Hell.


Daniel Y. Harris
daniel@danielyharris.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Cervena Barva Press, 2013), The New Arcana (with John Amen, New York Quarterly Books, 2012), Paul Celan and the Messiah’s Broken Levered Tongue (with Adam Shechter, Cervena Barva Press, 2010; picked by The Jewish Forward as one of the 5 most important Jewish poetry books of 2010) and Unio Mystica (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009). He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Some of his poetry, experimental writing, art, and essays have been published in BlazeVOX, Denver Quarterly, European Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, The New York Quarterly, In Posse Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Magazine.com and Poetry Salzburg Review. His website is www.danielyharris.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Daniel Y. Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sous Rature

Paving(stone/stiff): pinwheeled—
chalks/escapes the letting:
narcotizes
………..bare count—disremembers
white death’s black cuticle
and more’s less—points
unhanded fingers of immune fume
in reassembled femur, patella,
fibula: picks
the rebodied pile—bric-à-brac,
uptilted to erase Arbeit Macht Frei
as they clack the acrid
………..they, split-soled frieze
………..………..of ptotic lids—
………..blue-green/eye-handed pellets
of metempsychosis unrepeats
the kippah behind the barn.
Unjudenreined.
Admits us.


David Fraser
ascentaspirations@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine,since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. He has published five collections of poetry and is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by David Fraser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Victor Frankl Talks to Otto After He Has Gone

Ah, yes, Otto.
I have heard nothing from you.
I am still going to greet the sun each day.
I rejoice in that one small thing.
Our last hour together, Otto,
I won’t forget. I hold it tight,
good friend. I don’t speak
of what is likely and assumed.
You so long needed rest. You who
have nothing left, like all of us, I ask only
that you still know bliss.


David Swan
dpscopywriter@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am a mature student on the second year of a creative writing degree in Bangor, Wales. UK. My writing is influenced by Bukowski and the beat poet and writers of the sixties, and i am working on my first Novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by David Swan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Am

I am small but can be tall.
I am fat, thin, black, white,
funny and sad.
I am the sun rising early in the morning
then descending slowly till I am the night.
I am the love your mother gave you, but
I am the hate that made you fight.
I am the sex that makes love to you sweet and light.
I am WAR. A seed hidden deep within you,
stripping you bare with all my might.
I will give you the strength to build yourself up,
And with a single word, bring you crashing down.
I am fear.
I am thunder.
I am a rainy day.
I am a sunray.
My storms have wreaked havoc across continents
rendered countries helpless, thousands dead.
Children motionless with despair.
My wars have taken humanity to
the darkest regions of its soul.
I am Holocaust.
I am Atom Bomb.
And when the world finally collapses to its knees
unable to witness its own destruction.
I will come.
For I am hope in the distance,
coming out of the darkness and into the light.
I am God, but the Devil too.
Do not try to understand me, for
I will turn you insane.
Trust in me.
I am out there, but in here.
I am the Universe and beyond.
I am all.
I am everything.
But most importantly of all,
I am nothing.


Desmond Kon
desmond.kon.zhicheng.mingde@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has a poetry collection, I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist, forthcoming in 2013. He has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books. These span the genres of ethnography, journalism, poetry, and creative nonfiction, several edited pro bono for non-profit organizations. Trained in publishing at Stanford, with a theology masters (world religions) from Harvard and fine arts masters (creative writing) from Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Swale Life Poetry Prize, Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Prize, Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize, and Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, among other awards. Desmond is an interdisciplinary artist, also working in clay. His commemorative pieces are housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Desmond Kon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Observances at The Museum

Finally, there was a neatness to the serenity
like the calm before a storm

or standing in the eye of one, whipping winds –
a minivan yanked from right to left
doors rattling before being ripped off
and with them, an old man and his seeing dog.
These were the images that came to mind
at the Holocaust Museum, its Tainan backdrop
like a whisper of a shared story and horror.
 
A black face appeared in front,
angry yet mouth agape, like a giant tsam mask.
In Ulaanbaatar, where the coal workers are deified
and their local legends made strange
with the new dialect, and its need for the anthropomorphic.
The Russian Orthodox Church took in the Lutherans
who had lost their land, along with their horses.
The horses were from Tuul River
where they had disappeared.
 
Under the rows of willow trees.
It feels like the same January, as cold
and the dryness breaks our skin, our lips, our eyelids.
This must have been what Grandaunt Muriel felt.
In her home, boarded up into darkness,
then under the floor of the butcher’s cellar.
Someone shares her image of the Hodoo Aral,
its large tracts of sand, the sudden ovoo rising
from the embankment like a pink and silver altar.


Devin Wayne Davis
townee_towne@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Devin Wayne Davis, once called "ink (or inc.)" in an seaside vision, has written well-over 2,000 poems. He likes concise verse. Davis has featured at major book retailers. He has addressed citizens and lawmakers on the northern steps of the California capitol building, and has read for annual poetry events at the Crocker Art Museum. Davis reviewed movies for a New York Times best-selling paperback guide. Davis is a cancer survivor. He’s also a leo.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Devin Wayne Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

hissstory

the camp …
going down its list:

mr’s. "hitler;" goebbels; himmler; hess;
goering; bormann; eichmann; koch …

those little fellows
playing argentine barbie,
or at doctor death.

yes, i believe
there’s strength enough

to say "fuck you"
and your lightning race.

for i am
not a holy man;

yet, i can remember
names … lots of them …

my own.


Dina Jehuda
bestdj@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Dina Yehuda. My parents are survivors. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and have been living in the Galillee, Israel since the 1980’s.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Dina Jehuda and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ceremony at the Train Station
Bardejov, Slovakia
May 15, 2012

The mayor reads his prepared speech
about the deportation and the war
while schoolchildren stand fidgeting
listening to stories
of something that happened
before they were born
they blink at us
we strangers who once had roots here
and wonder why we have come

I look for you everywhere
in this heartbreaking beauty
I search for you in the cemetery
but the entire
row of your generation is missing
erased
I would have placed my hand on your cheek
played games with you as a child
ran after you in the square
sat on your lap in shul
if I had known you
grandfather
I would place a stone on your grave
but there is no grave
and not enough stones in the world.


Dominic Bond
bond259@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Dominic Bond, 35 years of age, recently returned from travelling around Asia and currently living in Basingstoke, a fairly boring dormitory ton about 40 miles south west of London in the UK, where I do a very untroubling data entry job. I have written some poetry in the past and have recently rekindled my interest again. This is the first time I have submitted my work to anyone.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Dominic Bond and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fields of Belsen

For the first time since
Normandy it was quiet,
their feet heavy
from muddy fields,
forgotten roads. 
 
From outside it looked
as plain as any other
building they’d seen.
Then they went inside.
 
The smell hit them
like nothing before.
People emerged
from the earth
fragile like thin sticks,
barely alive.
 
Young children with 
aged faces crawled to them,
the old now all but gone.
More bones than flesh
wait to join the pile
 
ready for disposal,
to be moved
into deep trenches. 
Decaying as they wait
to be moved by bulldozer.


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney, an immigrant from Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of his work can be found here.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Body Art

High noon this winter day
and blackbirds fill
the bare branches

of my dead neighbor’s tree.
Max would have loved these birds;
they’re as raucous as he was,

bobbing and clucking
as if they’re debating
where to fly next.

Suddenly they know
and shoot from the tree.
They’re gone but I shout

"Godspeed!" anyway
in behalf of old Max,
immigrant from Auschwitz.

He may be dead but
the numbers on his forearm
glow in my dreams.


Donna Gebron
rachellopez53@gmail.com (Donna’s daughter)

Bio (auto)

Donna Gebron was born in 1948 in Long Beach, CA and raised in the shadow of Holly­wood’s magic under the quiet, incandescent light of the Southern Californian sky. Among her influences she counted her children, her cats, wild gardens, Puccini and Hendrix, Matisse and Marilyn, Watts and Blake, Grandfather’s Treasure House and the rambling spirits within. She worked as a nurse and believed that medicine is an art, and considered her colleagues as guides, shamans, ancient healers and, often, angels. She had two chapbooks of poetry published by Vinegar Hill Books, Pink and Naked in the Ultraviolet Life, and Shakti Catechism. In June 2009, Donna moved to Lake Elsinore, Cali­fornia to be closer to her daughter and two granddaughters. Two weeks after moving into her dream home, she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. On November 7, 2009, Donna passed away at home with her two children at her side.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Donna Gebron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Film Star

Women stood
with skeletal
remains of once
rounded familiar form

Huddled for support
as they posed,
eyes blank,
for the Newsweek photographer

Headlines read,
:’LAST DAYS OF AUSCHWITZ"
Except she, in the middle of that
strangely staged portrait
This girl pulled me in with the vanishing gaze of
a sparrow in the sun

She, in the middle,
stood of her own support
in style of a ‘thirties
Hollywood film star

Bold,
in the face of
extermination,
She posed elegant
small mouth, large eyes
black mane finger-waved
She was
Harlow, Swanson, Garbo
musing in rags

cold air
blowing through
worn holes

cold air
blowing ash and
scent of familiar bones
This sorority
stood
as broken bits of women
This living,
human slaughter
bore only one survivor
This one,
elegant rose growing
between chambers and crematorium


E.B. Lipton
eblipton@talk21.com

Bio (auto)

E.B. Lipton lives in London.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by E.B. Lipton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Drawing Class

Children what do you see in this year ’43?

I draw a tree with silver branches bowing.
I draw flowers, blue and white, nodding in warm winds
I draw waves tumbling, crashing against jugged rocks
I draw a table laid with bread, cakes and candlesticks
I draw the golden gates of Jerusalem

I draw soldiers, beating an old man, with iron bars.
sprawled upon the snow, streams of blood spreading
I draw my sister, being dragged away, screaming.
I draw smashed windows of shops and synagogues,
glass splinters like sparkling diamonds.
I draw Mummy and Daddy, shot in the line
I draw Grandpa hanging on the gallows
I draw holy books, piled high, burning in the square.

What does Petr Ginz draw?
I draw the fragile earth, green and blue
spinning in the vast blackness of space.

Children, you must draw what you see.
for the other children of the world
when you are gone from Tereizenstat.

In year 2003, Petr Ginz’s drawing orbited earth
A memento for Ilan Ramon,
Israel’s hero, who recalled from space,
the suffering in the Holocaust.
He too never returned.


Eamonn Lorigan
eamonnlorigan@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Eamonn Lorigan is an annuated Irishman with a spotty publication history trying to write one decent poem every couple of days for the rest of his miserable God-bedeviled life in the obviously contradictory hope that he will thereby find salvation. Age has not brought him maturity and he tends to be the oldest guy at his local poetry slams. Eamonn’s work has appeared in such venues as Carve Magazine, Muse Apprentice Guild, Literary Potpourri, Literary Burlesque, Slowtrains, a Literary Journal, Phantom Kangaroo, The Beatnik , Poetry Super Highway ( including the 2012 Holocaust Memorial issue) and Loch Raven Literary Review. He lives in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife and two sons. Some of his poetry can be read at his website, Eamonnlorigan.blogspot.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Eamonn Lorigan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Noah at Yad Vashem

Again? What happened? Bastard, did you turn away?
Or for one breath let blink your eternal eye?
How many times can ashes cloud your sky?
I’ve lived too long. Your rainbow is a lie.


