20th Annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Poetry Issue

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

Alan Walowitz
Alex Chornyj
Barbara Goldberg
Bob Zaslow
Carol Dorf
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas
Casey Derengowski
Daniel Irwin
Daphne Milne
Diane Jackman
Dietra Reid
Doris Fiszer
Douglas Polk
Douglas Richardson
Dwane Reads
Emmaline Achieng Simba
Eric Nicholson
George Moore
Hanoch Guy
Helen Bar-Lev
Iris Levin
Ivan Klein
Jake Aller
James Cone

James Finnegan
Jan Chronister
John Guzlowski
Judith Robinson
Julia Carlson
Ken Williams
Kimberly Cunningham
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Linda Crate
Marsha Carow Markman
Mark Elber
Martin Elster
Martina Gallegos
Melissa Mendelson
Merridawn Duckler
Michael H. Brownstein
Michael Virga
Milton Montague
Nancy Kopp
Nancy Shiffrin
Pat M. Kuras
Radomir Luza
Rich Murphy
Richard Kalfus

Rie Sheridan Rose
Rifkah Goldberg
Robert B. Robeson
Robbie Masso
Rolland Vasin
Rona Laban
Rosalind J. Lee
Rosemarie Krausz
Shai Ben-Shalom
Shelly Blankman
Stanley H. Barkan
Stefanie Bennett
Stephen Mead
Steve Braff
Steve Klepetar
Sunayna Pal
Susan Olsburgh
Susan Beth Furst
Sy Roth
Tina Hacker
Tova Snitzer
Vincent O’Connor
Zvi A. Sesling

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

Alan Walowitz

Bio (auto)

Alan Walowitz has been published in various places on the web–and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an online journal, and teaches at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John’s University in Queens.  Alan’s chapbook, Exactly Like Love, was published by Osedax Press in 2016 and is now in its second printing.  

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Alan Walowitz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Some Day

Who didn’t love the el, especially,
the rickety “J” to Brooklyn,
the bus down Metropolitan to Richmond Hill
a Sunday when dad said he was too tired to drive to Grandpa’s,
but really didn’t want to go;
me, dressed in my brown plaid suit, yellow shirt,
and climbing the long steel steps to the platform,
the first few easy, then the last, each a longer visit.
Don’t let go your sister’s hand. My mother was so kindly
but never truly trusted the world, and why would she?
And then waiting for the train–
what seemed like forever, begging to weigh myself and get my fortune–
It’s just a penny, Ma! –then, Why so long? Lemme look.
Don’t you dare get so close to the edge.

And like the old lady told me: The train. You wait, it comes.
Then shimmying on to those wicker seats
and sometimes getting your pants stuck,
the leather straps to hold on, too high for me to reach,
but, Ma, if I could stand on the seat.
No, not nice for the others who come after.

but, Someday, I promised myself. Someday.
But some day I would see the photo of those boys
taken, just a few years before I waited so breathless.
Them, staring out from between the slats and barbed wire,
of a train bound to nowhere. Some wailing, They’re bringing us to hell,
others saying, Everything will be fine. We’ve been through worse.
The crying babies, the littler kids asleep in their mothers’ arms
But these boys, just like me,
must’ve loved the train once
but that, and everything, had drained from their faces  
many stops before the photo was shot. 

Alex Chornyj

Bio (auto)

My name is Alex Chornyj. I live in  Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada.  I have been writing for forty years.  My poetry and articles have appeared in books, magazines, journals and online.  My beginnings were in romantic chivalry and have been transformed into clairvoyant expressions.  I write what comes to mind from the inside of my heart.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Alex Chornyj and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tormented Turmoil

A period in history
Wish we could all forget
As incinerating chambers
Filled the air with,
A black, acrid smoke
From lost hopes and dreams
From those devoid of guilt
Who committed no crime.
Who were the victims
In a vicious circle
Caught in herded cages
Like some wild animals.
Which went against
All known conventions
In a barbarism
That took the innocence from life.
Those stripped of their dignity
Assigned a numeric label
To identify them
As a particular lot.
As they marched one by one
In rank and file
Each behind the other
In endless lines.
To be cheated
Of their existence
By these executed acts
Of tormented turmoil.
To be judged only
On their ethnic origin
Then written off
To await their demise.
Always wishing beyond wishes
For an armistice
That never came soon enough
For many burdened souls.
Whose finality
Had no resting place
But to wander desolate plains
Stained by red rivers of anguish.

Barbara Goldberg

Bio (auto)

Barbara Goldberg authored five prize-winning books of poetry, including The Royal Baker’s Daughter, winner of the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize.  Goldberg received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as awards from Columbia University’s Translation Center and PEN’s Syndicated Fiction Project.  Her work appears in Best American Poetry, Paris Review, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review and elsewhere. She is Series Editor for the International Editions at The Word Works. Goldberg lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Barbara Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fading, but still holding court
from bed, my mother last month received
a letter. For $18 a fund-finding agency
would trace ‘displaced’ sums. She was sure
despite the late date, Wiedergutmachung geld
was coming her way, would ‘make good again’
her bitter bruises, mother gassed, father
in ashes, the violations of old age. So far

we hadn’t seen a dime, though others
got more for losing less. Helga
for instance, $800 tax free per month
for life. But Wiedergutmachung never
was meant to pay for blood, only for what
a concrete number could be attached to–factory,
practice, butcher shop. On the tongue
the syllables sat dense, inert, like the potato

knodel we ate on Sundays. The house held other
pungencies: smoked liverwurst, headcheese made
of boiled hog parts floating in the vinegary
instability of aspic. Sometimes in spring
the knodel contained a sour cherry. Finally
$100 arrived from a defunct account. Since then
my mother dances, but only in dream. Like
the little mermaid, she is clumsy now on land, all

the senses dwindling. The milky scrim that dims
her sight, the front tooth that insists
on falling out. "Now I can’t smile," she says
and hides her mouth, shy as a virgin. No loving
lips to kiss away the pain, no gold coins
tucked beneath her pillow. No sun-drenched
sailor to slip between the sheets where
she is waiting, in a nightgown, to be taken.

