April 28-May 5: 16th Annual Yom HaShoah Issue

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

Ashira Malka
Austin McCarron
Barry Hellman
Brenda Levy Tate
Carol Kanter
Carol Dorf
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Clint Hirschfield
Colin Lichen
Colin McCandless
Daniel S. Irwin
Dave Ludford
David Fraser
Deborah L. Wymbs
Dimitris Lyacos
Donal Mahoney
Emer Davis
Esther Sender
Fern G. Z. Carr
Firestone Feinberg
Helen Bar-Lev
I.B. Iskov
I.B. Rad
Jan Theuninck
Jannie Dresser
Jean Colonomos
Judith R. Robinson
Laura W. Grills
Letitia Minnick
Lucio Munoz
Maja Trochimczyk
Marsha Carow Markman
Michael Duke
Michael Brownstein
Michael Jerry Tupa
Michael Virga
Nancy Shiffrin
Nancy Scott
Nicholas Messenger
Paul Strohm
Philip Johnson
Ron Kolm
Roz Levine
S.A. Griffin
Sherman Pearl
Stacey Zisook Robinson
Stanley H. Barkan
Zvi A. Sesling


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


Ashira Malka
2cpoetry@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ashira Malka is an Israeli-American all-around culture-creator with a worldly vibe who lives in Rockville, Maryland, where all the Israelis live! Ashira loves people, from whatever side of some line or other they may have been born, at the same time is not an apologist, and would eagerly meet people who share a compatible view. www.2CPoetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Ashira Malka and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Seeing the Light

I’d rather not see
light gleaming serenely
through a lamp shade
made
of my children’s skin
but somehow,
it’s the theft of
art
that’s being called
the greatest
crime
of the twentieth
century.

Originally published in
Poetica magazine’s
fall 2013 edition


Austin McCarron
mccarron.ahc@live.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Poems published in various magazines such as Poetry Salzburg Review, Camel Saloon, Message in a Bottle and others. Austin McCarron lives in London.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Austin McCarron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Arriving at Auschwitz

God of stone wishes,
forsaken blankets,
God of stinking villages,
malignant pride,
God of immense shadows,
drunken noises, fiery wells,
give me ears to see:
the night follows me like a
stream of chaos, like a river
of snow, and I capture the
moon with a sideways glance,
and I am lost,
like hair of corpses,
like spirits of broken words.

By morning I walk in shoes
of futile searches, in puddles
of electric rain. By morning
the sun is over and the smoke
rises like children of unstoppable
trains.
I escape torture in the body of air.
Among lovers of music I am silent.
Tremendous wire I press like skin
on the face of time.
Religious impulses I repress with
ovens of half eaten flames.
Much later I approach famine in the
home of deathly meals and friends
I pass in the street
speak to me without hunger or shame.


Barry Hellman
bmhellman@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Barry Hellman is a clinical psychologist and poet , organizes and hosts poetry and music events , publishes Barry Hellman’s Cape Cod Poetry Group on Facebook, and leads poetry workshops. His poems have appeared in Writers’ Journal, Five Hundred Tuesdays, The Aurorean, Cape Cod’s Literary Voice, World of Water/World of Sand, Poetica, PrimeTime, Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Still Crazy Literary Magazine, Muddy River, Comstock Review, Cape Cod Poetry Review, and in poetry broadsides. A chapbook, The King Of Newark, was published by Finishing Line Press. He lives in Eastham, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Barry Hellman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Shoah Train

After three miles they will give us bread.
But for now we are tied
to each other’s fingers and arms.
To the hair and bones of another.
Someone asks:
Why is this happening?
Because we walked on the street past nine.
Another asks:
Why are we given food
with buttons and pins mixed in?
Because someone sang.
Because we have nothing on
under our clothes.
Because our teeth are made of gold.
We lie on the floor like spoons:
practice for being in a bunk,
for going through a chimney,
for turning left instead of right.
A whistle sounds all the way
to the gate, down to the room
where luggage disappears.
When the doors open
we’ll be with men who love music.
They’ll take us to a factory
with no windows.
Show us how to make bricks
out of clay and ash.
If it’s cold where we sleep
I’ll become the blanket
for my wife. For my child.
And I’ll stand at the end of the line
because the soup is thicker
at the bottom. There’s a risk
in being last – nothing may be left
when you reach the kettle.
But you do foolish things in this place.
Like waiting for your father to return.
Or folding your clothes at night.
Putting them aside, so they won’t wrinkle.


Brenda Levy Tate
faranya@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I live in southwest Nova Scotia on the banks of the Tusket River, where I garden and watch the seasons move forward. Like the river, I am no longer young.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Brenda Levy Tate and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Night of Falling Crystal

November 10, 1938

Sparkles bloom on the sidewalk;
a starry garden reflects street lamps
and indifferent sky, the light travelling
from somewhere past heaven’s edge.
It arrives years after its source has glared
and cindered – illusion we choose
to mistake for hope.

I tiptoe through the blink of wine goblets
and carved bowls meant for wedding gifts.
The glassy surface grinds my soles
like time, that old antagonist circling us
since Moses.

An aproned woman shows me her hands,
their gashes dark under the moon.
Two boys trace initials in grained dust.
Rabbi Halevi drifts among our ruins,
whispers to a moaning shopkeeper,
gapes at the hollow

and splintered storefronts.

These scars will weep a hundred years –
three hundred, a thousand – an uncapped
well of grief. No rain can sluice away all
our broken constellations. Not even

the King of the Universe brings solace here.
Our very air is mute.

Framed by lost windows, the interior
ghosts cringe behind plastered beams.
Nobody wants to be first to enter. Nobody
wants to look inside a place that cannot
look back. We clot the pavement,
mourners at a sudden death.

"Our patience terrifies them," my father says.
"Savlanut, daughter. We will endure
because we must, until not one of us remains."
He holds his dustpan and corn broom
as fiercely as any rifle and bayonet.

Dawn will catch on the sharpness,
tear itself to pieces. The cobbled horizon
glimmers with its beautiful lie.


Carol Kanter
cnkan@cnkanter.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Kanter’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Atlanta Review gave her International Merit Awards in 1998, 2003 and 2005 before publishing two of her poems. Finishing Line Press published her two chapbooks: "Out of Southern Africa," (2005); "Chronicle of Dog," (2006). wo poetry books-No Secret Where Elephants Walk, and Where the Sacred Dwells, Namaste (DualArts Press, 2010 and 2012) marry Carol’s poems to her husband’s photography from Africa and from India, Nepal and Bhutan. (See www.DualArtsPress.com) Carol has a B.A. in biology, an M.A. in Clinical Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Her psychotherapy practice is in Evanston, IL.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Carol Kanter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Haunted House

I. Survivor (to Her Daughter)

……………….…Phantom hands
drag on barbed wire loops
countless still shots

of all my dead
who I remember to keep
alive. They stalk my dreams.