Eddy J. Homer
oldmaninthetub@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Eddy J. Homer / 56 years of age / Washington State / Known to be controversial in subject matter / I write from experiences or things my mind seems to create at a whim / I tend to attempt to invoke thought or at least hope I do

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Eddy J. Homer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Dawn

The morning sunrise so bright and beautiful
I long to touch my fingers to its warmth
As my prison cell is dank and dark
Nothing penetrates here that is of much worth

The little light afforded us is enjoyed
As we scramble to reread what ever matter of print
We have within our possessions dispossessing our minds
From this place for what ever period of time we can

The knowledge that the guards will come soon
Is a constant on our minds but has become routine
We know there will always be a next victim
We can no longer care if it is ourselves

Some pray for the release of the guards anger
Taking our life and ending this torture
The insanity of the wait is the hardest part
The screams a constant reminder of the impending

I look upon the wall crawling up with speed
The lowly spider no one else has seen
I jump and with deft actions I swallow it whole
Hoping it is venomous knowing it is not

The nourishment not much but more than others
Will give me strength for one more day of this
The others looks of anger for myself claiming the prize
Makes me move to a spot away from them until they relax

To my surprise the sun is starting to set already
Another day now over and night is falling
I move quickly to my bed so I can be there before it is gone
I lay my head upon the matted straw the smell terrible

The reek of urine and excrement everywhere in the pots
I close my eyes and dream of a time when freedom was mine
A family whole and happy not a care in this world
And escape my bindings again until the dawn


Emer Davis
bunnacurry.davis5@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Emer Davis was born in Ireland and currently lives in Abu Dhabi. She has several poems published in various journals and anthologies in Ireland, UK, USA and UAE including Boyne Berries, Revival, Poetry Kit CITN 95, 68th D-Day Anniversary, Heart Shoots, Sukkoon, Message in a Bottle, and Drogheda Writes 2.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Emer Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Last Stand

Echoes of Hitler
Dangled from
Telegraph poles
As we passed by
Burnt out wrecks.
 
Tin-hatted graves
Littered
This blackened land,
Wooden crosses
Marking their last journeys
As we keep to the road,
Armed with a thick shot cane.
 
We trudge through
Endless roads of rubble,
Jagged walls smouldering in the fog,
The smell of charred flesh
Emanating from shelled out streets,
An old woman trades
Iron cross ribbons
And emblems from her past.


Eric Evans
inkpublications@macadia.net

Bio (auto)

Eric Evans is a writer and musician from Buffalo, New York with stops in Portland, Oregon and Rochester, New York where he currently resides. His work has appeared in Artvoice, decomP magazinE, Tangent Magazine, Posey, Xenith Magazine, Anobium Literary Magazine,, Pemmican Press, Remark and many other publications and anthologies. He has published seven full collections and three broadsides through his own small press, Ink Publications, in addition to a broadside through Lucid Moon Press. He is the editor of The Bond Street Review as well as the proud recipient of the 2009 Geva Theatre Center Summer Academy Snapple Fact Award.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Eric Evans and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Monument Men

Salt mines, caves and castles,
the offices of the Monument Men,
tending war refugees of a
quieter sort, not living yet
full of life, the Mona Lisa
sealed away in the back of
an ambulance, only one of
six trips as Hitler shopped by
catalog in Krakow, Goering,
as always, second in line,
eyeing up The Lady With
An Ermine.

Three hundred and fifty
Monument Men rescued
Rembrandt from the underground
and Vermeer from an Austrian
hell populated with plunder,
six thousand pieces and more
destined to hang on a row
of guilt-ridden hooks.

Nineteen-thirty-nine and the
walls of Paris stripped bare,
the museums mapped out in
the name of safety from above,
a snaking caravan of culture
ignorant of borders, translating
into any tongue as it assumed
its circular trail back home.


Ezra Ben-Meir
ezrabm@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ezra Ben-Meir lives in Nahariya, Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Ezra Ben-Meir and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Terezin Visit

Sunflowers
yellowed-black heads in the sun-less sky
bent
ashamed of the journey we were making
Northwards
from Prague.
The Expressway this Sunday morning
was empty
but few cars passing.
Roadworks,
then narrow though well-kept roads
until we turned left at Hrdly.

Finally
beside us
twin, rusting railway tracks
though weeds and Nature
have not overtaken them
in over fifty years
since last they were used.
I left a slow burning candle-
five Czechoslovakian crowns-
on the bed of a trolley
leading into a fan-blown furnace.

Guide books claim that racism
though much muted
in Prague
is against Black tourists
and other minorities.
After all
there are not many Jews left there
anymore.


Gabrielle Mittelbach
ogehouse@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Gabrielle is a 9 letter word for something that is larger than a bread box and smaller than a cow. She lives under an old avocado tree in Los Angeles.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Gabrielle Mittelbach and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Manual

The plan for my eighth grade son is laid out in a spiral bound
fifty-page type-written manual which I had to read and
sign my acceptance. The author instructs him to
take copious notes on 5 x 8 note cards and he must write
five business letters requesting more information.
At the end, he will conduct an interview and write a thirty
page paper on his topic. When he chose his subject, I was
proud although I knew it wouldn’t be as easy or as fun as
what the other kids chose.

Every evening after school, he plods through his book and
I wonder what he is thinking. Until now, the way we have
handled this has been almost clinical. He shows me his
note cards for correction and I inspect them like a physician.
I tap on their knees and peer down their throats, but
these days I can barely stand to look at them.
In the beginning his handwritten cards were factual, they
consisted of dates like 1932 and words like Drittes Reich and Lebensraum.

But then the descriptions that began to emerge from his scrawl
were like a line of ants becoming more and more frantic and
confused. They built up, one card following another to report
how the Jews were segregated into ghettos, how the
communities they had known were stripped of life one vein at a time,
how they were beaten, robbed, shamed and how they were packed
into boxcars and rolled down the tracks. One card describes the
camps and the gas chambers. If it were him, my son writes, he would
rather have been gassed at the outset. I think it’s easy to say that now
because here we are nearly eighty years later and we have no idea
what it’s like to hear the SS knocking at our door like my father heard
at my son’s age or to hide silent in an underground tomb like my
grandmother did at mine.

Today his card described how the Nazis tried to lure children into
hospitals for “testing” and that’s when I couldn’t stand it, that’s
when I needed to walk outside. They don’t explain this in the manual.
They don’t explain what to do if you can’t breathe.
They don’t explain how we learn to live with guilt.
They don’t explain how to tell your child that life goes on
even when this happens to you.


Gary Jacobson
jacobs@atcnet.net

Bio (auto)

I am Gary Jacobson, from Malad, Idaho, born n Oklahoma City, Oklahoma… webmaster of Vietnam Picture Tour a walk in "the park" grunts called Vietnam, with the 1st Air Cavalry on combat patrol, where you can experience chilling reality with beaucoup combat action pictures and poignant poetry to leave the sweet and sour taste of "the Nam" pungent on your tongue, the smell of "the Nam" acrid in your nostrils, and textures of "the Nam" imbedded in you as though you walked beside me in combat.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Gary Jacobson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Conflagration of Humanity

How horribly profane
The Holocaust inane
Perverting man’s humanity
With inhumanity to man accost
Watching as evil butchered civility
Bestially tempest tossed
Snuffing out the very essence of love
Rejecting the Holy Spirit of God above.

Mankind by bitter fates star-crossed
Teetered on one hand lost
Tenuous vestiges of frail being at a soul gnaw
The human race clinging to life by a straw
Carnage vested by one to another
Carnal forces claiming God
Patronized their wanton slaughter…
Yet denying the very essence of the Divine Rod

Mid living dust an indomitable spark still blazes
Rises humanities primal sound
Through abject decadence cruel ashes
Mid beating heart of tortured life profound
Decent humanity in love found…
Hope still reigning in spirit triumphant
Cloistered faith transcending exultant
Love buried in deep dark depths of soul poignant.

Holocaust inhumanity makes God on high weep
Championing that speck of life still yearning
Lifting up the mortal weak
That unquenchable spark in souls burning…
Where blessed goodness existed
The will to survive, deep in the soul persisted
Despite unmitigated depravity
Despite deplorable insanity!


H. Schneider
haimsch@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

H. Schneider lives in Jerusalem, Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by H. Schneider and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Passed Over

We are the passed-over ones

without a mark on the door-post
passed over by the blind angel
undeservedly, and preferred to betters,
selected to survive.

We are the true hollow men,
the sons of fathers and mothers they snuffed out,
snuffed out like redundant candles
who were not given their own death,
no grave and, Rainer Maria, no epitaph.

We are the derailed ones, thrown off their own course,
who go on sliding by inertia only.
The men who live in vitro,
with tired, drying-out synapses
no longer joining past and future.

We are the stammering men,
no longer mastering their old, own language
and to this day quite helpless in the new one,
who live as if within translations,
in better ones at times, but most of all in worse.

Yet at no time authentic.
Never in our own skin which sloughed off long ago.
The skin of snakes is always theirs,
while ours just fails to fit, much like a suit so badly cut
that every movement knocks it out of shape.

Who was it said, “Death shall have no dominion”?
The Angel of Destruction, his belly full still of the day before,
already plans the next, indeed the last of acts,
now on a global stage. This time none will be
passed over.


Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood among cacti and citrus groves in Israel He is a widely published bilingual poet in Hebrew and English.Hanoch is the author of : The road to Timbuktu/Travel poems and: Terra Treblinka; Holocaust poems. He teaches Hebrew and Jewish literature at Temple University specializing in literature of the Holocaust.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Europe to dust

New moons circle the earth in a very low orbit
increase exponentially
composed of earth core striped shirts,ashes and shoe laces
they rise from Europe at night,
slice swiftly through the surface and leaving big crater scarsat previous concentration camps take off furiously and shave the peaks of the Alps remain suspended for weeks without movement emitting sulphur .
Transmissions intensify
shrieking, growling and burning sounds human voices
pierce the night’s silence laughing hysterically ,breaking into horrific coughing spells
Each planet radios its name to Europe continuously:
Maidenek.Sobibor.Buna.Buchenwald, Bergen Belzen.
As hunters they zero on Auschwitz.Treblinka.Terezin patiently, circling,hissing and with immense heat that melts the targets in Poland ,Hungary ,Germany and Austria chanting celebration hymns after each kill.
Transformed into huge beasts with long bony neck with
a massive skull with three sets of black and white molars
they spit frozen ashes and spider web substance wrapping the targets.
Beasts planets join massive claws in
a closed circle crush Europe to dust .


Harriet Mozes
ani068@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Harriet Mozes lives in Rechovot, Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Harriet Mozes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

It is a story

It is a story
And a sad and old one
Of days gone by
And years standing in place
And starving for some way
To stop the hunger
Unusual events
And unusual places
Interract
And cause us
To blink in disbelief
Never to be believed
And not to be forgotten
In a never ending tale
Never to be told
By those who know


Howard Camner
hcamner@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Howard Camner is the author of 16 poetry books and the autobiography Turbulence at 67 Inches.He is currently working on his collected poems which will be released later this year.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Howard Camner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Ride

And so my children ask me to explain this time; this "event" in human history
and I’m not sure how
How do I explain why evil wore no mask and marched through the streets with fanfare
or why God just turned His back and disappeared while this nightmare was happening
to His own children?
How do I explain death camps?
How do I explain train rides that concluded with the slaughter of millions?
How do I explain a monster that never seized power, but was handed it?
And more to the point, how do I explain the freshly painted swastikas that my children see today
sprawled on walls through America’s backroads as we ride the train home?