Bob Zaslow

Bio (auto)

Bob Zaslow has been a teacher, an advertising copywriter, a playwright and a developmental editor for fiction. He’s also the author of Rap-Notes: Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, which tells the story of five of Shakespeare’s most popular plays for high school. Bob’s Off-Broadway musical, The Seed of Abraham, was performed at the Bleecker St. Theatre at the 2011 FringeNYC Festival. He also won an American Film Festival award for his documentary film, Nadine Valenti, Portrait of a Painter.  Bob was a VP Creative Supervisor at Grey Advertising, writing and producing more than 100 commercials. Bob lives in the Hudson Valley area, New York State, with his wife, Ann.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Bob Zaslow and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Abraham’s People

The Romans drove you out of Jerusalem
Religions that borrowed your scriptures
barred you from owning land
joining guilds
worshipping God

But you’re the tough, little sea-rose
Hermes’ flower, flung on the sand
Shut up in the ghettos
Outcast, insulted and injured
Still, you held fast

Mobbed by the town-folk
robbed by the kings
shown out by the lords
thrown out with no warnings
Still, you held fast

And you survived
You had no choice but to fight
the scowls and howls
and wintry decades and centuries
of derision and jealousy and hate

But, oh, irony!
Persecution made you stronger
Forced you to hang on to your books
Hand down your candlesticks
As the many became One–

Ten thousand tides later
The tough, little sea-rose is still there
Impeded, hampered, undersized
But still, you held fast
And you survived

Carol Dorf

Bio (auto)

Carol Dorf has two chapbooks available, “Some Years Ask,” (Moria Press) and “Theory Headed Dragon,” (Finishing Line Press.) Her poetry appears in “Bodega,” “E-ratio,” “Great Weather For Media,” “About Place,” “Glint,” “Slipstream,” “The Mom Egg,” “Sin Fronteras,” “Surreal Poetics,” “The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics,” “Scientific American,” and “Maintenant.” She is poetry editor of Talking Writing and lives and teaches in Berkeley, California. She is a member of Congregation Netivot Shalom.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Carol Dorf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Consider The Problem

This was the future, thick smoke from a train
crossing a bridge, transportation. Dream bridges
collapse into dust, the way that smoke heats
up the world and the waters rise. And the trains,
well sometimes in my dreams they do get from
one station to the next. Other times they pause
and wait for a signal that doesn’t come. The train
from Enshede to Hanover went through low,
wet country, the kind soldiers tromped through,
pausing to steal vegetables from the fields.
Never more a Jew than when riding on the modern
German train system. This railroad bridge, over
has lost its shine, so many years of dark
smoke. The romance of travel.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Bio (auto)

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University where she was an English major. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee and five-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript: “Before I Go to Sleep”. She is the author of the several collections of poetry including her latest book from Prolific Press, “Things I Can’t Remember to Forget”. She is an Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal and a member of the Sacramento group of poets called Writers on the Air. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson or at least her mother said so. www.clgrellaspoetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Thanksgiving with Hugo

Dear Hugo, grace was always in your heart
enchanting everyone who knew you then,
long years before your life was torn apart
yet fortitude a lesson you did lend.
And I was but a child in your path
God placed me near the hearth inside your home
for fire burnt so brightly from your core
beyond the realm of anyone I’d known.
Where memories revealed from within
were spoken with a whispered voice in tears
remembering the agonies you’d seen
revealing horrors lived through yesteryears−
while I was seated closely by your side  
one dinner on Thanksgiving as you kissed
my hand, you spoke with gratitude for man,
I saw the numbers etched above your wrist. 

Casey Derengowski

Bio (auto)

Casey Derengowski was born in Chicago, Illinois, but for the past fifty years has resided in Southern California, currently San Marcos, some thirty miles north of San Diego. He has been a writer for many years, presently focusing on the genre of poetry, narrative free verse. He has enjoyed seeing his work in numerous publications as well as on the Web.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Casey Derengowski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

He Should Not Have Told Me

I shared many of grandpa’s nightmares-
the smell of gas permeating the room
the clang of iron doors ringing in the ears
a guard cracking his club on walls and limbs

hot dunkings followed by freezing showers
scraps of food served in the guard dog’s bowl
days of darkness, nights of blinding light
these were but some of the grizzly terrors

Never a kindness, always a curse
a punch in the gut, a kick in the groin
a full ration of insults and steady abuse
for three years his address was the Auschwitz camp

Gramp’s assigned job was to feed the furnace
with corpses retrieved from the gas chamber
day after day, months followed weeks
fifteen hours per shift, he had little choice.

Allied forces came near the end of the war
overran the camp, releasing the captives
skeletal, weakened, such pitiful sights
they cried, some prayed, all stumbled about.

He brought his nightmares when he came home
I, his grandson, listened to his wails
thank God he succumbed at last to kind death
while I relive his agonies and pain.

Daniel Irwin

Bio (auto)

Daniel Irwin, retired military, now writer and actor lives in his hometown of Sparta, Illinois, just outside of St Louis.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Daniel Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Another Time, Another Place

It’s all so long ago, now
Just photos of people we didn’t know.
The same terrible stories over and over,
Something useful for entertaining TV.
Another time, another place.

For those who lived through it,
Like my old bubbeh , the family’s matriarch,
Still with us, thank HaShem,
It’s still as vivid a memory as yesterday
And the stuff of nightmares:
Loved ones gone, pain, suffering,
Madness without reason.
Even the defeated willing to bloody their hands
Killing their neighbors, their countrymen.
Another time, another place.

I wonder, one day, will we forget
Or just not bother to remember.

Daphne Milne

Bio (auto)

Daphne Milne is a member of Falmouth Poetry Group  and OOTA, Fremantle, WA.  Writing  has been published in a number of magazines including Acumen, Sarasvati, Reach Poetry, Poetry Cornwall, Poetry Space and on the Poetry Kit website. Also writes short stories and flash fiction.  Work has been placed, commended or won various competitions. She has a pamphlet coming out later this year, published by Indigo Dreams Press. She currently lives in Perth, Western Australia.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Daphne Milne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Travellin, travellin, travelling on…

Here is the steam train leaving the station
heading towards its last destination.
Herded together like cows in a truck
prodded and threatened and treated like muck.

There is no privacy here.
In the corner a bucket
slops malodorously.
Pigs they call us
in the stinky dark.

Smuts in the hair, smuts from the smoke
the air’s so thick we almost choke.

We do not eat swine.
*Filth we have become
as the dung of the earth
vile we must be
in the eyes of God.*

Ticketty tack, ticketty tack, tick tack
we go to a place from where none comes back.

We are washed down
water icy as snow melt
swills over salt white flesh
heads shaved back to the bone.
*Lord have mercy.

Click clack, clicketty clack, click, clack, click
The train has reached its termination
*God grant us each to find salvation.
The engine cools. Tick, click. Click tlck. Tick. Tick.

* from Psalms of David 83 and 85

Diane Jackman

Bio (auto)

Diane Jackman’s work has appeared in small press magazines and many anthologies in UK and USA. Starting out as a children’s writer with seven books and more than 100 stories published, she now concentrates on poetry and short stories. With her late composer husband she wrote several works for choir and the libretto for Pinocchio for Kings’ Singers/LSO. She has recently completed a sequence of narratives bordering on magic realism titled Old Land. She lives in Diss, Norfolk, UK.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Diane Jackman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

numbers fibonacci

account books
of Heinrich Himmler
your grandfather is recorded
a number along with his wife son and two daughters
neat columns of figures obscure
the human figures
their beauty

Dietra Reid

Bio (auto)

I am writing my poem from memories of reading about the Holocust long ago in high school long ago in New York. I now reside in Baltimore Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Dietra Reid and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Long Ago Images

Seeing those shadows of human beings who suffered thru the holocaust was disturbing.
How long did an individual to without food,  how many hours without water, and did
one’s test ducts simply dry up from over use?