I never meant to hand
these nightmares down but,
given what I went through,

you see I had no choice.
So, ach! you must excuse me,
after all I’ve done for you;

and offer me forgiveness
I cannot give myself,
not seeing for the life of me
how I have any right to be.

II. Daughter’s Response

……………….…On and on
your barbed wire loop drags
pictures I can almost see:

relatives I never met but know
you charge me to save them
so they won’t get lost.

I hold them in my dreams;
but still you scream out
in the night. I try

to remember to thank
you and God for everything,
and only blame myself

when I want more, because
it’s bad to wish so long
as you can’t rest.

III. Adult Daughter’s Response

Ghosts pull less
since I cut the barbed wire down

and secured our still shot family
history in a spectral photo album

which I try only to look through
on remembrance days, announcing

for your grandkids each great-great-
who gave us noses, initials, a belief

that we deserve to live. We honor
them by resting easy in their names.

IV. Granddaughter’s Response

I found old barbed wire in our attic.

Its smoky points
sometimes rip at me in dreams.

Let’s use it for a fence
to keep out those bad guys you say
might come again.

I want to ask you
why would they bother us?
what would they blame us for?
who outside our family can you trust?

I want to ask you
not to always work so hard
to remember,
to make God write you in the Book.
Rest. Come play with me

so you see
how good it is to be alive.


Carol Dorf
carol.dorf@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Dorf’s poetry has been published in "Moria," "Spillway," "Sin Fronteras," "Antiphon," "Composite," "Occupy SF," "Fringe," "About Place," "The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics," "Scientific American," "Maintenant," "OVS" "Best of Indie Lit New England," and elsewhere. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing and teaches mathematics at Berkeley High School.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Carol Dorf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Early Morning Train

After Claude Monet The Train in the Snow
1875 Musee Marmottan, Paris

Did I tell you that whenever I see a train
in a European landscape, I feel nervous. Well
maybe not a commuter train, but one
of those large engines with smoke rising

above the tracks, and those brick buildings
in the background, fences alongside the track.
This summer, going from Enchede to Berlin, alone
on the train. Well, it was a commuter train

with plenty of windows to watch the landscape.
So much water. Those games we played,
when I was a child, a long time ago.
Almost all of those nazis are dead

though there’s always something else,
like Skinheads and new Nationalists.
I thought the kossaks were gone too,
but they are back attacking Pussy Riot

on live TV. I understood my parents as paranoid,
and my daughter thinks the same of me.
Snowy landscape with a line of bare trees.
Pink sky at morning.


KJ Hannah Greenberg
drkarenjoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jerusalemite KJ Hannah Greenberg is grateful, every day, for her chance to live in the Holiest City. Her newest books include: Jerusalem Sunrise (Imago Press, 2014, Forthcoming), The Little Temple of My Sleeping Bag (Dancing Girl Press, 2014, Forthcoming), Simple Gratitudes (Propertius Press, 2014, Forthcoming), The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles (Bards and Sages Publishing, 2013), and Citrus-Inspired Ceramics (Aldrich Press, 2013). She is the author of seven other published books, one musical, and hundreds of individually published pieces of literature.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Our Quiet Reprisal

Yemin Moshe, near dawn,
Shared birthdays, weddings,
Alongside Sabbas and Savtas,
Among cedars, acacias, myrtle,
Oleaster, with renewed veneration
For all 613 mitzvot, conveys return.

The shuk, almost at breakfast time,
Where sipping, nibbling, frequenting
Dairy restaurants, grills, falafel stands,
Mended families, reacquainted strangers,
Pinchas’ cold blooded execution of Zimri,
Cosbi, announces Torah’s stanch resilience.

Nachalot, just ’bout any time of day,
Thru lively phizogs, bountiful middles,
Enveloped bending, swaying, otherwise
Praying, calling Father, hosting yeshiva
Boys, seminary girls, on Sabbaths, hagim,
All manner of future vows, joy links lineage.

The City of David, ’round high noon,
Eternal tapers, carefully articulated mots,
Blessings, infinite networks, G-d and man,
Man and man, doorposts and gates secured,
Protected, mezuzah-adorned, Shema-guarded,
Chushim’s legacy, eliminates compeers of Esau.

The hills of Har Nof, exactly sunset,
Storefronts and shuls, wigged matrons,
Sticky children, soldiers enjoying leave,
Bustling gemachim: cars seats, medicines,
Food, linens, extra portions for widows, orphans,
Kallot, mentally indigent, well tends our new bonds.

This Holy City, throughout the night,
Hallel’s urged b’tochen, Zechariah’s Book
Of the Prophets, songs and visions of Moshiach,
We’ve completed mourning. The klal praises Hashem,
The Triumph of His kingdom, here, now, forevermore.
Golden limestone, holy people, divine plan, quiet reprisal.


Clint Hirschfield
ranger4man@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Clint Hirschfield lives in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Clint Hirschfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Meek Coaxed Comfort
from a Loved One’s Hand

Entering into the portal of the insane
lies held dread, truth was sudden shock
the killers spoke rough and plainly.

Sleep was never penetrated very long
for humans besieged in cramped box cars,
even the strong couldn’t supersede.

Out of the ghetto on a railway line;
all night the clack of the train and tracks
played, destroying the belief in one’s
own self defense.

Hero’s that stayed to fight the conviction
eventually took their turn with tortures time.


Colin Lichen
g.another@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Colin Lichen lives and, when pressed, works in London, England. He considers himself fortunate to have been published in various periodicals – online and on paper. He deeply regrets the passing of his hair.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Colin Lichen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Curtain Call 2014

For a while we were the stars in a play that ran
far longer than any critic predicted.
And whilst the wardrobe was drab; the set uninspired;
the script repetitive; the direction wooden and the timing
of the supporting cast
questionable – we gave the part our all.
And with the final act we brought the house down.


Colin McCandless
CMcCandless@cydc.org

Bio (auto)

Colin McCandless works as a PR/Marketing Coordinator for a nonprofit in Charleston, SC, that serves at-risk youth. In his leisure time he enjoys crafting poetry and short stories and writing freelance articles.

 

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Colin McCandless and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nightmare Train

They came and stole our neighbors away
Snatched them up in the light of day
Piled them like cargo onto a crowded train
Women and children cried out in vain
Screaming for help that never came
Each passenger a person with a story and a name
For most it would be their final chapter
Tracks transporting them in to the hereafter


Daniel S. Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin from Sparta, IL. Native of Southern Illinois. As my card reads: artist, actor, writer, soldier, scholar, priest. Retired military. Retired prison medic. Just retired doing my thing.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Daniel S. Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Reflection

It is not as it was when here as a child.
The wire now rusty, the people gone.
I think back on a time most strange.
Life uncertain among friends, neighbors.
Pleas to God seemingly unanswered.
Tears, cries to Heaven. Terror and sadness.
Subdued defiance against the inevitable.
Wherein lies the justice, O Lord?
Yet,
Forgive my questioning Your will.
Some day, unfold to me the reason, the why.
I weep beyond comfort.