How do I explain that?


Howie Good
goodh@newpaltz.edu

Bio (auto)

Howie Good, a journalism professor from Highhland, NY, is the author of the forthcoming chapbooks The Complete Absence of Twilight (Mad Hat Press), Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks), and An Armed Man Lurks in Ambush (unbound CONTENT).

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Howie Good and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

treif

The great windows of the synagogue
were missing their stained glass.
A firing squad stood off to one side, relaxing.
The day was disturbingly bright
like the gold pried from a tooth.
“Nothing to see here,” the policeman said
and shooed away the curious.
What jobs society inflicted on its poets!
Why I love trees more than people.


Irene Bloom
bloomwrite@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Irene Bloom is an emerging poet who taught English in Israel for many years. She now lives in Seattle WA ,USA where she was born and raised.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Irene Bloom and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Thanksgiving

In memory of Irena, my namesake and the
Romanian grandmother I never knew.

Young, fresh, or frozen
butterball or breast?
A ridiculous dilemma
when whispers of a grandmother’s voice
echo through the ages.

“In case you are hungry” she shouted over
the din of the Vienna station-
the barking Gestapo dogs drowning out her voice
as she pushed the ring,
a shiny small blossom
with it’s roughly cut ruby and tiny diamond petals
through the open window
into her young son’s hand.

The train lurched forward
toward the south to Genoa
and she caught a last glimpse of Walter’s wavy hair,
his black woolen jacket with its yellow star
glowing in the night.

Stuffing or rice?
Sweet potatoes or squash?

My father and some of his tribe
espcaped another persecution.
But where was their cornocopia after they sailed
across oceans and seas to the Jews’ refuge
only to scratch for grains of rice amongst the roaches
in Shanghai of 1949?

Ten years later
Walter was welcomed with a wife and child
in another New World.
Among those hungry, teeming masses
this wave of wretched refuse soon learned
of a new, ample survival.

Pumpkin pie or cranberry tart?

At eighty nine pounds,
my own mother,
pilgrim in a new land
tasted a square of Hershey’s and
vomitted that first sample of
American abundance.


Ivan Klein
starfirepress@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Ivan Klein lives in downtown Manhattan, is the author of Alternatives to Silence from Starfire Press and has been published in Leviathan, Flying Fish, Long Shot and the Forward among other publications. His poem on Primo Levi’s departure from Auschwitz appeared in the 2011 Yom Hashoah issue of the Poetry Super Highway.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Ivan Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fragment From A Poem On The Wandering Jew
Based On A Sequence Of Woodcuts By Gustave Doré

The autochthonous townsman surveys the weird old man’s absurdly ragged cloak, his ancient flowing beard, the gnarled wooden staff in his one hand, the little water pitcher in the other and pops the ineluctable questions:
………“When did you get here?”
………“Yesterday.”
………“When are you leaving?”
………“Tomorrow.”
Now the citizen’s eyes grow wide as the sneaking suspicion takes hold that it is he – the cursed Jew of legend!
………“And who in fact may you be?” he finally manages.
………“Who they say I am, who you think I am, but not really, not truly” is the bone weary reply.
Houses, like abstract Gothic shadows, lean over the two men on the narrow moonlit street; crucified angels and demons litter the night sky.
Something shameful in the air moves through the darkness toward its unspeakable moment in time.


J. Barrett Wolf
jbarrettwolf@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

J. Barrett Wolf has been writing poetry for over forty years. His first book, “Stark Raving Calm,” was published in 2011 by Boone’s Dock Press. That year he was also commissioned to create the tenth anniversary poem for the Broome Public Library, he received a First Place award from the Performance Poetry Association of Long Island and he was given a Broome County Arts Council grant to produce the poetry series “Here & There: Poets from Near and Far”. He has hosted the monthly poetry open mike at RiverRead Books in Binghamton for three and a half years. He lives in Binghamton.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by J. Barrett Wolf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Antschel

For Paul Celan

On the ten thousand nine hundredth day
Of his murder, he walked and then swam
The whole length of the Seine.

He was killed over dinner, both a truth and a fiction,
By poison that tasted like words he would write:
Found in every black glass of the milk of no kindness,
Found in every torn piece of the bread turned to ash.

It wouldn’t have mattered, the work or the wonder,
The why being useless, as useless as how.
No one indispensable, no one forgiven.
A chimney writes nothing in tears on the sky.

There’s only so much one can spit in the face of,
Only so much one can take from a heart.
When praying is useless and anger is futile,
At le Havre the sacred runs soft in the dark.


Jan Theuninck
jan.theuninck@belgacom.net

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck is a Belgian painter and poet, he lives in Zonnebeke (Belgium).

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Red River

the train was too late
by foot it was too far
the river too nearby
the hatred too strong
bullets through your head
river of blood
red Danube
dead Budapest


Jean Colonomos
jcolonomos@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jean Colonomos is an award winning poet and playwright. At the end of April, Ms. Colonomos will be reading her work at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland, Oregon. She has written a play about the Cambodian genocide for which she received a Citation from the City of Los Angeles. Thank you, Poetry Super Highway, for honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Jean Colonomos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Female Jewish History I

Remember Aunt Anka
who crossed Occupied Austria
without papers to bring francs
to her fugitive husband.

Remember Aunt Anka
who walked across the Pyrenees
nearly killing her son.
He had whooping cough
and to protect the escape party
from Nazis marching by,
she buried his head in the earth.


Female Jewish History II

for Lola and Kuba

She thought she had it all
when she stared at
her diamond engagement ring
and caught it winking back.

She thought she had it all
when she heard the Nazis
killed her family the day
she left them behind.


Jim Bennett
jimbennett11@BTINTERNET.COM

Bio (auto)

Jim Bennett lives near Liverpool in the UK and is the author of 71 books, including books for children, books of poetry and many technical titles on transport and examinations. His most recent poetry collection The Cartographer / Heswall (Indigo Dreams 2012)mailto: He has won many awards for his writing and performance including 3 DADAFest awards. He is also managing editor of www.poetrykit.org one of the worlds most successful internet sites for poets. Jim taught Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool and now tours throughout the year giving readings and performances of his work.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

sitting in the coffee shop remembering the Holocaust

someone just asked me
what I was doing
I told him trying to write
a poem about the Holocaust

I told him about remembrance
and how I liked to remember
all those who died

how many poems can you write
about that he asked

well I said
if everyone has just one poem
in their lives
that would make at least
one for each of those murdered

he shrugged
no one will read them he said
we’ll see, I replied

as I wrote down his words
and thanked him
for his contribution


Joan Fishbein
jnfishbein@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Joan Fishbein’s work has appeared in The New Verse News, The Frequency Anthology, The Origami Poems Project of Rhode Island, The Southern Poetry Anthology:Volume One, The Kennesaw Review, Poetica and other small literary magazines. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Joan Fishbein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Expenditures

they took stock
prepared a balance sheet
Jews .Gypsies .Gays .Jehovah’s Witnesses

anyone they thought
deformed in any way
anyone who .disagreed .disappeared

where were the angels
messengers to
Abraham .Moses .Elijah .Jacob

were they grooming their ashy wings
feather by feather
above an Auschwitz chimney

who paid the devil
the night the books were cooked
windows smashed

a running account
will always be kept
loss taxes the cost of living

the dead don’t
have deep pockets
we remain in the red


Judith R. Robinson
Pghdazzler@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Judith R. Robinson, Pittsburgh, PA, is author of these poetry collections: The Blue Heart, 2013, Finishing Line Press Orange Fire, 2102, Main Street Ragmailto: Dinner Date, July, 2009, Finishing Line Press. She is author of the fiction collection:mailto: The Beautiful Wife and other stories, 1996, Aegina Press. She is editor of: Signatures 1,2 3,4, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012, Osher, Carnegie Mellon University. The Poetry of Margaret Menamin, vols. 1,2,3, 2010, 11, 12, Main Street Ragmailto: Living Inland, 1989, Bennington Press. She is co-editor of: Along These Rivers, Quadrant Publishing, 2008, Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami,2005, Rupa, Inc. and Bayeux Arts

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Judith R. Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Song for the End of Lithuanian Jewry

Not a charm of goldfinches swirling away
not a clamour of crows in warning
not the sad voice of Kovner,
labeled the fool, urging escape
could penetrate the rays of sunset
striking the leaded glass windows
or find place upon the snowy linens,
or among the crystal wine cups
or golden candles glowing
on the Sabbath table.
No dire word dare enter the quiet after prayers,
the men somber, hushed, still rocking
with praise for the Almighty, and then
the women’s dance, their swaying steps,
their rosy children, their clean, kosher homes.
The only bittersweet this night are notes of the violin.


Judy Foner
judy.foner@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Judy Foner was born in Rechovoth in 1936. She spent the war years in Suriname, South America and returned to Israel in 1946. Judy has a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds, England. She lives in Jerusalem and taught English to adults in Israel for many years including twenty years at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Her activities include singing in the Jerusalem Oratorio choir and writing. Judy has twice received an honourable mention in the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition and some of her poems have appeared in Voices Anthologies.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Judy Foner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Shades of Grey

She saw the world without colour entirely, my cousin.
Only shades of grey and those not always clearly.
At the same time she shunned the light,
it was too bright.

Yet she alone survived,
lost her new husband,
both her parents and her
three young sisters.
She came to the Holy Land,
had two more husbands
and four sons
whose clothes she always
folded neatly on different
shelves to make sure
the colours matched.
Her husband fell ill
and spent all their money,
yet she never complained
took it all in her stride
always practical, down to earth
in a world without colour.


Katherine L. Gordon
kanddgordon@porchlight.ca

Bio (auto)

Katherine L. Gordon is a rural Rockwood Ontario poet enjoying an international connection to contemporary poets through her books, anthologies, articles and reviews.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Katherine L. Gordon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bench-Mark of History

A bench in Poland
near a ruined grave-yard
where I sit a moment –
a sudden scene bursts
behind closed eyes dreaming
in this slow spring:
all is once more alive,
book-sellers, students, merchants,
Yiddish-speaking house-wives bargaining
in the vivacious beauty of full life.
The terrible time in between
life and continuance
not yet prophesied.
Yet here they all are again
caught in the heart of imagination
their gift of exuberance
legacy of tradition and learning
ever alive, accessible to all
who touch this bench
a place in the geography of the spirit.


KJ Hannah Greenberg
drkarenjoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg is blessed to make Jerusalem her home. Hannah’s poetry has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and once for The Best of the Net. Her poetry books include: Can I be Rare, Too (Kind of a Hurricane Press, Forthcoming, 2013), poetry chapbook; Intelligence’s Vast Bonfires (Lazarus Media, 2012), poetry collection; Supernal Factors (The Camel Saloon Books on Blog, 2012), poetry chapbook; Fluid & Crystallized (Fowlpox Press, 2012), poetry chapbook; and A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend (Unbound CONTENT, 2011), poetry collection.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Considerations for Yom Hashoah: Better a Lion’s Tail

Better a lion’s tail than a fox’s head.
Jerusalem, all gilded quarters, holy radiance,
Gleams ancient perspective, His enduring love.