But when I think of those strong stick people who survived it is a testament to our
maker.  And a powerful statement for love.

Doris Fiszer

Bio (auto)

Doris Fiszer lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies including Bywords Quarterly Journal, bywords.ca and Motherhood in Precarious Times, Demeter Press. Her chapbook, The Binders, was the 2016 winner of Tree Press’s chapbook contest. Her poem, “Zen Garden,” won the 2017 John Newlove Poetry Award. As the recipient of this award, she has been offered the opportunity to publish a chapbook in 2018 through Bywords. The Binders was also shortlisted for the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award. As well, she is an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. Doris has recently completed a full-length poetry collection and is currently writing poems about her mother.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Doris Fiszer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Daughter Remembers a Story

It’s a night of teal and tangerine, my clothes
thrown together in hurried mismatch,
bedtime routine disturbed
after my daughter Natalia’s panicked call.

My granddaughter’s seal bark
laboured breath
fevered skin.

I remember
how my own mother worried when I was sick.

Father tried not to show it
for her sake.

Natalia packs a knapsack for her daughter.

While my grandson slumbers
spread-eagled on his stomach in bed
I read Far to Go:
A Jewish mother repacks
her son’s suitcase, adds
galoshes, a diamond watch, medicine−
a family photo
sends him on the Kindertransport
to what she prays is safety.

Natalia returns at dawn
Madison in her arms,
my grandson sleeps on
as if the night were seamless.

Douglas Polk

Bio (auto)

Douglas Polk is a poet living in Kearney, Nebraska with his wife and two boys, two dogs and four cats.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Douglas Polk and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In a Blink of an Eye

the holocaust happened because humanity blinked,
and tried to pretend,
we did not see,
what the mind knew we saw,
lifes full of laughter and sorrow,
a blink of an eye,
and nothingness,
but in the dark recesses of the mind and soul,
the knowledge lives,
humanity allowed this to happen,
and sadly it has happened again,
and again.

Douglas Richardson

Bio (auto)

Douglas Richardson is a poet and novelist who lives in Santa Ana, California, with his wife, Jen. He is the founder of Weak Creature Press. 

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Douglas Richardson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Death Is the Best Adventure:

First you’re handed a gift card that says
Your Money Is No Good Here, then
You’re alone in a hotel room
With a Bible in a drawer
That doesn’t sound so good anymore
But the Bible is a coast-to-coast trucker
Listening to the radio
And watching the scenery go by
Says you were Grant and he was Lee
Or was it the other way around
He can’t remember
Death is the best adventure:
A chance to hear Louis Armstrong and Gabriel
Play a passage for trumpet
An opportunity to meet Anne Frank
And all her friends
Whatever you desire awaits you there;
And you can go now, but we still want you here

Dwane Reads

Bio (auto)

Dwane Reads. Derby based Poet. Gigging since 1985 in various guises, toured throughout UK. Background in Fine Art. Four Books published.His Poem “Pillar box nation” won the 2017 Derby Poetry festival Competition.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Dwane Reads and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Arrive Dachau

In the final hour I shall come
and set the sun
scattering at your heels
in those days
with no warning I shall come
expect no long farewell
it shall be swift.

Emmaline Achieng Simba

Bio (auto)

Emmaline Achieng is a blogger and writer as well as a Poet, who resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Emmaline Achieng Simba and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


They lack joy
Peace, happiness
Their health deteriorates
Their deaths uncalled for
All the horrors,,
You survive
No family,,
Pain only intensifying with time
Dependent on others
Dependent,,loneliness,, unable to communicate
The Pain,hurt,,
isolated,, alone in a painful island,,
Who can understand
No cry of  babies,
No laughter
No happy playful playing lads and kids being kids
A wind of terror horror pain swept all,,
Old age wisdom deleted
Snuffed out
Husbands wives killed
Snuffed out
Hearts filled with terrors
Horrors unseen
Happy women no more
Happy fathers no more
Happy people no more
Happy children and Happy feet,
Happy situations Erased,,
By the Gas chambers
By the Torture chambers
See your happy kin no more
Swallowed by the chambers
The happy of old
Replaced with heartfelt terrors
Haunted by everything
Precious ones lost
You fear another day
Another night
Another awakening
Intensify the pains
The hurt,
The Beloveds gone
The Grief Untold 
For the survivors
Welcome to peace
Welcome to eternal rest
For the Dead.

Eric Nicholson

Bio (auto)

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher. Presently writing a book about Blake & Buddhism. He lives in Gateshead, in the NE of England.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Eric Nicholson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Cold Front

A year ago
a cold front swept in from the east;
an old woman leant into the slanting sleet,
her spine bent into a punctuation mark.
I’d carried her bags across the street
but she’d held onto her inner burden.

Today I saw her with another aide,
her face pressed to the pavement
scattering her invisible cargo to the wind.

Sixty years ago
the Nazis had swept in from the west
scouring the town.
An obedient child
shivered in a stairwell,
bracing her spine
against a hurricane of hate.

George Moore

Bio (auto)

George Moore lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia, in the village of Shag Harbour, after a career at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His poetry collections include Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FurureCycle 2016) and Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015). His work was shortlisted last year for the Bailieborough Poetry Prize, and long listed for the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by George Moore and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Synagogue on Rhodes

The war was winding down, as they say,
but then to say this we must be out of history.          
Winding down like the spring in a clock,
unwinding some center we have lost,
and on the Island of Rhodes, a few had stayed, survived,
as others had been displaced, shipped off, evacuated.
And yet no one would say thriving.
The war was not about history, and we would be
out of history again to say so. The war was a moment
given credence by an assumption allowed to stand
unchallenged, and it went on that way.
We have a crisis when we run out of food in a storm,
or when we argue about nothing, or about the unseen,
or when we haven’t spoken to a relative for ages.
The war was not a crisis but a condition of human evil
which is not godly or historical or simple but mad
and unchecked. The few on Rhodes survived
the Romans, the Knights Hospitallers, the Ottoman Turks,
to end up sentenced in some insane north forest
to sudden execution? We speak of poetry
but we must spit out the words. We must form sentences.
The island was no island. The enemy is always
within us, part of us, the forgotten surfacing again
when nothing in the ancient temple can be heard.

Hanoch Guy

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy  is a native Israel growing up with deep Holocaust memories. He is an emeritus professor of Hebrew and Jewish studies at Temple university and an author of six poetry collections;among them Terra Treblinka-Holocaust poems. He resides in Elkins Park, PA.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Soul Flowers

Peasants frightened
run away far at night.
Cross themselves.
at the hissing sounds.
Soul flowers bloom
by the millions
in Poland forests
Turn into transparent butterflies
seeking their boots.
for the march on Warsaw.