Comes a gentle whisper on the wind….
Remember, remember.


Dave Ludford
dave.ludford@outlook.com

Bio (auto)

I live in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, and write poetry and short stories.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Dave Ludford and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Inspiration

Peace
Reconciliation
Remembrance
Love
A day of reflection
Times change (but often remain the same)
Your voices speak to us, still
Warning: this happens
When no-one says
No
No more

I’m listening.


David Fraser
ascentaspirations@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, BC, on Vancouver Island. He is the editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine. His poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and recently this year in Tesseracts 18. He has published five collections of poetry and is a member of the League of Canadian Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by David Fraser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Last Witness

I have a short worn-down pencil
and a tattered note-pad.
I sit slumped in a long trench
I’ve dug myself along with others
who lie in a tangle at my feet.
I have chosen this corner at the end
so the sun can still hit my face,
so the sun can still hit my face.
I scribble this brief note even as the others
from above throw shovels full of dirt on us.
I’m frantic for the sun and these words
to flow onto the page.
I’m putting the sunshine and the words,
into a zip-lock bag that I’ve concealed
inside my mouth, not sure if this ploy
will work,
but I’m
compelled
to try.


Deborah L. Wymbs
lennie_cox@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Deborah L. Wymbs grew up in Chicago, Illinois and recently began writing fiction and poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Deborah L. Wymbs and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Devil is the Demon

Nazi beliefs damp mold fog
Stealing unstable consciousness
Making those who stood calm
Silent and watching
Sew their mouths shut-
corn shuck unstable consciousness
They slept while standing
The stench of black mold
Slides beneath their noses undetected
But we, the people of Never Again,
Know the demon in his skin.


Dimitris Lyacos
(translated by Shorsha Sullivan)

shorshasullivan@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Dimitris Lyacos is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy, one of the leading examples of contemporary European avant- garde literature. Originally written in Greek, the three books (Z213: EXIT, With the people from the bridge, The first death), have been translated into English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese and performed across Europe and the USA. Dimitris Lyacos is Fellow at the International Writing Program, University of Iowa. Dimitris Lyacos lives in Berlin. Visit Dimitris on the web here: www.lyacos.net

Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has a special interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry. Shorsha Sullivan lives in London.

 

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Dmitris Lyacos and Shorsha Sullivan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Z213 Exit (excerpt)

Who are they preparing again for tonight? The scum of
the morning
outside the doors, drained heap, arms and legs
as if of statues, half-covered in mud,
and they wait, how could they go (hollow and rotten
boats swallow them to nowhere,

to nowhere all together, with the smell of the earth closing
above, their good hope shut down again). And the
rest in a train where to, from a world that was,
until they arrive to where, far, where you can’t feel, nothing
reaches your ears your nose,

only fear. And suspicions, sidelong glances tiredness,
each one a bodiless wing. Striking in the mind one by one
and together, squalls of sea-corpses, hooves of iron horses
sunken wheels, chains that sprout from the mud,
a friend at your side that weeps. And yet

in these cavities, light from ruined arms gleams
like a candle as once in those country churches of
Christians, gathering coffins around them. These are
the very ones now buried, naked, and their bodies have
rotted
quicker now, without cries and grief

and delay. And yet the steps are heard at midday,
songs, death that sings through the womb of
your mother, of the women that strive to rise up
from the clay. Or hide it under their tongues, like a

secret, which if you had known you would not have
returned.
And yet the mind always returns to the places it will not
return,
it grows faint, I grew faint with all that on my mind, in the
end
this bit does not fit anywhere, me, the head
sagging, the road leading away from the window the
astonishment that
you still stand, as the pale lights outside were making me
drowsy,

needles injecting straight into the eyes. And yet, I grasp
that the road runs also inside me, I see, as if it were eagles
that
had come down over the ruins stooping, breasts open
over the lungs, hearts, withered
lost. And your brother at your side to weep.

Remember that old story no more, let go, it has already
sunk
enough, that world behind you will not emerge again
from the dark
already died, no eyes to look upwards, no head
to peep out from the shell. Just a bone
that reminded you of something, but not for long any more.

We left behind us this harbour as well, now we approach,
the sea
has already appeared the rock of the burnt out Lighthouse
they were telling you of
I am now far away, yet I still think of you for a while that
you, your cities exhausted, the aged

children, the loves with bad teeth, the carriages full of
the drowned, the truth that tightens, around what happened
it tightens,
you say it, they gather together, a circle, the gallows,the trees,
the fruit that does not fall on the ground, the bodies that
broke from affection,
the friend you don’t see and don’t hear,

look still that beside you


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis Missouri. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/ and some of his newer work at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.gpbT6XZy.dpbs

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

High Colonics in Berlin

The Nazis call her Hilda,
this ancient woman who
makes a simple living in
a bathroom in Berlin
giving high colonics
to constipated officers.

She helps each man
settle in the tub and asks
"Are you comfortable?"
and then she slides
the nozzle in and says
"Here it comes, Mein Herr!"
and turns the pressure
on full blast.

She loves to hear the officer
yell and curse as water
scalding hot crumples him
and he can’t make it
to the toilet.
Hilda apologizes
for the accident
and leaves the room to
let the Nazi wallow in
his excrement and stench.

Hilda’s real name is
Aviva Goldfarb Stein.
She was a surgeon once,
had a brother die at Dachau
and uses high colonics
hotter than Gehenna
one bastard at a time.


Emer Davis
bunnacurry.davis5@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Emer Davis, born and raised in Ireland, currently lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has several poems published in Ireland, UK, USA and UAE. She performs regularly at the Rooftop Rhythms Open Mic Poetry Sessions in Abu Dhabi.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Emer Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Home Strike

Streaks of grey hung above
shades of monochrome
moving fast across the sky.

Huddled among soggy branches
her drizzled face
peeking through over grown briars,
droning engines rumbling overhead.

A barrage of smoky pellets
camouflaged in the cheerless sky
thundering down.


Esther Sender
esmishpacha@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Esther Sender and I live in Jerusalem.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Esther Sender and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Your Poem

And the day you arrived to come live with us in Israel, age 93, I ran up the stairs with a bouquet of roses, thinking of the 100 rose bushes your mother had planted in her garden in Hungary, the 100 roses written about in your poems, and the 100 roses that kept you alive in your dreams.
And when I came up the stairs of the building and opened the door to the small apartment we rented for you, there you sat at the head of the table in the small room surrounded by a majestic aura form another world that clung to you through the waters of the Danube, and past the house that took you shivering in the night.
And you did not forget one of them that saved you. Not one.
Actually, the first thing I think of when I hear the word, no one wants to hear,–Holocaust,– I think of you, my dear father-n-law. Your blue haunted eyes, that replace so easily with the joy at seeing your children’s children.
"Like babbling brooks," you’d say about their jumping all over the room.
And when we took you for your first walk around our streets in Jerusalem, pushing you over the cracked sidewalks, I bent and asked, "How do you feel?"
And you said, "I feel home."
And I never forget those words, and the way you said them with your poet’s pauses.
You were a poet to the last day, –
The poet father I never had.