Friends’ sma’achot, maybe shidduch dates,
Silently reify how Jews wed, quell advances,
Cling to light, not ill-advised behaviors, scandal.

Faithfulness marks Hebraic peace-making.
No amount of smiling, kvetching, tears, brings
Better fidelity, improved honor, greater splendor.

Smirks, hulls of hollowed pumpkins,
Perhaps hospitals’ halls, mask no newly
Missing fingers, amputated feet, facial burns.

Global articulations distort authenticity.
Yom Hashoah’s not universally recognized.
Stellar athletes, old hipsters, glitter draws crowds.

Mediated killing fields like YouTube, CNN bend
Fresh abeyance to wicked exposés. Traditional literary
Devices kowtow toward questionable pulses, social shadows.

Yet, concurrently, at the Kotel, night whispers true Torah
Joy, achdut’s sweetness, mitzvots’ perfume, service to Hashem.
Surpassing jasmine, honey, wine, good deeds reseal our covenant.


Lana Hechtman Ayers
Leyeleh@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Lana Hechtman Ayers authored five poetry collections to date. She lives in Kingston, Washington along Puget Sound with her husband and fur family. You can visit her at http://lanaayers.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Lana Hechtman Ayers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Chelmno

(Kulmhof an der Nehr)

On windy days, you can still smell
the molasses of burning flesh,
smoke from the tangled pyres
of over seventy years ago.

That smoke, made of shadow
and the desire for release,
tattoos over the countryside—
a butterfly’s ghost, alighting on
the church steeple in want of paint;
a fecund raven, resting in
the cemetery beech.

Human smoke waits for the one storm
pure enough to cleanse the air,
to soak through,
make everything clear and plump
with a love that is
impervious to flame.

On windless nights you can hear
that smoke’s plaintive voice rise,
harmonic as a young boy
singing in a shower,
discovering the instrument of music
within his own chest and lungs,
as everything unclean is washed away.

The women of Chelmno are afraid
to hang their laundry out in the yard
to dry for fear if it gets too late, too dark
before they bring it back in,
it will stink of Jewish smoke.

Worse, once inside the house,
that smoke will lift out
of the laundry basket,
soar about the ceiling
and daven ashes down into all
the carefully swept corners.


Leah Schweitzer
Leyeleh@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Leah Schweitzer is a Los Angeles poet who conducts workshops and classes in journaling, creative writing and literature. She co-edited Without a Single Answer: Poems on Contemporary Israel [Judah Magnes Museum Press], and her writing appears in such publications as Bitterroot, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual and Shirim.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Leah Schweitzert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

This Life

this life
beats quietly
sends out silent shrieks
from inside my head
where there is
nothing and everything
left to know
where everything is
noticed, remembered
where holocaust nightmares
come home

this life
looks for light
any glow will do
& even in darkness
this life
beats
sends out
shrieks

i hear them
they won’t go away


Lesley Burt
lesley.burt11@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Lesley Burt lives in Christchurch, Dorset, UK. She retired from social work education in 2009. Her poetry has been published online, including the Poetry Kit website, and in magazines and anthologies, including: Tears in the Fence, Poetry Nottingham, The Interpreter’s House, Roundyhouse, Dorset Voices, and the Robin Hood Book, (2012, editor Alan Morrison). Awards in competitions include the Bedford 2011, Christchurch Writers 2009 & 2010, Alan Sillitoe 2012, and Virginia Warbey 2012. She runs a small poetry group with the aim of promoting enjoyment poetry in her local community and wrote a chapter for: Teaching Creative Writing (2012, editor Elaine Walker).

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Lesley Burt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One For Sorrow

Picasso gives a woman
whose eyes leap from sockets,

tears burn through to cheekbone,
hair, lashes, are wire coiffures;

who howls through bared teeth
and cannot stifle keening
with the jagged handkerchief
she thrusts at her lips.

Her bright, flowered hat
fails to extinguish grief.
She gazes beyond us
through decades; sees no relief.

After Guernica: war after war,
Holocaust, apartheid, terror.
Her eyes reflect a universe

and weep for this world, for ever.


Lilian Cohen
lilian.cohen6@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lilian Cohen came to Israel from Melbourne, Australia, with her husband in 1968 and since then has spent most of her time in this country with sojourns in London, Boston and Melbourne. Until her retirement she worked as an English teacher at the Leo Baeck Senior High School in Haifa. She is a member of the ‘Voices’ poetry association and recently completed a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing in Australia. Her poetry and short stories have been published in journals in Australia, England, Israel and the U.S.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Lilian Cohen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust  Shadows 2 

After more than sixty years
shadows from the holocaust
still stalk our lives,
like dybuks
they mock our stance
haunt our nights
blot out our suns.
 
Weakened but not destroyed
we change direction
hope to feel again
that summer’s warmth we lost
hope the shadows
fall behind diminished, 
but we know too
we never escape our shadows. 


Linda Larson
lrlarson150@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

I am a poet living in Cambridge, MA. I have published two books of poems: Washing the Stones and Mississippi Poems.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Linda Larson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Born in ’47

I cannot shut my eyes without seeing
A parade of black and white passport photos,
Monochrome faces of men who look uniformly old,
Gaunt and unblinking in the sight of the camera man,
Leaning on each other, having just dug their communal grave.

Women, segregated, sunken-cheeked, unknown
Outside the boundaries of memory, eyes unflinching…
Faces stunningly without hope.
Little Ones, all bundled up in warm jackets,
Smile for the camera.

The children’s eyes do not compromise.
Surely some of these children survived,
Eager to hide away, bear any cold,
Any stench, schooled and knowing
Life is a harsh treasure…capricious, cold and cruel—

The faces unreel on into my night, flashing by,
Reminiscent of old black and white snap shots
With serrated edges in family albums everywhere,
Faded and shockingly ordinary in the blandness
Of their weekend outings, their confidence.

Where do these images come from?
What countries? What century?
A roll call of combustible film,
Dreaming in silence, only let me wake.
I am not innocent. If I was I could forget.

At least I know I am not innocent.
Heiress to glowering history, dust to dust,
Hang noose snaps, ash stings my eyes.
At least I know I am not innocent.
I cannot shut my eyes without seeing.


Mack Smith
amongst@live.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Mack Smith and I am from Pebble Beach California. I am trying my hand at writing poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mack Smith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Deutsche Sonne

You display how much my warmth is worth
I take for granted the smiles in return
You look for answers as the healing begins
There’s a feeling?
Can I illuminate it?
Will you withstand?
Because;

Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Hate……dissipate…….

Some days are hotter than others
It depends on how I feel
You accept the terms and run like steed with will
I provide the sustenance the sprinkling of spirit
You count your blessings?
You question life?
Why?
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love……endures…….

I’ve been shining for centuries
I was created for one thing
If you find that selfish
I find that quite disturbing
I have cindered the hair on the back of your ears
Since the day you were born
You’ve learned to live with me
Despise me at times
Love my reflections
Refractions can blind
Don’t try your memories
Don’t try to hide
Because;

Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love endures, Hate dissipates
Love………….


Mary Ann Castle
mac615@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Mary Ann Castle has worked for social justice for 30 years. She lives in the Bronx, NY

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mary Ann Castle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Visas for Life

August 1940
Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara
disregards government dictates,
……….jeopardizes family
……….……….issues visas, documents
6,000 Jewish people saved from sure death

An ordinary man
extraordinary courage,
Japanese Consul to Romania
touched by the experience of being alive
with its stunning pain and horror,
recognizes a metaphysical truth
that he and the other are the same.


Matthew Harris
duyeer93@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Matthew Harris lives in Narbeth, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Matthew Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Totalitarian triumph

dictators topple like dominoes
tombstones taunt contemporary caesars
godfathers hut tilled dough bro’s united against
inalienable rights of life, liberty pursuit of
happiness, mushroom left for overthrow
sans oppression from pepper spray
minor deterrent whence tyrants trumped
keyed up, high strung bouzouki plucking
commoners coalescing into commanding
communal cascade overturning ramparts
memorializing despots egoistic fiefdoms
whereby fealty forced from feckless fiends
fleecing freedoms forcing fake obeisance
until recently when contagion to overthrow
more than a coup pull of heinous henchmen
in tandem with their supreme leader
whose brutish nasty reign of terror
shortened from lengths of courage
displayed by humble beings fed up
with deprivation of basic democratic filaments
pollinating regimes thumbing nose at human rights
suddenly caught in cross hairs of barreling madding crowd
thwarting heart of darkness with native sun shine
seeking revenge against injustice heaped against innocent
populace which near global spontaneity
serves well deserved just desserts!


Melanie C. Campos
p3p3l3pue@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Melanie C. Campos, from Oklahoma City, Ok. I’ve been writing poetry since middle school, but more seriously since 2007. At first, I started writing non-rhyming poems, until it was suggested I try it, and so I will write with rhyme as well. I’ve tried some haiku and short stories. Many of my writings have been in the IWVPA home and club writings online site and 8thwood sites. I have my own freewebs (web) site as well. www.freewebs.com/mahtame. I am currently starting another free one because there is limited space in the first one. I sign my works with my shortened Kiowa name from the Kiowa Tribe. MahTame — meaning teacher. My full Kiowa name is much longer though. I am a full time teacher of students with various disabilities, currently serving grades K-6. I love creativity with arts/crafts and with words. Thank you.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Melanie C. Campos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ashes Rained from Above

They smelled the flesh burning in the fire
Ashes of the dead raining from above
Darkness in a world of evil lurked in the mire
Of pure hatred seeping from hearts there of

A wintry mix of snow and deceased man
Scattering through darkened nightfall
A massacre included women and children
How could the merciless exist with gall?

Millions exterminated beyond comprehension
Tortuous acts, rape, stripped of dignity
Unfathomable yet the mourning lives on
As we, none forget this horrible bit of history


Michael Duke
mjduke.photography@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

MJ was born and brought up in England and spent 15 years living in Israel. Poetry and photography have always been his two favourite pastimes as they both allow for ways to express oneself. He is a member of the Voices Israel group of poets, the International Freelance Photographers Organization, Societe Photographie de France and the London Independent Photographers (among other groups). Although photography is his main artistic output, poetry takes a good part of his time including helping to set up the London branch of the Voices Israel group.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Michael Duke and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembrance Sunday In London
(Just because I wasn’t there…………..)

How can I tell ?
How can I feel
A time, an event
Dark and real ?

My parents were around,
But they were small.
They were in England
So far from it all.

The Jewish Museum
In London has space
For Leon, his experiences
Etched on his face.

Experiences related
By other survivors.
And personal belongings
Denying the deniers.

Holocaust Rememberance Day
In Hendon Town Hall
Respect shown to the victims
By one and all.

Regardless of faith
Or skin colour
Those interested in coexistence
Between all and each other.

The Jewish people rose
Like a Phoenix from the ashes
Let’s all learn together
To avoid further such clashes.


Michael H. Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011: http://tenpagespress.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/i-was-a-teacher-once-by-michael-h-brownstein/). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Michael H. Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Poet Writes His Poetry After the Liberation

When the poet of Jewish Russia was sent away,
the NAZI commander sentenced him to life without
pencils, pens, computers, paper or books.
He tattooed his poetry onto his skin—
each blemish a key word, each scar an image,
each evening into darkness a memory carved into
the next day and the day after that. Words are easy
and overtime he learned all of them by heart.
His poetry was the poetry of the living,
death behind him, and he let everything go:

“Yesterday fire burst free from the breasts of two robins,
A rush of red sparkled across the feathers of a lone cardinal
And a beetle took its first tentative steps across concrete.