Helen Bar-Lev

Bio (auto)

Helen Bar-Lev was born in New York in 1942.  www.helenbarlev.com   She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, has lived in Israel for 46 years and has had nearly 100 exhibitions of her landscape paintings, 34 of which were one-woman shows.  Six poetry collections, all illustrated by Helen.  She is the Amy Kitchener senior poet laureate and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013.  She is the recipient of the Homer European Medal for Poetry and Art.  Helen is Assistant to the President of Voices Israel. She lives in Metulla, Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Hope

Nearly seven decades
since the end of the war
we hear a recording of
an American Rabbi
saying Brothers, you are free,
in Yiddish, the language of kinship
Voices starved, parched, feeble,
stumble over notes and tones,
warble, scratchy, as though murmured
from a plateau between earth and hell
sing HaTikva, and then,
when they come to the words
– our hope is not yet lost –
their voices soar
as though their souls have surged
back into their bodies
on a wave of faith
We pause to absorb
the impact, like a slap to the senses,
nothing, not photographs
not written descriptions,
nothing could evoke such feelings
of anguish and impotence,
the horror, the grief and helplessness,
more than this group of Bergen-Belsen skeletons
singing of Hope

Iris Levin

Bio (auto)

Iris Levin lives in Rockville Centre, New York.  She has been writing poetry for several years, and has poems published in several anthologies.  She writes to never forget the human  experience, the good, the bad, the ugly.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Iris Levin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

They Came For Us

I sit in bed
alone in winter’s darkness
wrapped in words and memories
of the boy with love in his eyes
of me his willing partner
of unforgettable truth
of our life before they came for us

And when they came
no knocks on the door
no time to pack
just the shove from the bed
to the snowy bleak street
two line
me to the left
you to the right
final glance
And, like a white bird
in the blizzard
You disappear.

Ivan Klein

Bio (auto)

Ivan Klein has published a book of poems, Alternatives to Silence, from Starfire Press and a chapbook, “Some Paintings By Koho and a Flower of My Own,” on the Japanese brush painter Koho Yamamoto from Sisyphus Press.  He has been published in “Leviathan,” “Long Shot,” “Flying Fish,” The Jewish Literary Journal and featured in the Forward.  He has been anthologized in the April 2015 Holocaust issue of the Poetry Super Highway.  His most recent publications were Urban Graffiti, Arteidolia and Otoliths.  A book of poems on the life and work of Herman Melville is due for publication this fall from New Feral Press. He lives in downtown Manhattan.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Ivan Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Herman Melville At the Pyramids

        He decides that the pyramids,
    upon close metaphysical inspection,
    in their lifelessness, their beingness,
        are part of a magical scam —

    Erections conning time & space,
        conning life itself.
    And the terrific God of the Hebrews
        conceived within these dead
            immensities —
    what of Him & His shady Son?
            He wonders,

    Searching the leprous boneyard of Jerusalem,
        beneath the leers of its Turkish masters,
    for an anchor, an echo of the heavenly Father,
        & His merciful offspring.

        This dry & broken holy land,
            the Jews like flies inside
                a hollow skull,
            their terrific Father God
                present by His absence;
    The shame of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre —
        What’s holy is unholy
    & makes a poor man retch
        over the bones of his dead faith —
    turn thumbs down on the resurrection
    of his own spirit.

        The Jews aren’t farmers, won’t work;
    can’t be improved by well-meaning, well-funded
        Christian ladies & gentlemen.

        The pyramids are hollow;
    the white putrid bones of Jerusalem
        my heart is hollow with His absence & presence in
            this dung heap.

        This land, this soul, will never be reclaimed —
            not in a million years — only a miracle, he
        writes in his journal, only an impossible miracle…

Jake Aller

Bio (auto)

John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department in ten countries – Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Korea, India, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Spain, and Thailand.  Prior to joining the U.S. State Department, Jake taught overseas for eight years.  Jake served in the Peace Corps in Korea.  Jake has been an aspiring novelist for several years and has completed five novels, (Giant Nazi Spiders, “the Great Divorce” and “Jurassic Cruise”, and “Ft. Ashland” and is pursuing publication.  He has been writing poetry and fiction all his life and has published his poetry fiction in over 25 literary journals.  He speaks Korean, some Spanish and Thai.  He grew up in Berkeley, California but has lived in Seattle, Washington DC and Stockton, California.  He has traveled to over 45 countries and 49 States.   His blog, “the world according to cosmos” can be found at https://theworldaccordingtocosmos.com

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Jake Aller and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Neo Fascism Must Be Defeated Again

In this day and age of fake news

And neo fascism rising yet again
It is important to bear witness 

To the undeniable fact
That the holocaust can never ever come again
That is what we must vow every day 
Never again

James Cone

Bio (auto)

James J. Cone is a poet/writer from Jacksonville, Arkansas. He currently resides in Ramstein, Germany with his 3 sons. He has been writing for over 20 years but only started publishing his works in 2015. Development of the human condition through self-accountability is the main focus of his writings.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by James Cone and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What is Empathy

Born in 1878, a brilliant soul had a righteous vision
Living in a world full of apathy and hate, destruction and death
This physician, educator, and author wanted to bring solace to the Jewish children
So, he developed an orphanage that became more like a home
A place where innocent souls no longer had to be alone
and could escape the horrid torture of the monsters roaming the land
Replacing anxiety and fear with joy and love
Shining light in the darkest corners of the mind
Soothing these young souls reassuring them that everything would be just fine
But deep in his heart, he knew it would only be a matter of time
Then one day the monsters fell upon his sanctuary
They requested the bodies of the children for a sacrifice
Since he didn’t have armed soldiers to protect the children, he had to comply
As the monsters took the children from their home
the brave soul grabbed the hands of two children and walked by their side
Knowing their fate he refused to say, “Bye”
As one unified body, they entered the Treblinka extermination camp and died
This courageous soul’s name was Henryk Goldszmidt
aka Janusz Korczak and he is the definition of Empath

James Finnegan

Bio (auto)

In 2016, Dublin-born James Finnegan was highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition, shortlisted for Over The Edge New Writer of the Year, published in The Bombay Review and The Canterbury Festival Anthology for Poet of the Year 2016. In 2017 he was published in Skylight47, Sarasvati, North West Words, CYPHERS and had three poems shortlisted in the Canterbury Festival Anthology for Poet of The Year 2017. Two of Finnegan’s poems featured in New Irish Writing in The Irish Times in February 2018 and he also features in The Best New British & Irish Poets Anthology 2018 – May 2018. Finnegan taught in St Eunan’s College Letterkenny and holds a doctor of philosophy in living educational theory. The first launch of this first full collection of poems, Half-Open Door, published by Eyewear Publishing, was on Friday June 1st 2018 during Listowel Writers Week. James, who is married to Livinia, lives in the countryside a few miles outside Letterkenny in Co Donegal.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by James Finnegan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Edith Stein