You’d tell me stories and I’d listen like a child.
About the times you worked on tracks to Auschwitz, How you heard familiar screams, and saw her there, your beautiful wife, through the cracks, her hand reaching, begging for water.
And how you ran and ran after the train throwing bottles of water at it’s door. The butt of the rifle for that courageous act still marked your arm.
And you’d try to teach me lessons.
Life through stories and parables–
But I couldn’t sit with you as long as you’d wanted–
Because I had dinner to make,and clothes to fold.
So I’d forget to visit for a day, — or two.
You’d sit by the window watching a tree.
But I couldn’t understand, I was 29.
Then one day I came,–
And you were covered with a blanket.
And I can’t remember if I cried, –
Because I had to take care of the children,
And how to tell them.
And it maybe I remember you telling me you didn’t cry either in the middle of it all,–
And the one thing you ever asked was that we publish your story,
And we never did that yet because I never believed in giving beasts advertisement for free, in hanging up the beaten Jew, but I do believe in preserving the honor as you did through your kindness and in your not hating–
And if today I can not print your story, I would like to at least publish your poem.


Fern G. Z. Carr
fgzcarr@shaw.ca

Bio (auto)

FERN G. Z. CARR is a lawyer, teacher and past president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals currently residing in Kelowna BC, Canada. A member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets, she composes and translates poetry in five languages. Carr is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee and has been cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana literary movement in India. She has been published extensively world-wide from Finland to the Seychelles. Some of her poetry was assigned reading for a West Virginia University College of Law course entitled "Lawyers, Poets, and Poetry". Canadian honours include: an online feature in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper; poetry set to music by a Juno-nominated musician; and her poem, "I Am", chosen by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. One of Carr’s haiku is even included on a DVD sent to Mars on NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. www.ferngzcarr.com

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Fern G. Z. Carr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Devil

The devil greedily licked his lips
..as the lambs were led to the slaughter,
perched on his haunches cackling derisively
..and salivating unholy water;
mercilessly he lay in wait
..tail flicking like savage beast
as the masses fell prey to his guile
..they indulged in carnivorous feast -
the blood dripped from their greedy lips
..as they witnessed with glazed eyes
the carnage that only brainwashed minds
..could ever realize.

With forked tongue the devil enticed man
..down the slippery slope,
inciting patriots to genocide
..as the Fatherland’s only hope,
"Inferiors contaminate our master race!
..They are a genetic mutation!
The final solution for these lowly vermin
..is wholesale extermination!"
the devil shrieked as his flared nostrils
..snorted cyanide gas
into the death camps of Auschwitz
..where millions were murdered en masse.

What blinded the devil’s henchmen
..to such depraved animosity,
to so obediently perpetuate
..these vehement atrocities?
It began insidiously
..with propaganda and misplaced blame,
leading to suspension of freedoms
..in justice’s name.
Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass,
..proved an ominous sign -
a flight from pandemonium
..thwarting the devil’s design.

Cordoned off into ghettos some of the lambs
..were held in submission,
exposed to poverty and disease
..they were incapable of opposition;
others were callously executed
..randomly on the spot -
a period of intense culpability
..that history never forgot.
The devil flexed his muscles as
..he seethed with murderous lust,
reveling in hateful sadism
..and betraying his country’s trust.

The lambs were lured into the Devil’s clutches
..via deportation;
with cunning lupine rhetoric
..he ordered their transportation
unfittingly in cattle cars
..not worthy of his bleating beasts,
packed so tightly their movement restrained,
..they could barely breathe.
Ruthlessly flocks were rendered asunder –
..ewes separated from rams,
perversely mocking the innocence
..of these tender little lambs

whose juicy flesh would soon be cleansed
in preparation for the altar -
a sacrificial rampage
from which he’d never falter.
"Move rats! You will be deloused!
Step quickly into the shower!"
he howled triumphantly
in an orgy of diabolical power;
unable to fathom any method
to the madness of his sinister plot,
the terrified lambs couldn’t predict
those to be gassed and those not.

Hiding his profanity from the outside world
..was an act of cowardice,
attempting to disguise his vicious obsession
..and genocidal avarice;
yet smoke still belched from crematoria
..with tell-tale acrid smell,
unable to camouflage the flames
..of those who burned in hell.
But the devil forgot that the bible proclaims
.."The meek shall inherit the Earth,"
in fact, the lambs were courageous survivors
..who never lost sight of their worth -

despite lack of food, abuse, disease
..and experimentation,
they valiantly fought to exist,
..escaping hell’s conflagration,
surmounting astronomical odds,
..defiantly and with persistence,
they ensured their children’s future
..by their tenacious resistance;
these traumatized heroes were survivors
..right to their very core,
tragically, they bear the devil’s brand
..of the ravages of war.

First published in D-Day 68’th Anniversary Anthology


Firestone Feinberg
firestonefeinberg@fea.st

Bio (auto)

Firestone Feinberg lives in New York City. He is a retired high school music teacher. His work has been published online and in print.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Firestone Feinberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Commemoration of the
Warsaw Ghotto Uprising

The grayness that coats everything
Covers this day more than others –
Memorial isn’t easy;
We remember the trauma –
The terror — the horror — the
Inhumanity — and we grieve for
Those who fought, who suffered, who died –
For the murdered, the slain, the
Violated, the tortured — and

We want to know why — and we ask — and
And we have nothing anymore — nothing
But questions. Questions. Unanswered.
Questions. Ignored. And we expect nothing.
Not even silence. The screams still sting
Our brains; they crawl in our swollen
Throats as specters of gallows and
Gas chambers and crematoria careen
Like bats over us. And. We. Live.


Helen Bar-Lev
hbarlev@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Helen Bar-Lev was born in New York in 1942. www.helenbarlev.com She has lived in Israel for 43 years and has held over 90 exhibitions of her landscape paintings, 33 of which were one-person shows. Her poems and artwork have appeared in numerous online and print anthologies. Collections: Cyclamens and Swords and other poems about the land of Israel, and The Muse in the Suitcase, both with Johnmichael Simon. In Moonlight the Sky Will Slide with Katherine L. Gordon. EVERYTHING TODAY, a not-what-you-expect book of poetry about colours. All books illustrated by Helen. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013. Helen is Assistant to the President of Voices Israel group of poets in English www.voicesisrael.com and Senior Editor of Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, www.cyclamensandswords.com She lives in Metulla, Israel with her poet-partner Johnmichael Simon.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Justice On a Low Burner

Oh, hell, fire and brimstone
Germany is rounding up
ninety year old men
former faithful
concentration camp guards
living innocently incognito
these seventy years
enfolded in the bosom
of the fatherland, existence ignored

Each trial will last five years at the least
but these seniors will be released
on a modest bail
given their pensioners’ status
and various senior needs:
caretakers, wheel chairs,
diapers, medicines -
let it not be said that the law
shows no compassion

There is a lesson here
for the wise and the wicked
and the cynics amongst us
but we with those curious numbers
tattooed on our arms,
with the ashes of our loved ones
still scorching our throats
with Zyklon B clogging our lungs,
we must admit
that we have not a clue
as to what that lesson is


I.B. Iskov
ibunny@rogers.com

Bio (auto)

I.B. Iskov is the Founder of The Ontario Poetry Society. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and literary journals. Her latest collection "In A Wintered Nest, was published by Serengeti Press, 2013.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by I.B. Iskov and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Where is She?