“Today a rainbow of sun reached
Above the coyote howls
And melted into a mix of mist….”

In the sunlight of freedom, the poet remembered everything,
and wrote about the ways of the good men when they encounter evil
and how even in evil…

He adopted ten children.
married another survivor and had two sons
and the air of Israel made him stronger.


Mick Moss
mafekincarwongo@talktalk.net

Bio (auto)

Mick Moss – 59 / Writer Poet Atheist / Liverpool, UK

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mick Moss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stench

It’s not so much the sights
or sounds
I remember
but the smell

adding insult to atrocity
the goading guards
said it smelled like
roasting pork

to me it smelled like
Armageddon
not the fanciful fire
and brimstone
of legend
but the clinging
sickly sweet
stench
of the end of
humanity


Mike Cluff
Michael.Cluff@norcocollege.edu

Bio (auto)

Mike Cluff is a full-time English, Critical Thinking and Creative Writing professor at Norco (Community) College in Southern California. He is the workshop leader of the Inlandia Institute’s Riverside Creative Writing Workshop held at the downtown branch of the Riverside Public Library. He is currently putting the final touches on his tenth poetry book called "The Initial Napoleon." He is also in the final stages of rewriting a play on poetry readings, a comedy of course, called "The Comfort Zone" with Rowena Silver.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mike Cluff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

The barbed wire laments
in even the minutest of breezes
with a sound all hear
in nearby hamlets and towns
but refute to truly indulge
lest their consciences
be reminded too high,
deep and long
for sins the now living
are not one iota
guilty of causing,
around Treblinka, Auschwitz,
Dachau and Buchenwald.

The breath of the burned and dead
inhabits the fences
keeping the natural flow
of air and life
ever separated
from what was forced to dwell within
by forces
the severest demons in Hades
would even blush
and blanche to know.


Mike Scheidemann
mikeschd@yizrael.org.il

Bio (auto)

Mike Scheidemann / Kibbutz Yizre’el, Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mike Scheidemann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Holocaust of All Our Lives

What right have I to share the blight
Of a myriad lost lives?
Does the stain of Cain darken my temples too?
“Ah Cain what hast thou done; what hast thou done”
Has not God’s cry rung down through the ages?
When inheritance shakes free from dark vestiges,
Can it bear proudly, the beards of our forefathers?
Those forebears draped in shawls of Abraham and Jacob.
Does our heritage sell as cheap as Esau’s birthright?
Is our past only a coat of many colors, frayed,
Soiled, bloodied, torn and abandoned by our brothers?
Adam, Abel, Joseph, Job, Isaac, Saul, David, Absalom;
And with countless others, we bear those consequences
And wrath of G-d until that day that screamed to heaven!
When cartage trucks on rails chugged to those neat rows
Death’s barracks barbed wire and the rancid smell of ovens.

Will nature’s balance ever be restored,
On smoldering mass of graves that reeked to the clouds?
Will spring spray again her perfect bouquet of flowers,
From ruby wounds, dumb mouths, the shots, the silence
And from the eyes that stare, blank as unmarked graves?
May they stampede the stars to exhort God’s answer.
Only the twitching forest folks’ stare acknowledges them.
Only a lone breeze rustling through tall grasses, stir
Buchenwald and Birkenau from their pastorality.
Most is lost to history. Perhaps the biting Polish winter;
The searing cold Ukraine will pay homage, a while longer
To those multitudes who died a dozen times; whatever!
The night in Northern Europe and to Eastwards
Lingers forever over those that do remain.

Our history must move on and embrace a new scenario.
The world we Jews have known grew from a barren vista
Yet from it, an enlightened people spread across the earth
Whose fate was still surely to be a torch among the nations
But there never was an Eden long enough for anyone
And so the real tragedy lies with everyone;
That each of us was never granted time enough;
Never to pause long enough, to let us comprehend
That in the end we are left with only words
To shore up our lives, to stave off the ruins.
So we make fine phrases as a blessing and a balm
For the battered ugliness of our brief span. We must atone
For our mutual guilt or lose our dignity, our sense of tragedy.
Others may yet possess our souls if we abandon our humanity.


Mindy Aber Barad
maber4kids@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Mindy Aber Barad lives in Efrat, Israel. Her poetry, stories, book reviews and essays have been published in Poetica, Wild Plum, Current Accounts, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Press, CyclamensandSwords.com and other publications both on and off line. Mindy is the Israeli co-editor of The Deronda Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Mindy Aber Barad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Now, Like Then

Now, like then, the buildings stand
Once full, erupting with life
With hope
Now empty

Art once sprung from the windows
Music flowed through the doors
Now only ghosts
Hazy images, so vague
That crazy people deny their existence

We know they existed
The buildings
The art
The music
All testify

Our children,
Bear their names
Brush their strokes
Hum their notes

Images rest in peace
In new buildings
In our place
Where we will never let it happen again.


Neil Ellman
ellmans@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Neil Ellman lives in Livingston, New Jersey.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Neil Ellman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Anne Frank in Captivity

(after the painting, “Captive,” by Paul Klee,
1940)

Caged eyes see
through wire
and prison bars
what she was
would never be again
another world
innocence lost
the trees of Amsterdam
in bloom
Friday services
a belly full of hope
empty now
as are her eyes
that only see the past.


Pam Larson
plarson67@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Pamela Larson lives in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has been published in issues of the CRAM Poetry Series and the Daily Herald. She has won several awards from Highland Park Poetry. Her most recent award was an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Illinois State Poetry Society’s Contest for Haiku. You can also find her artwork on the cover of A Midnight Snack published by Poetic License Press

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Pam Larson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Museum

I.
Time has stopped.
I cannot bear your turned back .
Please turn forward
so I may shelter you,
so I may protect you,
so that I may love you.
I left you there in the darkness too long.
I left you there with no sunlight
to provide you food,
with no sunlight
to provide you warmth,
with no sunlight
to provide you life.
And while you were blinded and beaten,
all I heard was censored white noise,
all you heard were silent screams in darkness.
I can shed tears now
for tears you stifled then
but it cannot wash away the dye.
You are marked for life.
You hold the scars of survival.
I hold only fear, anger and sadness,
none of which repay any excuse for apathy.

II.
No glass of reflection,
fragmented frames,
trying to match missing pieces,
the pieces are gone.
The mothers, fathers, families are gone.
Search as you may,
trying to move toward connections,
you only move toward an uneasiness,
you know the missing pieces
are buried with millions of other pieces
in piles of clothes
or heaps of ash.
No future.
They are broken.
Never to recover from the atrocity they have seen.
You cannot fix it.


Patricia D’Alessandro
ciaopat12@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

POET/ESSAYIST PATRICIA D’ALESSANDRO has been writing poetry for close to 40 years, and has been published in many USA and European literary journals, newspapers, as well as poetry anthologies. Hosting a poetry series, “TEA & EMPATHY”, in Sacramento/ARDEN at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, for six years, in conjunction with the Wellspring Women’s Center, where she also taught a Creative Writing Workshop, producing two anthologies of underprivileged Women’s Writings, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sacramento Board of Supervisors for Outstanding Cultural Arts Volunteerism in 2007, despite her move to the Coachella Valley in 2007. Hosting a poetry series, “Valley Voices of the Muse” at Barnes & Noble/Palm Desert/Westfield for eight years, she now presents this same series at the SAVAGE ART GALLERY in Palm Springs, on the first Friday of the month. Mother of three adult sons, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, she lives in Desert Hot Springs, hoping to celebrate 100 in 11 years! Her seventh book of prose-poems will publish at the end of this year.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Patricia D’Alessandro and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Flanders Field

Moths
In moonlight
flutter over graves
and brush against my cheeks
through years of solitude
my heart in tatters
in a
shuttered vault of
accolades.


Paul Charles Howell
paulchowell@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Paul Charles Howell writes novels. He lives in Montreal. To earn a living he has consulted in Germany, Australia, Korea, China and elsewhere. He taught at the McGill University Business School. At the start, he taught German at the University of New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Paul Charles Howell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Subito Piano

For J.N.

They did not get the sound
Those English soldiers who tripped over Bergen Belsen
When they filmed it
Without the clashing and gnashing and insane commands
 
I can see you there, Johannes, my friend, on the screen
What was left of you then,
Thin, cold, dusty and feeble
In black & white rags, unshaved.
 
It should not be shown, of course, this film,
Your dignity chopped off bleeding like a pruned-away nose
 
When you came back to us, Nasty and me,
And lay down on the bed and claimed to smell the sunrise,
Hear spring humming up the trees
And told us your stories of dreadful new departures
And the senses, and brought camp death to life,
Each death a million words of our time,
And got us listening which we have not stopped
And aroused our need for hope –
Our senses of sight and sound and time and hope
All mutilated forever.
 
In this slim horror film
The theme is burial
But not contrition
Nor victory nor justice –
Only human obedience
To these orders,
Or those orders –
We turn up the sound
Hoping for catharsis…
But even the corpses
Flung into the makeshift
Refuse to thump
It is simply too late
Only the black sealed lips
Are a last mute scream
When the bulldozer covers them
 
 
Originally appeared in Wisconsin Review, Vol. 34, Issue 1, 1999


Paul Brucker
hapgator@sbcglobal.net

Bio (auto)

Paul Brucker lives in Mount Prospect, IL "where friendliness is a way of life. He has been published recently in “audio zine,” “The Barefoot Review,” “Borderline,” “Crack the spine,” “INK WELL” “ Orion headless,” “Eunoia Review” and the anthology “Pagan’s Muse: Words of Ritual, Invocation and Inspiration.”

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Paul Brucker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

94 out of 100 saltmarsh sparrows can’t be wrong

One day the Sun and Moon agreed to kill their children,
So they infused the world with irritants and pitfalls.
Community showers and swimming pools, for instance,
Became fertile breeding grounds.
Headaches developed into more than “just headaches.”
Despite early warning signs
(Such as unnatural markings or discoloration of the eye),
And a rulebook that won’t hold up in court,
You can count on this:
When too many plants or animals live in a certain environment,
Many must die for lack of food, from disease
Or from poisons produced by their own bodies.
Meanwhile, the strong will always prey on the weak
And you are at the mercy of pure luck.

The colony may start out as a small smooth bump
On your head, your foot or anywhere in between.
You say it can’t get any worse
And it always gets worse until the end.
You make a choking sigh, never to be repeated.
At some point, the blood no longer brings nourishment to your cells,
Those who have feathers no longer fly here.
Those who have bones do not walk here.
And the people you knew are represented by little clay statuettes.

Would you like to learn a little about what it’s like to die?
You will be kept comfortable at all times.
You may even feel equanimity, security and control.
OK, start by visualizing a point in time where your death is immediately inevitable.

Feel the curved back of your favorite chair.
You’ll never again feel it.

Respond to the shape of a leaf, the color of a rock, the movement of a cloud.
They will have nothing more to say to you.

Go ahead, while you still can, fasten your seat belt.
Limit your intake of tobacco and hard liquor. Exercise.
Wash your face thoroughly with soap two or three times a day
And cultivate a positive, cheerful disposition.