Edith rejects an escape plan
by a Dutch official at Westerbork
come     let us go for our people 

utter annihilation    in her view     not to go
don’t take away my chance to share
the fate of my brothers and sisters

this archaeologist of empathy
reaches the little white cottage
     the sound of the Auschwitz train retreating

 Viktor Frankl pictures his love
     Primo Levi trades cesium rods
later     one day     Ivan Denisovich 

Edith Stein     side-lined by Husserl
and Heidegger     blocked from being
     professor of philosophy 

for her     no work to set her free
her habit     with yellow star     on the ground
     naked     she enters      the little white house

Jan Chronister

Bio (auto)

Jan Chronister lives and writes in the woods near Maple, Wisconsin. She self-published a chapbook of Holocaust poetry. For more information about Jan and her work, please see http://www.janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com 

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Jan Chronister and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Diamonds are Forever

When the Nazis came
Mama sewed three diamonds
into Sara’s coat. 

When she stripped at Birkenau
Sara put them in her mouth.
When she saw SS guards searching cavities,
she swallowed them. 

When they shaved Sara’s head
her hair was sent to stuff pillows of Germans
serving on submarines.
Sara shat the diamonds,
washed them in a muddy puddle
and swallowed them again
and again. 

Now she strokes her grandchild’s hair
long and thick,
wears the stones on her finger
where she can feel them burn.

Previously published in Dust&Fire

John Guzlowski

Bio (auto)

John Guzlowski’s writing appears on Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac and in Rattle, Atticus Review, Joyce Carol Oates’ Ontario Review ,North American Review, and many other journals.  His poems and personal essays about his Polish parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany and refugees making a life for themselves in Chicago appear in his memoir Echoes of Tattered Tongues.   It received the 2017 Ben Franklin Poetry Award and the Eric Hoffer Foundation’s Montaigne Award.  Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz – in a review of one of Guzlowski’s poetry books – wrote that Guzlowski’s writing astonished him. 

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by John Guzlowski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Night in Buchenwald

Through the nearest window
my father stares at the sky and thinks
of his dead father and mother,
his dead sister and brother,
his dead aunt and dead uncle,
his dead friend Jashu, and the boy
whose name he didn’t know
who died in his arms, and all
the others who wait for him
like the first light of the sun
and the work he has to do
when the sun wakes him.
He hates no one, not God,
not the dead who come to him,
not the Germans who caught him,
not even himself for being alive.
He is a man held together
with stitches he laced himself.

Judith Robinson

Bio (auto)

Judith R. Robinson*, Pittsburgh, is a 1980 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, listed in the Directory of American Poets and Writers. She has published five poetry collections, one fiction collection; one novel; edited or co-edited eleven poetry collections. Teacher: Osher at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Judith Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wildflowers Cover Everything

And the priest reports
A few villagers,
Aged but still living,
The festival days.
Mozart was played.
Streudel was served. 
And beer.
There will be no towers
Of shoes or dentures,
No photo galleries,
No lampshades or gold teeth.
I write this poem
And Father Desbois does what he can
To survey, to count, to record,
But they were millions.  

Julia Carlson

Bio (auto)

Julia Carlson lived in France for many years and saw numerous memorials, most often sited in unexpected places, but where the actual events occurred. Her most recent book is Prayer for the Misbegotten (Oddball Press). She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Julia Carlson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Train Station, Velleneuve-Sut-Lot

Drove our small green Deux Chevaux
To the tiny rail station
In Villeneuve-Sur-Lot
Near the village
Tucked behind the not yet in bloom
Sunflower fields
Of Villeneuve-Sur-Lot
Waited for my husband’s Aunt Babazena
Arriving from Paris
On the afternoon train
At the Bar-Tabac
Had a cafe express
Played baby-foote with my brother-in-law
Watched a three-legged tabby on the platform
Spied a brass plaque on the station wall
“From here, in 1943, 50,000 Jews
Were sent to prison camps”
There are no people here now
In 1943 the farms were few
With hectares between them
They say no one saw
And the not yet flowered sunflowers
Could not speak.

Ken Williams

Bio (auto)

Ken Williams worked as a social worker for the homeless, primary the mentally ill, but including veterans, women, the elderly, drug and alcohol addicted and the physically disabled in Santa Barbara CA for over thirty years. He currently residers in Cambria CA.  He is a disabled combat Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. His writings have appeared in Columbia University’s: Columbia Journal, Cecile’s Magazine, the Huffington Post, The Potomac, A journal of Poetry and Politics, Mobius, Better Than Starbucks, The Criterion, Slab Lit. Mag. U. Penn, S/tick Magazine, The Fear of Monkeys, Indiana Voice Journal, VietNow, Haggard and Halloo, Scars Productions, Resistance is Fertile, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Metaphor Magazine, The Good Men Project, Edhat, 1888.center The Creative Truth, noozhawk, Down In The Dirt Magazine, Hektoen International, Ibis Head Review, Hello Horror, Santa Barbara Independent and the News-Press. FRACTURED ANGEL is his most recent novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Ken Williams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Number Beginning With Seven

Old man sits, bent over
trembling newspaper in hand 
screaming: HATE RALLY 
leathery, winkled arm
faded tattooed 101st Airborne, under 
a number beginning with seven
head lowers, eyes squeezes shut
memories flood
Europe ‘45
weary soldiers 101st
placing one foot
in front of the other
shuffling against cold, wet, hunger
cursing war, homesick
stumble upon abandoned
freight train
Curious, maybe hoping for
rumored Nazis gold
doors squeak open
staggered back by smell
Women, children, old men
dead plaster the floor 
hordes of black flies take flight
young old man drawn forward
slow, stumbling trance
Out of all—one little girl’s arm
stretches skyward, frozen
beseeching: God, why—
please no, I’m only five
Drawn inexplicably towards her
strange tattoo on her delicate arm
a number, a number beginning with seven
a number replacing her name
who she was, innocent child
killed by evil, broken by the broken cross
Young old man bends over
retches, tears falling
heart scorched, vow birthed
Years later, old man’s body shutters
pain, memories, sacred vow flash to life
crumbles newspaper
rubs faded tattoos, a number beginning with seven
stands, knocking over chair
hitching up to walker
Other patrons 
quizzical looks exchanged
when he says loud, defiantly: not as long as I
draw a breath

Kimberly Cunningham

Bio (auto)

Kimberly Cunningham has published two books: Undefined and Sprinkles On Top. Also published in: Evergreen Journal, NY Literary Mag Tears, Torrid Literature, NY Literary Mag Flames, From The Heart by International Poetry Press , Crossways Lit Mag, herstry.com, The Daily Abuse book, other works forthcoming.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Kimberly Cunningham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember All

Hate caused it.
No one looked in eyes or at souls.
Evil made it happen.
Stolen lives paid ultimate prices.
Power and greed grew and smothered them.
Numbers were on skin for the inventory count.
Herded, poked, prodded and burned, for what?
One man dictated all.