A young woman, half-smiling, stands in sepia tones,
her light brown hair coiffed like Garbo’s.

My mother, in her better memory, confessed:
This is my sister, Basha. She was my father’s favourite.
Isn’t she beautiful?

My sixteen year old brain racing,
I wondered why
my mother never told me
about this other auntie, about her husband,
my other uncle and their two daughters,
my other cousins.

I wondered why
I never got to visit them
and why my mother’s parents never mentioned
this important person,
their eldest and most attractive, intelligent daughter,
all the years they lived in Canada
after the war.

I looked at my mother full of questions
and asked only one:
Where is she?

My mother, wiping tears, blurted:
She was murdered by the Nazis with her husband and children.

Previously published in The Passover Literary Supplement
of The Canadian Jewish News, March 28, 2013


I.B. Rad
ibradeck@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I.B. and Mrs. Rad live in New York City with their companion Wonderdog. I.B.’s work is readily available on the internet.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Squiggles

As seen on a world map
it’s just a miniscule squiggle,
who’d even think
that teensy squiggle’s home
to several million folks
divided along religious,
racial, ethnic lines.
See how amicably they go about
their daily lives,
greeting one another,
breaking bread together,
occasionally, even intermarrying.
Who’d ever dream
one day
merciless politicians
and their media allies
could ignite
old confined passions
using the same
racial, ethnic, religious lines,
inflaming contending constituents
to stain their squiggle crimson,
accenting
everyone’s blood flows red.


Jan Theuninck
jan.theuninck@belgacom.net

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck (born 7 June 1954), is a Belgian painter and poet. Although born in Zonnebeke, Belgium, and a native speaker of Dutch, he writes in French and occasionally English. His painting is abstract, falling somewhere between minimalism and monochrome expressionism. Theuninck works and lives in Belgium.
http://www.boekgrrls.nl/BgDiversen/Onderwerpen/gedichten_over_schilderijen.htm

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Shoa

wandering jew, damned jew
no words about them are forbidden
suspected of crimes and treason
they have been put in jail

they have been tortured and murdered
in the name of an insane idea
and now – more than ever -
who is next, please ?


Jannie Dresser
janniedres@att.net

Bio (auto)

My name is Jannie Dresser. I live in Crockett, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Jannie Dresser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Removal of Polish Jews to the Warsaw Ghetto

31 October 1940

First they said they could tell a Jew
by his clothes, his smell, his nose,
and they refused entry into homes,
colleges, businesses, and halls.

Next they said the Jew blends in too well;
to make it clear, they changed his suit
and hose, and gave a little star
to place upon the sleeve, a kind of bell.

Some Jews blend in so well; the world
an open book, each one writes a road
to make it clear. By a man’s clothes
he is refused entry into the little star.

The star upon the sleeve, the bell
that marks the Jew, the suit of Hell
worn at sleeve and hem. The clothes
fit loose; roads thick with burning tar.


Jean Colonomos
jcolonomos@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jean Colonomos lives in Topanga, a small mountain town in California. The poem below is based on a true story told to me by my mother-in-law, a Holocaust survivor. This fall Finishing Line Press is publishing Ms. Colonomos’ chapbook, A

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Jean Colonomos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember

REMEMBER

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

REMEMBER

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


Judith R. Robinson
Pghdazzler@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I am a poet, editor and teacher from Pittsburgh, PA. I am editor/author of eight books of poetry and/or fiction.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Judith R. Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wakeful

A Holocaust Sonnet

Forgive her: she is afraid to be
near the spot of brain that bled so;
scared to watch the scab let go,
open up, pour forth, to see
the pool, a bloody flood, again, said she.

Bear up! Bear up! she heard the doctor say.
But half-blunderer, she would hide away,
half-coward, reluctant to know
the feel of risky edges.
She fears the Oberhaupt of Thieves,
the crimson tapestry he weaves
the night terror that he dredges.

Deep sleep might offer sweet release,
But what he comes and steals is peace.


Laura W. Grills
lgrills@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Laura W. Grills lives in Rochester Hills, MI. Her poetry has appeared in Napalm Health Spa and Poetry Super Highway.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Laura W. Grills and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Closer than WE knew

WE wore boots and carried guns
marched on
the ground and
stole lives
from the people who came
for mechanized
murder

disappeared underground

in the place where the Italians talked too loud
but I could hardly
breathe for
fear of
disturbing their sleep [Dachau] read the signs in the barrack but could
not set foot in the bathhouse Adolf
Windeknecht took the
picture of the
Kaiser
down after the first shot was fired saved
me from a holocaust of
could have
been youyou
r people carrying those guns [my people weren’t jewish or polish or homose
x ual or dissident, they were already in America] I was saved
by a war already won
when he left Germany before
the damage to Germany [by Germany, by WE who undo the
humane in humanity, still alive in so many
places, but not like that one] to the
world all of us could
have known but
never will

if only my innocence reading a sign in a foreign place above a gate had
included every-
one who
stayed, maybe a distant cousin
or two might have
benefitted


Letitia Minnick
theroguenun@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Letitia Minnick resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has been writing poetry for as long as she can remember and has been published sporadically over the last several decades. Find more of her work at http://theroguenun.blogspot.com/.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Letitia Minnick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Das Tagebuch

I was Anne Frank’s age
when I read her diary
forty years after she wrote it.

I was sitting quiet
and free
in a clean classroom
wondering what it was like
to be a German in Nazi Germany…

wondering what choices
one makes
when one clearly knows
what’s going on
is wrong
and is too afraid to act…

wondering why fear breeds
both violent action
and non-action…

wondering what I would do
if I knew Anne.