Do you think it always happens at another time, another place?
Hidden behind things or under things? To somebody else?
Dear eyes set deep within the shade, look, listen, learn.
Your babble of transient things will cease forever.
All around you lies the grim, open mouth of Night.

Your foolish fears of what may happen,
At last, you can cast them all away.

The key turns, and a door upon its hinges groans.
You will be at the mercy of a rude stream.

Never again will you see the kind face
Of someone who gives a shit about you.

Never again will you sing.

Indeed, you shall return no more, awake no more,
Arise no more from your lowly bed.
For consolation, you’ll commingle with the common dust,
Unconsummated by moth or rust.

Describe the circumstances of your death scene?
Where are you? Who are you with? Are you afraid?
Can you tell that you are dying?

They had the name of every Jew in our town.
We couldn’t hide.
We thought maybe God will do something.
After all, certain structures grow during life, then decay and are replaced.
A grown puppy bears little resemblance in appearance and behavior
To the puppy it once was.
Cells in the skin and bones may live for several hours
And pieces of chicken tissue have lived for more than 20 years.

We walked all night. If someone slipped and fell,
The Germans shot him in the head.
We were afraid every minute
Because they could follow your footprints in the snow.

We had pretended that our lives
Were nobody’s business — but our own
(All our secret scandals, petty jealousies and oaths).
We believed that our valor, virtue, letters and law
Would protect us.

I was told that my father would come back
For me in a week.
Sister was locked in a different room.
I always looked up, hoping
Someone would smile
At me.
I felt so alone.

I watched a cat (life expectancy: 15 years)
Stalk a duck (life expectancy: 30 years)
And tear its wings to bits.

Who attends your funeral? Who brings flowers?
Is there an obituary in the newspaper?

One drizzly Saturday, they loaded us into a truck without a top
And took us to a logging road, eight miles from town.
There were 12 big graves
That had been dug before.

I knew I had a limited amount of time
To reach you before I was killed.
My body shook so much,
I tried to block the chemical messages sent by the brain.
Let’s face it, the total, permanent cessation of all my vital functions
Was not my idea of a good time.

We all had to undress
And stand on wooden planks.
I had never noticed that all your weight,
When standing, is concentrated in such a small area.
I had never experienced Lisa Marcus naked before —
How magnificent she had become.
I realized that even a slight hope,
Like a loved one’s pinch, can cause immense comfort.
Say good-bye to the grass and flowers,
My sister said. Say good-bye to the weeds and laurel tree.
I could hear the dry, hollow sound of dirt hitting wood.
The ground was shaking for days
Because some of us were not completely dead.

Then, all went merry as a marriage bell
Through Memory’s gates unbarred.

Mary Stuart entered, led by two gentlemen and the sheriff.
Hermann Schmitt rushed by. He died three years before,
Trying to save Adolph, his cat, during a fire.
Smelly, grumpy people passed by, known for willfully and maliciously
Cutting, writing upon, injuring, defacing, tearing and destroying.
I saw a spirit brush against Harald Moltke’s sled —
That’s why he got sick and all his dogs were infected.
For eight minutes the Battle of Cold Harbor raged,
Leaving 7,000 Union and 1,500 Confederate dead.

Finally, I remembered when something was vitally wrong with Mother,
But we didn’t know what it was. She started to rapidly lose weight
And was admitted several times to the district hospital.
Mother desired to die in a hospital, not like a piece of nothing.
So we lifted Mother’s body into the box
And father took it home in our wagon.
In the morning, his daughter-in-law and I took her body to the med school.
Mother was thrifty, she didn’t want her body wasted.
(After all, lots of new med schools were opening
And the supply of unclaimed bodies was diminishing.)
At the school, we carefully lifted Mother’s body out of the box,
Which we took back for future use.
At the funeral, Mother’s co-workers showed little emotion.
Father said some people can experience love
Without showing it outwardly.
Rejoice, he cried, rejoice that an end has come at last.
An end to prolonged, unmanageable pain.
In lieu of flowers, donations were sent
To the Garment Workers’ Retirement Fund.
(Mother’s death, however, did not release us
From the liability of her overdue library books.)

On the anniversary of your death does anybody visit your grave?
What has been the effect of your death
On family, business associates, the economy and culture?
Is there someone to pray for your soul?

Today, clusters of sweet gum and oak trees dot the well-tended lawn.
Stones are laid out in clusters, none contain names.
No friends or relatives come by to lay flowers.
The world has forgotten us.
There won’t even be a stranger
(Except you) to come along
And wonder about us.

Aye, the bugle sounds no more.
My words are becoming a relic of a bygone era.
Gone away and past.
All gone: aye, ages ago.
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.

Perhaps, you are blessed with different receptors, better processors.
Avail yourself of them here, now.
Because, to be perfectly frank, you too will die
10, 20 years from now — maybe this afternoon.
You’re not alone, though. Everyone you love or don’t love is going to die —
Your parents, your pets, all your creditors and doctors,
Your favorite baseball stars and pin-up girls,
The grade school bullies and priests they confessed to.
After all, of every 100 eggs hatched by the saltmarsh song sparrow,
Only 52 remain alive long enough to leave the nest
And 80 percent of those die within the first year.
The remaining 10 breed the following season,
But during that time, 43 percent die off,
Leaving only 6 of the original 100.
In short, all 5 billion people now alive (including you) will die, must die.

Did you know that even cautious footsteps take a toll?
With consequences so severe, every foresight should be taken.
Once a false step is taken, it can never be retrieved.
Even if the source or pressure that caused it is removed.

If money is an issue, check out the Mandel Funeral Home nearest you.
Their price for complete graveside service is guaranteed
To be at least 25 percent lower than any other
Jewish funeral business in the area,
And they use only quality, brand name vaults.

Dear stranger, while you’re still here, do me a favor.
Start in the back of your mouth with an “ahh”
And then go “oo” as you fill your mouth.
Finally, go “mmm” as you close your mouth.
If pronounced properly, this sound will put you in touch
With the resounding being that is the universe.

If you’re really kind, kneel and lean close to the ground.
Warm the earth with puffs of your breath.

Now, listen closely. Can you hear?
“It is I,” cries a voice that was me.
“Lo, ‘tis I.”


Peggy Dobreer
peggydobreer@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Peggy Dobreer is a poet living in Los Angeles. Her maternal grandparents came to the US to escape pogroms in 1915. Peggy spent the summer of 2012, writing at Univerzita Karlova, in a classroom situated just over Joesefov cemetery, in the former Jewish Ghetto of Communist Prague. She has one book of poetry titled In The Lake of Your Bones, and co-authored 64 Ways To Practice Nonviolence, A Curriculum and Resource Guide, ProEd, Inc.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Peggy Dobreer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What the Bones Weigh

The silent bones hail beneath our lecture hall.
Behind the gates of Josefov, bodies piled
ten deep or more, stones lean together,
make a minyan of uncles rolling over.

Surely the loss of a bowl causes turning,
or the distant crush of a crystal goblet.
The buried temple up to its ear for
profiles kept low in survival’s wake.

How the ghetto shrieks of a failure
to annihilate. How the Golem keeps
the story to himself. How the bones toss,
and wail. How ground swells and graves
join limbs with seventy-seven thousand names.

How the disappeared take march,
etched in wind and sudden rain.
How they cling to the heat of late
summer lessons and strike us dumb.

How this intoleration makes a tomb
of the class, enters the maelstrom
of moldy books and mute dforefathers
who storm these harbored halls, windows
slamming shut. How the panes shatter.


Peter Steele
vs005u3305@blueyonder.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Peter Steele aka Aeon X has had short stories and poems published in over 150 anthologies. His books include A Cannibal killer, Mark Of The Devil, Demon Slayer; and 24 Tales Of Darkness. He is also a composer, songwriter, musician and live entertainer. His albums include Syntronica Eclipse 1, Alienator, Andromeda, Ectoplasm, Sentinel, Omega, Utopia, Phantasmagoria, Automaton, Ancient Realms, City Of The Dead, and many more, all available on CD and MP3 on Amazon and iTunes. He is the recipient of The American Biographical Institute’s Golden Academy Award and Gold Medal of Honour. His biography has been featured in The International Authors & Writers Who’s Who, Men of Achievement, International Book of Honour, and others. He has been short-listed twice for the Forward Prize. He also creates his own artwork that appears on his book covers and album sleeves.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Peter Steele and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz

The young girl could not understand
What the Nazi officer had said,
Or why they had given her
And her fellow prisoners, a shaven head.

In her dingy, damp cell
She had been punished many times,
But in her broken heart,
She knew she was guilty of no crimes.

She felt so isolated,
And at the mercy of the evil power.
When they came for her that morning,
In the corner, she did cower.

Bare-footed and tearful,
Across the compound, she walked,
Naked and frozen from the cold,
While the guards mocked, laughed and talked.

She filled her mind with memories
Of family, love and flowers.
A sad tear ran down her face
When they marched her off to the showers…


Rachel Heimowitz
superema63@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rachel Heimowitz is an emerging poet, living in Efrat, Israel. Her work has appeared or is due to appear in Prairie Schooner, Poetry Quarterly, Poetica, Silent Revelations and elsewhere. Rachel is currently pursuing her MFA at Pacific University in Oregon.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Rachel Heimowitz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rise Awake and Sing

“Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;
awake and sing, you who lie in the dust”
(Isaiah 26:19
)

A medieval town where nothing stands straight,
where Kafka sat, slept, ate. Where time
reads backwards on a Hebrew clock and a Golem
waits in an attic for the electric shock of life.
Eight hundred years, a thriving ghetto:
yellow hats, yellow circles, yellow stars;
a child’s cut-out of betrayal.

My G-d the soul you have placed in me is pure.

A shul, a great gravestone, vacant,
unused; the winter sun reflects
off the ceiling’s vault. The wall’s hue
up close becomes something new,
letters, black and red: names:
in Moravia, listed by town,
in Bohemia, by province,
dates of birth and death, a wallpaper
tattoo, back to back, names stacked—
a ladder of names—
eighty thousand dead.

You created it; you have formed it; you have breathed it into me.

On the eastern wall:
Emil (b. 1868-d.1942) straightens
his tie. Berta (b.1874-d.1942) turns,
lights the flame, knowing
warmth fills the house night and day.

On the west:
Hedvika (b. 1914-d.1942) steps
into her pumps, sets her hat,
makes her way to the train.

On the southern wall
with the sun’s glance upon them:
Karolina (b. 1932-d.1942) skipping rope.
Oskar (b. 1930-d.1943), a stick, an old wheel,
a downward slope—

You preserve it within me; You will take it from me,

Trying to be Hapsburgs; German impeccable.
Heads high past the guard, one thousand
at a time, boarding trains with favorite dolls,
candlesticks, a bedroll. Delivered
to Terezin, where no one was allowed
to outgrow their shoes. Through
the Schleuse. On the other side
everything removed but a ration card.

Later, on Auschwitz trains, their prayer
is for a bite of bread when they arrive.
Instead stripped, shaved, showers
of foul air. No survivors–only ashes
at the bottom of the Vistula River.

and restore it to me in the hereafter….

You, who line these walls, you are the dry bones,
the flesh formed around the original egg,
the porous souls,
the pure water poured that swept us home,

the bridge between the grave
and the land, ashes fused into rocky
soil, hills that ascend
like milkfat breasts. Your arms, the towns

that hold us; your smiles the rivers
that spring forth, spill over, fall with laughter.
You are the kibbutz fence at night;
your hearts the iron that guards us.