We see you now. We hear your cries.
No one can forget or erase all the suffrage.
You mattered, not some branded number.
Our hearts burn just thinking of your demise.
Tears are still wept for the tragedy.
For a short time you roamed the Earth.
We know where your footsteps were forced.
The ashes smolder, we still hear your screams.

KJ Hannah Greenberg

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg, who is blessed to live in Jerusalem, delights in words. Her most recent poetry collections are Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017), and A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016). 

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Dark Sidewalks of Jerusalem’s Ramot Mall
on Erev Yom HaShoah

Night lights, solely, shine through most large panes.
The parking lot offers ample spaces. Small handfuls 
Of residents, exiting a nearby bus stop, hustle lunch
Pails, worn newspapers, assorted dinged umbrellas. 

Death defying seed and nut depot s stay open; old terror
Invites appetite. Popcorn, honeyed almonds, chocolate,
Also vast amounts of taffy, traffic across their doors so
Locals can nibble amid the next morning’s tribute sirens. 

Beyond tocsins, little’s taken upon to recall. Tattooed
Numbers became forgotten when worldly fashion inked
Across demographics. Too, ash tales or living skeletons
Signify zilch to countless, contemporary, horror readers.

Hence, it’s left to mall landlords to preserve our memories.
Without access to cell phone depots, fresh sushi, pizzerias,
Boutiques, chic sporting goods stores, cheap nail salons,
Perhaps, our adolescents might ponder our people’s dead.

Linda Crate

Bio (auto)

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She currently resides in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Linda Crate and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

had she survived

i remember
reading anne frank’s diary
almost seemed wrong
to know one’s innermost thoughts,
but it shone a light
in the darkness of the pandemonium
of which she endured
for as long as she was able;
i cannot imagine
being alive in that time
so sequestered and afraid that one day
the wrong person would be
knocking on the door and you’re led
to your deaths—
yet despite her youth
she knew courage that some men still
cannot claim,
and she was braver than i’ve ever known
myself to be;
i cannot imagine 
waking up each morning fearing every day
could be the last
praying that it wasn’t—
i wonder how different the world
would have been
had she survived.

Marsha Carow Markman

Bio (auto)

Marsha Markman, Professor Emerita of English at California Lutheran  University, is co-editor of The American Journey (vols. 1 and 2) and Writing Women’s’ Lives, which includes her, “Breast Cancer Diary;” several poems in If We Dance . . . A Collection of Poems; and,”Teaching the Holocaust through Literature,” in New Perspectives on the Holocaust. She edited and wrote the “Introduction” to Out of the Shadows, a Holocaust memoir by Piri Piroska Bodnar for whom the following poem is dedicated. Markman and her husband divide their time between California and Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Marsha Carow Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

When Light Pierces Darkness

In sleep I dream the nightmare of my days
cattle cars rumbling through
that ancient continent
you who kept me breathing
on that journey to the land 
of the dead and dying

chosen by the wave of a baton
to the left    to the right
branded like sheep
herded into ghettos
forced into labor
fearing bullets, starvation, disease
experiments that defy medical ethics

we dug trenches
hands bare and blistered
while our amused captors
watched as the numbered and nameless
were plowed into their final resting place
knit together in broken nakedness

the crematoria designed by
architects of hate
exalted by people of conscience
its blanket of ash covering every surface
still exudes a sight and scent that
permeates the air I breathe

today, these many years later
when morning light 
pierces the darkness
when my bleakest dreams
punctuate the night

when humanity’s shame drags me
to the edge of that trench
I struggle to chase the
demons from sleep
to see you   not alone but
woven in a tapestry of love.

Mark Elber

Bio (auto)

Mark Elber was born in NYC and now lives in Fall River, MA. He is the author of “The Everything Kabbalah Book” and “The Sacred Now: Cultivating Jewish Spiritual Consciousness.” He has an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Mark Elber and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


You couldn’t know it was goodbye forever
Goodbye to your mother at the railway station kilometers from home
You walked
With too much to say to say much
Believing the war would never touch them
In the attic where your father hid ninety-six hours
Or in the public building collapsing on your brother in the first September
      bombings, 1939
Goodbye to your father and remaining three brothers
And their chants after dinner over the oversized folios in a language that would
      re-emerge out of your son’s mouth thirty years later
Goodbye to the continuous meters of fabric sold out of the storefront with the
      hands of the whole family measuring, cutting, counting, taking manic
      chickens and onions in exchange for cotton to cover the muscle and callus of
Goodbye to the town squares of barefoot children in homemade dresses, piously
      scrubbed beards over starched ironed shirts, and finally barbed wire and broken
      glass and the rummage through the plundered apartment and no one said anything
      except where’s the jewelry, there must be jewelry
Goodbye to the Friday night table of candles and blessings, sweet wine and
      sweet fish, the sweet voice of your father
The table digested in the fireplace
Sweet wine intoxicating the gutters of the village
And your father’s voice no longer your father’s
You look in the mirror and see your father’s eyes, recognize your mother’s
You’re old enough to be their parent now
After they sheltered you from everything but their deaths

But you left on the echelon east to the front
You left on the echelon east to the front against their wishes
To bandaging broken soldiers
To retrieving pulses that could never go home
To meeting the young doctor you soon married and nursed through typhus
       and typhoid
To trains full of wounded cursing in a language you were still learning
Cursing the wombs that pushed them into this world of sonnets and
Cursing the flesh that heals too slowly or doesn’t heal at all
Cursing the long nightmare of sleeplessness….

Within two years you’d be sleeping deep in Asia
Far from the air raids, the bivouacs, the desertions
The overdrawn blood banks
The bunkers hiding families in overrun Poland
Where they cannot emerge for most of three years
And only eat by the mercy of bribed gentiles risking their lives
Where they bury their elders under their own mattress of earth
And cannot fully stand until the war is over and pogroms welcome some Jews
        returning to what they somehow still thought was home

And you would return in ’46 with a year-old child
With a memory twice your age
With a long list of no survivors
And with a fear of God, that Great Disappearing Act

Martin Elster

Bio (auto)

Martin Elster, a resident of Hartford, CT, is a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He is co-winner of the 2016 RhymeZone Poetry prize and the winner of the 2014 Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition. Other prizes include 3rd place in the 2015 SFPA Poetry Contest (long poem category) and 2nd place in its 2010 Ekphrasis competition.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Martin Elster and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Snatched from the Farm: Three Sisters

One line consists of elderly and ill;
the other young and fit and working age,
who’ll get a bowl of drugged soup as their wage 
and even get the hang of a new skill.
Two sisters in the “healthy” line now see
their sibling standing in the other row—
the sibling with the eczema. They know
that something doesn’t look right here. The three
must walk or die together. They’ve no choice. 
The youngest sprints across the yard to pull
the “sick” one back. The trains will soon be full,
and when they stop, nobody will rejoice.
They’re off together rolling down the track,
three teens whose parents never will be back. 