Lucio Munoz
caringlucio@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Independent QLC researcher/consultant who enjoys writing short poetry, short stories, and Haikus to share with friends and family.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Lucio Munoz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sunflowers dying in mass

It was sunny
There was peace
And there were sunflowers
Everywhere.
(Life)

Then, hate came along
Contaminating the air
Destroying everything that was fair
And whole.
(War)

And the sky became so dark
Sunflowers could no longer get sunshine
Dying in mass
Over hills and valleys.
(Death)

It was sunny
Then hate came along
The sky became so dark
Sunflowers dying in mass.
(Sad)


Maja Trochimczyk
maja.trochimczyk@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Maja Trochimczyk, PhD, of Los Angeles, is a Polish-born poet, music historian, and photographer. She published four books on music and four of poetry: Rose Always, Miriam’s Iris, Chopin with Cherries and Meditations on Divine Names. Hundreds of her essays and poems appeared in English, Polish, as well as in German, French, Chinese, Spanish and Serbian translations, in such journals as The Loch Raven Review, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Review, SVGPQ, Cosmopolitan Review, The Scream Online, Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, PSH, Lummox Journal and other venues. www.trochimczyk.net.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Maja Trochimczyk and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Afterimage

The hands stretched out from the barred windows of the freight car,
waving like sea anemones on the shallow reef in the ocean.
Trains went by at night, noisy, unseen, rushing north towards Auschwitz.
This one stopped on the side railroad, waiting for its turn.
They could not go near it. The SS-men and guards all around,
tall, dark figures, with dogs and rifles.

When the train started moving, with faint, fading voices
hands, arms stretched out of the windows,
waving like sea anemones, disappearing,
submerged by time.

Her mother said:
They were going to their deaths.
We could not come up to the train
to give them water, bread.
We peeked through the curtains.
For years, I dreamed
of waving hands.


Marsha Carow Markman
mmarkman@socal.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman earned a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Maryland. She taught in the English Departments of The George Washington University, the University of California at Santa Barbara and is Professor Emerita of California Lutheran University. In addition to literature courses, she taught, "The Holocaust in Literature and Film." Publications include THE AMERICAN JOURNEY (vols. 1 an 2) and WRITING WOMEN’S LIVES with Susan Corey and Jonathan Boe. She has published articles in scholarly journals; was editor and writer of Piri Bodnar’s Holocaust memoir, OUT OF THE SHADOWS; and contributed eight poems to IF WE DANCE . . . , two of which are Holocaust related. Markman divides her time between her home in Woodland Hills and Annapolis, Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Marsha Carow Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

We Will Remember

Should the skies darken once again
the ground tremble
an earthquake leaving
rubble in its wake

we will remember

We for whom forgetting is a sin
silence, the devil’s kiss
hatred, a long and muted memory
a monument to evil

we will remember.


Michael Duke
mjduke.photography@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael J Duke is a photographer who was born in England and spent many years living in Israel. He is involved with a number of photographic groups as well as being a member of Voices Israel group of poets in English. He currently lives in London.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Michael Duke and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Why?

We read our history
There are always excuses
For aggressor natioms
To get out the nooses.

We remember our grief
Ingrained in our head
We pray to the Almighty
For the souls of the dead

The world said in unison
Never again !
And yet still there is warfare
Hatred and pain.

Let us remember
We really must
But please let us learn lessons
Or the world will be bust.


Michael Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com 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). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Day in the Winter and We Are Made to Unload Trains

Dirty grey-white scuttles of gush,
Early small piles of pollen,
Reptilians in dry cleaner suits

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 mask and mist.

These are the last days of the season,
The drinking water no longer clear,
Blood waters gathering near the outhouse,

near the rotten leftovers.


Michael Jerry Tupa
mjt5556@sbcglobal.net

Bio (auto)

Like a slobbering dog, unwisely fed once in a moment of weakness, poetry pursuits have hounded me throughout the past four decades. It followed me through Italy, during two years of religious service, and later remained constantly underfoot during my Marine Corps year, while I journeyed from coast-to-coast, Hawaii and Japan. In the years since, the mutt has become even more attached. I can barely lay my head on coach without it licking my brain, nuzzling my heart and not letting me rest until I feed it again. Ah, well, such is the curse of the restless wanderer. (Currently living in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.)

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Michael Jerry Tupa and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Memory Be Quiet

I don’t want to think
of their names, their faces,
while my plate is full,
while I sill have control
of my future,
while I can walk wherever
I want,
While I can worship
however I want,
While I can exist
in blessed anonymity
among the thriving throng.

I don’t want to think
of their misery, their torture,
or the senseless
hate and depravity
that singled them out
for destruction.
On days when the sun of hope
shines bright
and I expect to rise in freedom
tomorrow,
I hesitate to think of a hopeless yesterday,
when dark hearts prevailed
and evil owned the day
and millions died
and no one cried
until it was too late.


Michael Virga
mavbuon@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

This ekphrastic poem was composed by Michael Virga from his home-city, Birmingham, Alabama. (View the painting that inspired this poem here.)

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Easter and drawing from Chagall’s
White Crucifixion (1938)

all sunrises following the Easter sunrise -
the Easter sunrise shepherds all sunsets Home

Easter
the sun rises
indiscriminately
like a white flag
indivisible
upon the existence
under the same Son

not even the night dreams in the dark
and There is no longer a need to sleep
.
.
.
.

anti-syncretic

massacre organized like a mosaic
mankind lost its marbles
pogrammed for a night of broken glass

stained glass window
drained of its color
in reverse lynching light

concentration of light
for painting not paining
(notice the touch of t is missing)

.
.
.
.

anima vs. anima l

genocide
humanicide
attempted justicide

the human humane
created kind
over mind
over matter

we are not pogrommed to strike
and thunder by fire

justicide
justice can’t be mortally
or morally wounded
just on ice

until the justus of genus
with the genius of Jesus
just regenerates
the genus just
with you all ways
to be kin
and not next of kin

herd from the camp to the fold
Our Father deliver us
from the best laid pograms of the inhumane.
.
.
.
.

Heliocentrethnicity

synchronicity
a human tendency
pro-rhythm since come forth
like food water & creativity

look upon the canvas parable
with a syncretic heart
and at the core the model
of the Master’s centered peace

bearing Heliocentric ethnicity
the king of the kools recumbent
drifting on the linen sheet
navigates our souls out of seasons

à la tallit in an eggwhite limelight
sunbathing without burning


Nancy Shiffrin
nshiffrin@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Nancy Shiffrin is the author of 2 collections of poems The Vast Unknowing, Infinity Publishing, bbotw.com and Game With Variations unibook.com. She lives in Santa Monica.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Nancy Shiffrin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Shoah

1.
Second Cousin Michael just escaped
from a camp where people take showers in ovens
he hid in a Black Forest then waited in another camp
where everyone was cold and hungry
food sticks to his beard his hands tremble
Bobbe strokes a picture
of Uncle Davy who died in the War
when the Germans blew up his submarine
she bursts into tears
Zeyde says "shush Die Kinder!"
Cousin Howie and I go into another room
he says "I went to camp last year
and had to take a shower every night
I didn’t like it but I didn’t run away"
I say I don’t think they mean the same kind of camp

2.
women in line waiting for showers
with mutilated wombs monsters implanted
some refused to be prostitutes
the old woman I feed and bathe
gives me a baby’s trusting smile
I want to bake chollah cannot chant over candles
a thousand women queue up behind my oven
yeasty dough leaks out
"I’m hungry!" a child bursts in
I turn on the stove cannot strike the match
solace of singed eyebrows