Karolina, Oskar, you fill the schools and parks
while Hedvika sips coffee at the café.

Emil is on his way to shul, as thousands
of Bertas cover their hair at the siren’s sound,

strike the match, draw in the holy
flame and bless the Shabbat candles.

Blessed are You, O Hashem, who restores the souls of the dead.


Rayna Momen
raynamomen@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Rayna Momen is a poet, activist and sociologist currently residing in Morgantown, WV, where she was born and raised. She advocates on behalf of minorities and other marginalized groups, actively taking a stand against the injustices she sees, and uses poetry as a way to challenge dominant ideologies.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Rayna Momen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sacrifice by Fire

on Visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
District of Columbia, April 16, 2012

I.

Goose bumps spread across
every inch of skin as I entered the
museum of hard-to-swallow truths
Identification Card #3777
‘For the dead and the living
we must bear witness.’

Story of Grietje Polak, born August
1883 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
she, like millions, was never meant
to be a part of this place, married
four children – one boy, three girls
still photograph like a graven image
a smile that preceded the fate
she came to realize.

Proud Jewish woman, a teacher of
children, of shorthand and needlepoint
her husband, an accountant whose business
was later exploited by the Germans
to “register” Amsterdam’s Jews, until
their time had also come to be deported
to Poland, under the guise of
more work to be done, they packed
their best clothes, only to be
exterminated within two days.

II.

Face etched in my mind as I rode
the elevator with a crowd of visitors
only we got to walk free, to take our time
to pace, to ponder, to reflect
absorbing horror stories and facts in
all of their disturbed details
and when we left, we still had
breath in our lungs and beats
in our heavy hearts.

The replica train once packed with
humans like sardines, or more like rats
subjected, at times, to blind
experimentation, the stale stench of
piles upon piles of old shoes worn
from “death marches” to camps –
concentration, forced-labor
transit, extermination, Auschwitz
the largest – systematically removed
from this Earth, just for being.

III.

Segregated, stripped of rights
under “Nuremburg Laws” ostracized
by the “Yellow Star of David”
the badge of shame, isolated
persecuted, incarcerated, places
of worship burned, businesses and
institutions destroyed, dozens killed
over two days of violence
the “Night of Broken Glass.”

Deprived to degrees most can
never fathom, nor would they want to
emaciated from too-small rations
starved and plagued, disease-ridden
from too-close quarters and lack of care
maltreated, neglected and controlled
and those in deep hiding, dark corners
and attics awaiting the unknown
or the inevitable.

Bureaucratically annihilated from
genocide, incinerated, gassed in chambers
and tossed like rag dolls into mass graves
unmarked, buried under isms and
false senses of power and domination
Ethnocentric, countless so-called soldiers
falling in line, following orders
under tyrannical rule, even to eradicate.

6 million lives obliterated,
1.1 million children, underestimated
like ghettos, Warsaw alone
saw some 444,000 products
of “The Final Solution”
the few who survived, displaced
and emigrated, some still
bearing the mark of the beast.


Richard Murphy
richmurphyink@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rich Murphy’s credits include the 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award for Voyeur; a first book, The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press); chapbooks, Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), and Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox), Paideia (Aldrich Press); poems in Rolling Stone, Poetry, Grand Street, Poetic, New Letters, Pank, Segue, and Confrontation; and essays in The International Journal of the Humanities, Fringe, Journal of Ecocriticism, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, Folly Magazine, New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, among others. Rich lives in Marblehead, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Richard Murphy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Submission Process

Father relented to publishers
and then the memoir ends.
The dictated story
left any royalty authorless.
Inside the second frame,
Chatterbox plays hide and seek
with Nazis: no Hollywood video game
for mall rats. To have lasted a month,
whispers a mouse in the house.
Kitty couldn’t find help
to save a life in two years.
The school books proved useless.
Annexed Jews hid while the secret
society within pubescence
camouflaged the foreground
and discovered heritage.
 
Volumes thirteen to fifteen
crouched in abbreviated
edition; the stealth addition
to an adolescence packed Eros,
Hanneli guilt and compassion
into fevers. Only when the library
spins from control does the exterior
expose naiveté to no future.


Rifkah Goldberg
rifkahg@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg writes poetry and aphorisms, and is a long-time oil painter. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cambridge University and works as a freelance writer and editor. Born in London in 1950, she has been living in Jerusalem since 1975, has two sons and eight grandchildren, and is married to the writer Shalom Freedman.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Rifkah Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Faded Photograph

After my mother drifted to her death
Took faded sepia group photograph
From her sideboard to put in my front-room
As if it could somehow become mine

Summer 1936 on the balcony
Of their modest ancestral cottage
In the tiny dusty Hungarian village Acs
Her cousin now over eighty told me

In the center her grandparents
He tall and straight and she small and bent
Flanked by four sons and two daughters
Each proudly surrounded by their own families

All almost unsmiling in the style of the times
Without hint of sun or cloud, light and shade
And also no inkling this was the last time
They could all be together there

For the presumably proud grandparents
With their two daughters and most of their families
Anonymously butchered and unburied at Auschwitz
Unlike his own father’s recently restored headstone in Acs

So no one in the world will ever know
The three girls in neatly pleated sailor suits
Smaller girl in white with big colored hair-bow
Cross-legged boy in belted jacket

Although I put them in a muted frame
Atop books and ornaments lovingly culled
On my seemingly secure shelf
In the crystal-clear Jerusalem light


Robert Klein Engler
RKleinEngler@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Robert Klein Engler lives in Des Plaines, Illinois and sometimes New Orleans. Many of Robert’s poems, stories, paintings and photographs are set in the Crescent City. His long poem, The Accomplishment of Metaphor and the Necessity of Suffering, set partially in New Orleans, is published by Headwaters Press, Medusa, New York, 2004. He has received an Illinois Arts Council award for his "Three Poems for Kabbalah." If you google his name, then you may find his work on the Internet. Link with him at Facebook.com to see examples of his recent paintings and photographs. Some of his books are available at Lulu.com. Visit him on the web at RobertKleinEngler.com. Mr. Engler is represented by OnView Gallery, 139 N. Northwest Hgy, Park Ridge, IL, 224.585.0503.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Robert Klein Engler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Who Buys an Orange For Me

for José Gorostiza

The old man across from me on the train peels
an orange. He carefully pulls off the skin
that reluctantly leaves behind a few white veins.
Then, he breaks a wedge and eats it with relish,
feeding his hunger the way solitude feeds his anger.

You can tell he is weary of being alone, weary
of loving those who did not love him, and weary
of letting himself be used unto ash. Like that spit
of a tree struggling to grow in the Temple’s
shadow, the light is higher than he can reach.

Moses, stretch out your hands over the people.
They, too, are weary. Regard the fire in their hearts.
It is written the Lord was pleased with the holocaust
of incense rising to heaven. From where I sit
the pleasant aroma of an orange fills the air.


Rolland Vasin
admin@vhaudit.net

Bio (auto)

A third-generation American writer, Rolland Vasin(pen name Vachine) is published in the journals Open Minds Quarterly, Gnome, and Found and Lost, was honored as a Newer Poet by the Los Angeles Library Foundation’s Aloud Series, and is an active open-mic-reader at venues from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Big Sur, California. He has featured at Los Angeles’ World Stage, The Rapp Saloon, and Cobalt Cafe, among others. A resident of Santa Monica, California, has dabbled in improvisational theater and stand-up comedy for which we was recognized as the Laugh Factory’s 1992 3rd Funniest CPA in Los Angeles. As a day job, Rolland’s CPA corporation audits youth and family charities.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Rolland Vasin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Self Defense

When Israeli Army recruits graduate Boot Camp,
they are marched up Masada and given a rifle
in one hand and a tiny Torah in the other.

They are told that the firearm is for protecting their life,
and the Torah for protecting their soul. Balancing
those two is the definition of what it is to be a Jew.

I taught my son the use of a large caliber rifle
after his Bar Mitzvah. Now schooled and armed,
there is not going to be a next Holocaust for him.


Roy Runds
royr1@bezeqint.net

Bio (auto)

Born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1944, I migrated to Israel in 1972, and have since lived in Tel Aviv. In the land of my rebirth, I have developed as a poet, having had several of my my poems published in Israel and abroad, and three books of my poems printed. I have been a member of the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English (VOICES) since 1984, and, from 1992 to 2006 have served on the editorial board of that group’s annual poetry anthology, VOICES ISRAEL, which has also printed many of my poems. I live alone, and am a free-lance journalist, editor and proofreader.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Roy Runds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Offering

"Why was Isaac bound to the sacrificial altar?"
I persisted in my childish voice.
The rabbi rubbed his chin.
Father furrowed his brow.
Scholars nodded sagely,
answering in confident confusion,
with answers in profusion.

Cattle carts dumped us captives
into the camp.
Ovens blazed.
A grim doctor
pointed me to a line of labourers.
My family "took a shower".
The ovens spumed their unnatural fumes.

Isaac on the altar rose before me
as I stared sunken-eyed at my saviours.

Today I laugh gaily,
romping with my loved ones
on the golden shores of the Promised Land.

I am Isaac.


Shaun Hull
shull.fl@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Shaun Hull is an Engineering Technician by trade and a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and poet by nature. He has been featured on Voices For Africa, poetry super highway in the 2005 Holocaust edition and winning writers critique by Jendi Reiter. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio and tons of stuff he can never find.He also has samples from his CD: "If The Shoe Fits" at: www.soundclick.com/shaunhull

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Shaun Hull and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

tracks

the track
the door
the hatred…
once awoke by harsh hand
a face malignant non-purity a sword
a mud pit prophet with eagles wings
the flames flicker and souls ride with red nights
by this way or that
commended by an evil god perched upon brick and stone
 
mighty fire walks in tune and forsaken a fury by a concubine of hate
we shall overcome was not an oath or a thought as then a
burning crucible of death smiles down and for whom a bell sings
 
a master warns and writes and speaks a deaths head toil
they believe and they believe
to save to no one but them and to sacrifice them all

death becomes all of us though it becomes to us almost to no one but the all of us
the ravage of a race whilst a prophet of death in a burning light
and a prince of fools bound to an idol of eagles of gold death beyond the senses

death becomes the prayer of the small dust of man as books on a funeral pyre
and they sit and smile as fire heats the soul of man into the air of kings
in a lake of death the concrete mansion burns into memory of man.


Stanley H. Barkan
cccpoetry@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Stanley H. Barkan is the publisher of Cross-Cultural Communications, which, to date, has produced some 400 titles in 50 different languages.mailto: His own work has been published in 15 collections, including primarily Jewish-thematic poems, The Sacrifice (1995), From the Garden of Eden (1995), O Jerusalem (1996), Under the Apple Tree / Pod jablonia (1998), Bubbemeises& Babbaluci (2001), Naming the Birds (2002), and Mishpocheh (2004). The latest is ABC of Fruits and Vegetables (2012). He was the 1991 New York City’s Poetry Teacher of the Year (awarded by Poets House and the Board of Education) and the 1996 winner of the Poor Richard’s Award,“The Best of the Small Presses” (awarded by the Small Press Center), for “25 years of high quality publishing,” and the 2011 recipient of the PLR Lifetime Service to Literature Award.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Stanley H. Barkan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Great Synagogue
(Nagy Zsinagógu, Budapest)

At last I’m sitting
on one of the two benches
before the Nagy Zsinagógu,
The Great Synagogue, in Budapest.