As fodder for the factories, they trekked
barefoot across the snow fields. Hunks of bread
were all that kept their reed-like frames erect.
One bitter morning, just beneath their tread,
they noticed spuds and scooped them up. Those raw 
tubers they’d conceal and eat at night,
aware their persecutors had a law
prohibiting these girls from such delight.
In camp that evening, lined up in the quad,
the sisters, close amid the others, shook
as one in ten were murdered by the squad.
When the girl beside them dropped, they didn’t look,
but knew they had been spared. The following dawn
they held each other as they plodded on.

They walked and slept, but didn’t die together.
The Russians came and then the sisters set
their sights on Palestine, where each one met
a man, had kids, and then the crucial tether
that lasted through the horror snapped when two
stayed put and saw the youngest move away.
She watched her children blossom day by day
in a land of hope or, leastwise, somewhere new.
She and her family once owned a farm
in Bratislava. Now she’s in a place
where caregivers abound. The human race
will kill or comfort, dish out food or harm.
She dreams now, not of trials and ordeals,
but of the cows, the chickens, and the fields.

Martina Gallegos

Bio (auto)

Martina came from Mexico and attended CSUN. She got a Master’s from Gran Canyon University. Her poems appeared in Hometown Pasadena, Silver Birch Press, Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015 & 2017, Lummox,  Central Coast Poetry Shows, Spirit Fire Review, Poetry Super Highway, La Bloga, Poets Responding to SB1070, and Basta! She was named Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2017 top poet.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Martina Gallegos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Loss of Memory

From what planet can its  inhabitants take the lives 
of over six million Jews as forgotten history?
As humans whom others saw as lesser beings.
Don’t the stories of survivors mean anything?
What kind of heart can conceal the horrors 
recorded on film, pictures, and diaries?
The world seems to suffer from selective 
loss of memory, but that’s a dangerous choice.
There are leaders who see themselves as greater 
than kings and rule like gods,
but these leaders have but one thing on mind,
the brainwashing of their people 
into oblivious submission.
Remembrance has a purpose: to prevent 
the past from becoming present and future.
Unfortunately, leaders on opposite ends 
of our fragile planet are bent on ignoring 
the past and repeating it.
Graves are calling for world peace 
and asking for justice for all the innocent 
lives barbarically taken to their death.
How do you explain history to a child 
whose future is uncertain?
How do we appease offspring of survivors?
Who can convince ignorance of the damage 
they’re causing to humankind?
They must look into the archives of history 
to remember the nightmares of the past.

Melissa Mendelson

Bio (auto)

Melissa R. Mendelson is a Hudson Valley, New York resident, who writes Horror and Science-Fiction short stories.  When she is not writing stories, she is writing poetry, and when she is not writing poetry, she is photographing the Hudson Valley Region.  Her stories and poetry have been published both in print and online.  Some previous publications include Gadfly Online and Antarctica Journal, and her poetry was included in Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Melissa Mendelson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cradle of Bones

The ground beneath my fingers is burnt,  
dried from history’s blood,  
tainted with the scent of death,  
and it knows not of bright blue skies 
but acid rain that continues to fall,  
a soft hiss of hate that boils still.  
The ground folds in around me,  
robbed of its royal green,  
its breath of nature,  
its seeds of hope for a better tomorrow.  
Everything is dead,  
decaying like pages of history 
that were torn away quickly 
before the mind could see beyond the veil,  
and I am wrapped in stillness,  
grounded deep in yesterday.  
And the ground breaks apart,  
threatening to consume all 
for we don’t listen 
but shake the earth 
in hopes of killing the truth,  
but the truth will refuse to die.  
It will linger.  
It will wait.  
It will speak, 
echoing across the cradle of my bones.  

Merridawn Duckler

Bio (auto)

Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon and the author of INTERSTATE, forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She’s a graduate of Hebrew College where she was the recipient Myer and Anna Wolf Prize for academic excellence.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Merridawn Duckler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

To the Anonymous Farmer Who Saved Her

The world has enlarged, judging by the thundering transports
that pass daily over the blacktopped fields.
Still, seasons roll over each other like animals. You were
the keeper of things;
farmers don’t question plenty.
In every seed
is a choice:
the wind can carry them,
or you can carry them.
From old practice, your hands make a tent,
and press what others would uproot.
Her face at the window is no plant,
but a memory that thrives and shrinks
and will die only when you die,
which is not this day.

Michael H. Brownstein

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetry Super Highway and others. He has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and The Possibility of Sky and Hell (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He presently resides in Jefferson City, Missouri where he lives with enough animals to open a shelter.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Michael H. Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Never Again For Any Of Us

A breaking of glass,
the cutting of earlocks,
a lynching by a stream,
the stoning on a street,
an act of terror, the act of terrorism

and the silence of the world.

You can have this, they told him,
if you end what you are doing
and he lied and took it 
and continued to take anew.

Still: a silence from the world

and the evil men and evil women 
followed orders, immoral orders

and the world in silence murdered.

Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga, son-song of Virginia Ruth, writes from their heartland, Birmingham AL. He received his B.A. in English from the liberal arts college, Birmingham-Southern College, about 35 years after his father graduated from their shared alma mater. Michael has contributed to many of the previous Yom HaShoah issues.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

picture of Hitler as a sad old lad

refused to grow

sad showed 
symptoms of sick
and refusing to heal

gone beyond mad
ness in a maniacal exhibition
of sadistic expressionism

Milton Montague

Bio (auto)

Milton Montague was raised in New York City, survived The Great Depression, World War 2.  After 20 years back at college, he discovered poetry at 86.  Now well over 90, he has 160 poems published in over 40 magazines.      