3.
those burning blocks of ice
guards throw bodies in
some still blowing tiny smoke rings
the radiator rattles water freezes in pipes
I huddle under blankets the phone rings
"girl! get yourself down to this movie!"
wind whips off the river rounds the corner
I skid on ice reach out his hand heats mine
"blue eyes" he snarls at bums lounging on screen
"they all have blue eyes you have blue eyes!
girl! what you doin’ here wit’ me?
you could have been anything! anything!"
I pull my sweater tight
in the platinum afternoon sun searing chaparral
I know how swiftly the temperature drops


Nancy Scott
nscott29@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Nancy Scott lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. www.nancyscott.net

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Nancy Scott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rescued Objects

Bibi asks why
when her mother sets a good table,
some silverware is monogrammed
and other pieces plain–

In Prague during the war,
Bibi’s grandmother returned home
to find that all but three place settings
of silverware had been confiscated.
Her husband, a star sewn on his jacket,
trailed her, pleading, It’s only silver,
as she marched to Nazi headquarters
and demanded her property be returned;
moreover, she told the guard,
I am not Jewish.
Bibi’s grandmother got silverware
though not her own.
The warehouses overflowed.

Later, Bibi asks about the inlaid box
her mother keeps on the dresser.
From my best friend, her mother says,
when she gave away
her belongings and was gone.
In the box, scraps of paper, yellowed
and brittle, smuggled out of Terezin,
secret words for needed things
–winter coat, medicine, food–
that Bibi’s mother patiently decoded.


Nicholas Messenger
nickmessenger@mail.com

Bio (auto)

Nicholas Messenger lives in Hokitika in the South Island of New Zealand. Formerly a teacher of High School Science, Art and Languages, and of English in Japan, he now publishes his novels, collections of fables and volumes of Poetry under his own Konuoi Imprint. His first volume of poetry was published in 1965 while he was a student at Auckland University.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Nicholas Messenger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Taken by Flash.

Men, dogs, birds, butterflies,
their shadows all there is, not bleached
the instant like an aeon ere they vaporised,
are printed on the pavement; and the girls
who walk away wear fabric
patterns : birds, bees, bursting
star shapes – any dark thing
scorch-imprinted on their naked skin.
Whoever comes back by the coffin door
with tales of hell fire,
do not look for how the flesh fell off -
to bare your bones is rather commonplace
in the enormity of horror;
do not look for fire storms
in the sockets of their eyes, still boiling.
By the printed shadows of the fall
of petals, and of cotton dresses
your will know the infinitely subtle matter
of their agony – the tangible inferno.
Then you will believe eternal dying.


Paul Strohm
pstrohm_conte@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Paul M. Strohm is a freelance journalist working in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared in HuKmag.com, The Lake, the Berkeley Poets Cooperative and other literary journals. His last book of poems entitled Closed On Sunday was published by the Wellhead Press in 2013.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Paul Strohm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What Makes a Jewish Film?

A film by Woody Allen is running in my head
and I am walking in my pjs thinking, of course that’s
what makes a Jewish Film!

Surrounded by black/white images from Auschwitz where
6 million is more than a number, more than words
I hurry to recover after erasing them for others.

The images run over me so fast: marriage, circumcision, keeping kosher-
Disraeli’s remark about Jews being a nervous people, Max Baer slepping with
blonde goyim, Jews wearing the ‘badge of shame’ for both Hitler and Rome.
No synagogue to crawl under.
Can a man be a Jew without believing in God?
At the flick of an eye, a Jew’s identity is turned into film,
Silently, then the New York accent is heard round the world.
A Jewish voice shouts the perfect one liner, "oy vey iz mir."
Perhaps the dog, the gentile, the woman have something else to say,
Other voices crying in Northern Ireland, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda.
The Jew is only one of many outsiders, all live awaiting exile.
Hans Barbie looks at each in turn, they wander into his pen as cattle do,
in the background we hear Cole Porter’s tune, "I Get a Kick Out of You."
Being human we want the other chosen first. "Give us Barabbas!"

All should be afraid, though the Jew thinks himself more cursed,
And yet those other voices!
Slowly, slowly, what makes a Jewish film is made deliberately clear.


Philip Johnson
pjohnson69sol@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Previously appeared in: Poetry 24, The Ugly Tree; Poetry Scotland, Emergency Verse, Write Away, Caught In The Net, Red Pencil, Writer’s Hood, Transparent Words; Emergency Verse and The Robin Hood Book.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Philip Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

obsessed by pipe work

man and his village under threat of nazi invasion
wage war in the hush hush science lab winnington

grand at deception

his model tanks and artillery ideas
scattered the hedge rows and fields
of blighty

the luftwaffe believed them real

stories told by mice and many a lab rat
whose brains were wired to image projection
equip

how he took a substance leaked from a pipe

made a large effeminate doll of it
meant it as a folly for a soldier

khaki dress wear kit bag and papier mache rifle

went a little too far on the first one
and burst it end of the table

the force with which it exploded


Ron Kolm
kolmrank@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

Ron Kolm (Long Island City, New York is a member of the Unbearables, and an editor of several of their anthologies; most recently The Unbearables Big Book of Sex! Ron is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin and the editor of the Evergreen Review. He is the author of The Plastic Factory and, with Jim Feast, the novel Neo Phobe. A collection of his poems, Divine Comedy, was published by Steve Cannon’s Fly By Night Press last year. A new book of poetry, Suburban Ambush, has just been published by Autonomedia. Ron’s papers were purchased by the New York University library, where they’ve been catalogued in the Fales Collection as part of the Downtown Writers Group.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Ron Kolm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Problem Child

I’m a poet
A problem child.
From what I’ve heard
We’re all crazy-
Incapable of love.

T.S. Eliot, an anti-Semite
Ezra Pound
A bad economist-
Abstract poets
Have great concerns
While those precise
Zero-in
On weathered bones.

I’d like to forge
A humanism
So exact
The future becomes
Imaginable again.


Roz Levine
Rozthepoet@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I am a Los Angeles poet whose work has appeared in magazines, anthologies and on-line sites including The Sun, Cultural Weekly, The Juice Bar, Pulse, ON THE BUS, FOREVER IN LOVE and DELIVER ME. I have studied with many writers including Robert Bly, Ellen Bass, Dorianne Laux, Joe Milar, Jack Grapes, Hope Edelman and Tresha Haefner. Now that I am retired, writing is no longer an avocation, but my passion. I frequently write about injustice in the world.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Roz Levine and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Once She Had a Life Called Normal

When she connects with friends
They talk about kids and work
Parents and money worries
They toss around the adage
"The grass is always greener on the other side"
That one never works for her
Grass carries her back to Berlin
To the last image of her parents
She’s with them in the forest
She can hear their final words
"Shh, mamaleh, shh, shh"
She can almost touch their fingers
Gestapo forces drag both parents
From the cover of green leaves
She has cemented final images
Deep in her sacred vault
Her mother’s dark hair
Her father’s brown eyes
Their last cries rupturing
Her frightened heart
She vowed never to forget
Once she had a mother
Once she had a father
Once she was a little girl
Once she had a life called normal.