Pigeons peck along the stone,
a woman lies stretched out,
resting her hand on the arm
of some arm-outstretched man.

Trees intersperse
the square concrete flower pots
surrounding the wide, empty,
spacious front expanse.

It is Shabbos,
but the synagogue is closed.
Damage by Hungarians & Nazis
has left it in need of restoration.

A memorial to Ràoul Wallenberg,
a metal weeping willow,
lists of names in stone cenotaphs,
some tombstones in the courtyard.

High overhead, great onion-like,
seven-sided cupolas,
clocks in each
direction of the compass.

Iron grillwork surround
various-pointed & five-pointed stars.
Reading Foder’s Guide, I learn
of the Foundation to help restore.

It’s named for Emanuel Schwartz,
The father of Tony Curtis
(né Bernard Schwartz),
who came from the Bronx.

My mother’s family
lived in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Suddenly, I realize . . .
He’s my cousin!

“Manny” Schwartz
was my grandfather’s
my mother’s father’s
first cousin.

Tony—“Bernie,”
his son—my cousin.
Everywhere relationships,
Some long known and ignored.

Some discovered,
re-discovered
in a place like this
in another part of the world.

Tony Curtis—my cousin—
Founder of a foundation
to restore the largest
synagogue in Europe!

My family!


Stephen Mead
mead815@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short collage-films and poetry/music mp3s. Much can be learned of his multi-media work by placing his name in any search engine. His latest project-in-progress, a collaborative effort with composer Kevin MacLeod, is entitled "Whispers of Arias", a two volume download of narrative poems sung to music, http://stephenmead.amazingtunes.com/ His latest Amazon release, ““Weightless”, a poetry-art hybrid, is a meditation on mortality and perseverance.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Glass Cuttings

A heart blown open flaps, is
a shutter. After being caught
in the crossfire we wonder:
what cause?
Artillery on each side,
thunderheads rumbling,
engines which drone—-
This is the sky,
ominous clot.
We are beneath it, in-
conspicuous, smuggling love.
The setting is smoke filled,
a German war scene on some movie.
The danger’s subliminal, an
undercurrent which rustles, apprehends
edges, goes slow mo, goes—-
Am I sinking before you?
Up, up, you can’t seem to catch.
Who shut the sound down?
Your face, such a pale shape,
that blur I——
Freeze the frame. Cut the shot.
It’s precise as a negative
with light flooding behind,
imaging absence, the only
proof ...we ...have


Steven Sher
shlomosher@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am the author of 14 books including, most recently, Grazing on Stars: Selected Poems (Presa Press, 2012) and The House of Washing Hands (Pecan Grove Press, forthcoming summer 2013). More information about my work can be found at stevensher.net. My wife and I moved from NYC to Jerusalem in 2012.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Steven Sher and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Despite Our Small Number

We are nothing
but a grain of sand
blown in the eye

and yet our foes
convince the world
they’re going blind—

that single drop of wine
in a glass of water
they imagine red.


Susan Olsburgh
olsburgh.susan@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Olsburgh made aliyah from North East England in 2010. She is a member of Voices Israel. She lives in Ramat Poleg, near Netanya on the coast of Israel.mailto: In the UK Susan taught English Literature and British Culture at local colleges and universities. Susan’s parents were fortunate to be able to leave Nazi Germany in 1938 and found refuge in the UK.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Susan Olsburgh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Grantham Station

I had an epiphany in
Grantham station.

The train stopped but the
Doors were locked;
An unscheduled stop.
It was warm and there
Was still a long way to go.

My mind transported to
Those other trains of not so long ago,
Without buffet and bar,
No seats, no tables.
No welcoming steward’s
Self-important voice.
No mobile phones or
Comfortable choice,
“Window or non-smoking?”,
What paper to read, a vacant loo.
No information given.
Just driven,
Packed together,
To an unknown end,
Crowded, herded,
Burdened with anxieties.
No space then for
The usual proprieties.

And many of those
Travellers must earlier
Have had such moments as mine –
A delayed journey,
Something on the line –
Unsuspecting a future
Ride would be so hard to bear.

Although I knew all
That had happened –
I have read about it,
Seen the films,
The documentary evidence,
Heard the testimonies –
As I was halted in Grantham station
I felt I had been there too.


Sy Roth
sydad@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

He comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. cRetired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, New York far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as Earthborne, Nostrovia, Cyclamens and Swords, The Germ, Rockhurst Review, Toucan, Wilderness Interface Zone, Red Ochre, Bong is Bard, Danse Macabre, Mel BraKe Press, Larks Fiction Magazine, Exercise Bowler, Otoliths, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, brief, The Weekenders, The Squawk Back, Bareback Magazine, Dead Snakes, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Peripheral Surveys, Scapegoat Review, The Artistic Muse, Inclement, Napalm and Novocain, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, Subliminal Interiors, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, The Penwood Review, The Rampallian, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Full of Crow, Abisinth Literary Review, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Wilderness House Literary Review, St. Somewhere Journal, Carcinogenic Poetry, The Neglected Ratio, Windmills Magazine and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Also selected Poet of the Week in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology published by Kind of Hurricane Press, March 2013. A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dies Irae Requiem of Defiance

Days ahead turn ashen
memories of a Bosch-horror pastiche,
mishmash of Durer-etched days
bathed in acid neither withdrawn or deposited,
left to languish in empty accounts.

Humans forego humanity,
rest their tired bodies at the base of
newly formed mountains,
toss right into the ash heap
overlooked by gargantuan, pince-nezed eyes
emotionless, staring off into the void.

They overlook the mounded dumps
not sickened by the corpse-gas
that seeps from the ground.
Inchoate silence for the heaped high, tattooed refuse.
A testament to the others blinded by their forgetfulness.

Sing songs to those times,
songs only of judgment.
Hang the lyrics about their necks
those who ravish and humiliate.
Create the day when
those armies moan and lay battered,
supplicants at the base of those mounds,
justice scales evenly balanced
accounts settled for the greater good
doused in songs of liberty,
requiem of defiance of the oppressors.


Tamara Tabel
nappingcat@sbcglobal.net

Bio (auto)

Tamara Tabel lives in Barrington, Illinois and is a copywriter and marketer, and president of Napping Cat Communications. Tamara has a BA in Journalism/Advertising and is a graduate of the Great Books Program, University of Chicago. She is Chair of the Barrington Writers Workshop, serves on the Barrington Cultural Commission and is a founding Board Member of the Barrington Cultural Arts Center. She writes poetry and fiction, and is at work on an historical novel. Her poem “Tulip” appears in the anthology A Midnight Snack, by Poetic License Press. Her poem, "The Color of Her Eyes", appeared in Quintessential Barrington magazine.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Tamara Tabel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Arbeit Macht Frei

Dachau 2012
 
We saunter through manicured trails
as the mid-morning sun breaks through
the thick cover of trees in streaks of brilliant light.
Birds flutter, rattle the deep green leaves
of trees bursting full with summer foliage.
It is impossibly peaceful.
 
We push past the iron gates,
Arbeit Macht Frei, Work Brings Freedom,
snap our pictures, check our watches—
we have only 45 minutes to look.
Threading through the stark wooden buildings,
we stand before dim black and white images
of harrowed men in thick, striped pants, 
coarse denim shirts, their shoulders slumped,
their eyes defeated dots of black.
 
We are told prisoners were forced to stand
in blazing heat, tortured cold for hours, three times
a day; made to carry their own dead
to the square, the neat sweep of barracks
stretching behind them like regimented tombstones;
the stick trees offering no shade, no barrier
from winter’s frigid winds; no protection from guards’
callous canes and clubs.
 
Who I am to stand tall and strong and safe
in this barren square, amidst these memories of misery?
I should suffer, too. Deny myself even a sip of water,
a crumb of bread. I should stand beneath the sun’s relentless
rays until I can feel the rough of cloth upon my skin, the sharp
of stones pinching through thin-soled shoes, the burn
of watching eyes, sore of bruise, dry crack in the back of throat,
the numb of mind, slow of limb, gnaw of hollow stomach
 
from too many hungers, too little bread,
until my body sways with ache for sleep, until I can not
stand for a single moment more, crumbling
to the ground like a building collapsing
in upon itself, cursing my body for failing,
yet thankful to succumb, finally,
to the blissful peace of death.
 
Perhaps, I would remember in those last fleeting
seconds, the days of peace and plenty, the warmth
of home; the plump, cool of my mother’s arms; the quiet
rooms snaked with the scent of fatted grease of chicken;
before the shattering night of Kristallnacht, before
I was seized from sleep into protective custody, before
the eyes of neighbors turned cold, before Sow Jew, Filth Jew,
Stink Jew
were spit at me from strangers, before
the world went mad.
 
But it is time to go.  The bus is waiting.


Wanda VanHoy Smith
wandavanhoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

She enjoys traveling the Poetry Super Highway. She traveled down it long ago from the Pacific Northwest where shemailto:grew up among trees and books. She lives in Hermsa Beach and is a regular at Coffee Cartel poetry Tuesday nights.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Wanda VanHoy Smith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Keypunch Secrets

Free trade makes a healthy economy
during the great depression IBM made deals with
Nazi Germany and trains to places like Auschwitz
ran on time thanks to the new technology.

Shela is a product of the computer age.
Proud of her capitalistic roots from a long line
of pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots.
Her grandfather fought in Flanders in WW one
Her father carried a gun in the second world war.
Her mother is proud of her contribution to
freedom and democracy by being a keypunch
operator on early computers big as a room.
Tales of German death camps increases and America
joins forces with allies and IBM ceases dealing
with der Furhrer after a submarine sinks U.S. ships.
Like Rosy the Riveter Shela’s mother works in a
shipyard that build warships to defeat the Nazi regime.

The world goes around and around
free trade is good for economy.
The war ends and soon American streets
welcome the Volkswagen and Ella Fitzgerald scats
Mac The Knife to the master race in a concert in Berlin.
Only lately does Shela learn from the Village Voice that
IBM provided the third Reich with keypunch machines,
sorters and tabulators to track and list Jewish citizens.
She would like to believe the VIP didn’t know why
Hitler tabulated lists of citizens by race and religion.
Did they believe it was simply a tool for census taking.
Miscalculation is a shameful error while a lie
to convince the world it didn’t really happen is a sin.
Denial won’t make the numbers go away.
Shela is grateful her tattoo is a dove not a number.
Some things like the holocaust can not be erased.


Zvi A. Sesling
zviasesling@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling edits Muddy River Poetry Review and reviews for Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene. He authored King of the Jungle (Ibbetson Street Press, 2010), Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva Press, 2011) and Fire Tongue, due from Cervena Barva Press in 2013.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

O The Boxcars

O the boxcars filled with Jews
like sheep shunted off to camps

Filled with the smell of sweat
the smell of fear the smell of death

Filled with the dying, the soon to die
filled with grandparents, parents, children

All carrying what they
could in one suitcase

O the boxcars filled with human sheep
the end of the tracks more than a shearing

with little bleating at a quiet ending
a noisy ending no one cares

O the boxcars transports of death, trains of
indignity, no way out, the end of the line is the end


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