S.A. Griffin
carmabum@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

S.A. Griffin is a Los Angeles poet, actor, Carma Bum, and the instigator of the Poetry Bomb.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by S.A. Griffin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hollywood Bus Stop 1979

when the old woman
stretched out her arm
to grab the handrail and
step onto the bus heading
west towards the beach

she revealed a series of
numbers tattooed across
her forearm

the purplish-blue ink spreading
into her paper thin skin

as she moved towards her seat
silently parting the air in front of her
like the Red Sea entering the
holy land of the heart

the war never
too far behind


Sherman Pearl
shrmpoet@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

SHERMAN PEARL is immediate past president of the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, a former co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets and a co-founder of the los Angeles Poetry Festival. His work has appeared in more than 50 literary publications and haz won mansy awards. He lives in Santa Monica.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Sherman Pearl and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler’s Falconer

The bird circled, anient image of an ominous god.
His outstretched black wings barely ruffled the serenity
of that azure Bavarian sky, at peace with itself
a decade after the war. From those heights
over the Alpine beauty of Hitler’s summer retreat
his predator’s eye scoured the ground
for game left over from the old days; or for signs
of a new order rising.; maybe for the last surviving Jew.
All these years later I still see his shadow on clouds
formed by lingering smoke from the death camps.
He circled,
majestic as a Valkerie sailing Wagnerian seas.
He circled, free to fly off but held in orbit
by invisible chains oF obedience. When the falconer called
he swooped down toward me from the Aryan heavens.
With caws of triumph and fluries of fethered bravado
he alit on the falconer’s glove, leather as worn
and wounded as the old man’s face.
His eyes never wavered; they feasted on me; his wings
raged to rise again, talons shifted and tightened
on the falconer’s hand. The masterful hunter
soothed the bird with scraps of red meat,
then hooded the cutlass head just as he must have
when he was Hitler’s man and those mountains ran
with the blood of his victims. ‘You may pet him,"
the falconer told me as The blinded bird
settled down, the fire of the hunt almost dowsed;
and I touched the body where Hitler’s hand
once stroked.
"Mein shatzie"he cooed. "Mein liebshun"


Stacey Zisook Robinson
stacey.z.robinson@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Stacey Zisook Robinson is an essayist and poet living in thesuburbs of Chicago. She writes for thesmartly.com and iPinion.com, and is a regular contributor to the blog for the Union for Reform Judaism. She can be found at her blog, Stumbling Towards Meaning, http://staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Stacey Zisook Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Night of Fire and Glass

Stars littered the ground
Crystal fire
Shards of ice
Glass

The smoke of a thousand thousand years
Ascended
Coiling upwards, twisted
With the memory of a People
Chosen once in light
Chosen again
In darkness
In ashes and in blood

Pounding rhythms shout out
Felt through their soles
Driving forward, driving onward
Faster and faster and faster, and pulled forward
Pulled ever onward
In a rush, at a run, rippling in shadow
It invades your blood,
That rhythm,
That pulse,
That pull and push
That wraps ’round your heart
In pounding and pulsing rhythms
That cradle your source
Your soul

The darkness swallows the cries
Of a thousand thousand lights
A thousand thousand years
A thousand thousand sighs
Of love
Of hope
Of God

Leaving only broken glass
And crystal fire
And glistening stars to lead us
Home.


Stanley H. Barkan
cccpoetry@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Stanley H. Barkan is the editor/publisher of the Cross-Cultural Review Series of World Literature and Art, that has, to date, produced some 400 titles in 50 different languages, which in 2011 celebrated its 40th anniversary (1971-2011). Poetry Teacher of the Year (awarded by the NYC Board of Education and Poets House, 1971) and winner of the Poor Richard’s Award "The Best of the Small Presses" (from the Small Press Center in New York, 1998), his own work has been published in 15 collections, several of them bilingual (Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Sicilian). His latest are Strange Seasons, a collaboration with photoartist Mark Polyakov (Sofia, Bulgaria: AngoBoy, 2007), ABC of Fruits and Vegetables, illustrated by his daughter, Mia Barkan Clarke (Sofia, Bulgaria: AngoBoy, 2011), and Raisins with Almonds / Pàssuli cu mènnuli, translated into Sicilian by Marco Scalabrino (Mineola, NY: Legas, 2013). In November 2011, Barkan was awarded the Paterson Literary Review Award for a "Lifetime Service to Literature"; in July 2013, the international bilingual Bengali poetry magazine, Shabdaguchha, awarded Barkan a "Lifetime Achievement Award"; and in April 2014, a Stanley H. Barkan, "Special Issue" of The Seventh Quarry, with a plaque, from the CCC Family, honored Barkan as the Publisher of Cross-Cultural Communications "for over 40 years of literary excellence." He lives with his artist wife, Bebe, in Merrick, Long Island.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Stanley H. Barkan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Why I Love the Dutch

We were traveling on a train
along he Rhine, hurrying to Amsterdam
to meet with the Dutch director of the Stichting.
Fearfully, my wife and I watched the lights across the river,
Thinking of Hellman’s The Watch on the Rhine.
Thinking of my father in Germany during WWI,
the War to End All Wars. Of him on his motorbike,
the picture in my mind from the stories he told,
from the photo in his old album. Of him in the Schwarzvald,
a German guiding him. His hearing whistles on one side
and then the other, all around him. Of him putting a bayonet
to the German’s throat. Of him hiding in a farmhouse.
His spilling the milk he thought they poisoned out the window.
Of him putting a chair up against the door, so he could securely sleep.

At each stop, a conductor would wake us from our sleep
With his demanding: ‘PASSPORTS! What have you to declare!"
I would leap out of my sleep, thinking they had come to take me to the ovens,
At Mainz: "PASSPORT! What have you to declare!"
I leaped up, startled.
At Koblenz: "PASSPORT! What have you to declare!"
I jumped up.
At Köln: "PASSPORT! What have you to declare!"
I leaped out of my skin.

At last we crossed over the frontier into Maastricht.
The accent changed: "Passports. Anything to declare?"
Relieved at the pleasant rhythm of the friendly voice,
I replied, à la Oscar Wilde: "Nothing but my genius."
Whereupon the Dutch conductor, pinching his nose, said:
"Ohh . . . then, open the window. Open the window."

Ever since, I love the Dutch.


Zvi A. Sesling
zviasesling@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling has published in numerous magazines and won several prizes. He edits Muddy River Poetry Review and publishes Muddy River Books His books are King of the Jungle (Ibbetson Street Press, 2010) and a chapbook Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva, 2011). His next full length volume, Fire Tongue, is due from Cervena Barva Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

…and Guns

stand at the iron gate
where work made you free
where free meant death
where death meant free

leave the world naked
as you came into this world
you leave it – naked
the world you knew was no longer your world

stand before the gate of hell
men in gray with guns
tell you left or right into hell
gray clouds and the sound of guns

 


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