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Milton Montague and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mark is gone

Mark is gone
quietly into the past
but his mark remains

children, grandchildren, great grands
his mark on this world
and one cousin

he was more than a cousin
when we rescued him 
wounded by the Nazi Killing Machine
his family brutally murdered
by the same Soulless Bastards

        then we were six
        living modestly and happily
        parents, three daughters, and me

        I secretly yearned for
        a brother that I could share 
        boystuff with and then manstuff 
        as my sisters did

we brought him to the USA
to live with us
his new family

my sisters were married 
I just returned from World War 2
almost all in one piece

we got along great
I was teacher and big brother
being two months and two days older

I was back in college
he anxious to make his mark
soon he was working
by year’s end he found love and marriage

the years raced by happily
success in business matched 
growth of family size
children grew, married, 
begat children who grew, 
married, begat children 

their pictures overflowing
the living room mantelpiece
onto the window ledges

The Golden Years were welcomed
and enjoyed until the onslaught 
of illness and decline

after several years of around the clock care
the end came quietly as Mark 
a deeply religious man
went to sleep with his fathers

Nancy Kopp

Bio (auto)

Nancy Julien Kopp lives and writes in Manhattan, KS Her prose and poetry have been published in ezines, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Her personal essays have appeared in 21 Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. She did not begin writing until her mid-fifties but is dancing as fast as she an to catch up. She blogs with tips and encouragement for writers at www.writergrannysworld.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Nancy Kopp and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Ghosts of Terezin

The Ghosts of Terezin,
I cannot hear or see them.
Still, they are present in this small
Czech village on a sunlit summer day.
Our comfortable American tour group
makes an unscheduled stop. I stay on the bus
as the rest depart, some quiet, others not,
cameras in hand to record this day.
Discomfort and sadness envelop me—
flesh and bone gone seven plus decades,
yet, spirits still trample these grounds,
seeking unfound answers, weeping.
I sense children who lost the simple
act of smiling, parents grieving,
bearing heart-stabbing loss.
Terezin, village of eight thousand swelled
to one hundred fifty thousand when
Nazi propaganda drew Jews as a spider
draws victims to her silken web.
Trapped, dismayed, frantic—all of these.
Now, a cross and Star of David stand
Side by side in a silent cemetery.
In death comes harmony of battered souls.
Tears slip down my cheeks.
The tragedy is done, yet the ghosts
of Terezin remain, a presence
like no other I’ve encountered.
Now, they are etched in
one small corner of my mind forever.

Nancy Shiffrin

Bio (auto)

Nancy Shiffrin resides in Santa Monica. Find her available works on Lulu.com here.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Nancy Shiffrin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

At the Museum of Tolerance

we see
pictures of cadavers
fields of corpses
bunk beds like chicken coops
oceans of ashes
we talk about
Hugo Boss military jackets
Mercedes Benz
perpetrators still among us
we confront the extermination of peoples
we ask ourselves
what dimension of our humanity permits
us to go, en masse, to our doom…
we ask what part of us contains this murder

we reflect
on the meaning of the word
the ability to accept ideas or opinions
different from our own
the ability to resist pressure to endure hardship
what I feel when I ‘m writing toward something
and don’t know what it is…
what is new here…
what have I not grown up with
A woman confides
she was ignorant of Shoah
until she moved from Germany to France
where she had a nervous breakdown learning
we don’t hate enough
she lectures
we must all be deniers

all I can tolerate
is this walk up hill
beneath a canopy of trees
bare roots showing
broken sun bleeding out into the lavender sky
and the walk downhill
fruit trees in bloom lacy and pink
full moon high in the fading pale blue
lone bee feeding on a flower I cannot name

Pat M. Kuras

Bio (auto)

Pat M. Kuras lives in Hudson, Massachusetts. She was a Pushcart nominee in 2017. Her poems have appeared in many journals and she has two collections of poetry: HOPE: NEWFOUND CLARITY and INSOMNIAC BLISS.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Pat M. Kuras and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

April 11, 1945

Like other men of his generation,
my dad never spoke of his feelings,
always said very little.
It was my mother who told me
he was a war hero,
showed me the Bronze Star
he got for carrying U.S. soldiers
to safety, in full range of
German machine gunners.

Although, he did tell us about
his Purple Heart,
how the bomb thunked
onto the French farm
obliterating the single horse
and shooting shrapnel
into dad’s leg.

He loved to watch
those WWII documentaries
on the educational channel.
Never said a word,
just watched the newsreels.
And, in his later years,
mum was gone and I would
help him into his flannel pajamas.
"No, dad," I would have to tell him
as he tried to force his legs
into shirt sleeves.
"This goes on top."

And we sat on the couch together —
I’d read a book and
he’d watch tv.
Then, one night, a grisly story
on concentration camps.
He said nothing.
I tried to read my book.
Thirty minutes into it, I finally said,
"This is horrible. Why are we watching it?"
My dad, still staring at the screen,
said, "I helped free one of them."
My dad who never spoke and
that was all he ever said about it,
those six words.
He wouldn’t tell me anymore and
it was never mentioned again.

Later, online, I found his story, how his
104th Infantry Timberwolves
liberated Dora-Mittelbau
where prisoners had been forced
to construct underground tunnels and
factories and build V-2 rockets
for the Germans.
My dad helped free them
on April 11, 1945.
He was 21-years-old.

My dad was a war hero.

Radomir Luza

Bio (auto)

Radomir Vojtech Luza was born in Vienna, Austria in 1963. The union actor of 36 years and veteran stand-up comedian is the Poet Laureate of North Hollywood, CA, a Pushcart Prize Nominee, author of 32 collections of poetry, Writers Digest and 2018 Highland Park Poetry Challenge Honorable Mention. The 2016 Irwin Award-winner for Best Poetry Collection (EROS OF ANGELS), who resides in North Hollywood, CA, has contributed to over 80 literary journals, anthologies, websites and other media. The host/curator of over a dozen readings throughout the country, including the monthly UNBUCKLED: No Ho POETRY at T.U. Studios in North Hollywood, CA, has also featured his poetry over 100 times across the country, The Tulane University and Jesuit High School (New Orleans) graduate is the Editor and Publisher of the literary magazine, VOICES IN THE LIBRARY.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Radomir Luza and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Six Million Feet High

Delta flight 403
London to Vienna

Row 13 seats A and B
Mother and me

Seat C
Austrian man
Telling mother that
Holocaust did not happen

"Es war nicht," He says in German

Czech mother
War survivor

Stands up and blurts out
Her best German

"Es wahr und es wahr sehr schlecht"

The slaughter took place and
Was very bad, She says

Finally free
Without apathy
Mother sits down
In B

I stop shaking knee
order hot tea

Rich Murphy

Bio (auto)

Rich Murphy’s poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana. Asylum Seeker is the third in a trilogy out now (2018). The first collection in the trilogy was Americana and Body Politic, the second, was published by Prolific Press in January 2017. Murphy’s first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree was published in 2007 by Codhill Press. Chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox) and Paideia (Aldrich Press). Rich lives in Marblehead, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rich Murphy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

European Canon Fodder

“As befits human beings, we explored good and evil.”
– Czeslaw Milosz

Invaded by Western ways (Nazi, Soviet),
the never popular truth magnetic-field
attracts and evidence piles high
for movie cameras and poems.
An ugly Europe repelled for convenience,
comfortable beds, and sweet air.
A nimble Poland danced without principle
with soldiers and vigilantes: Cling, cling.
The dance shoes for each generation
printed until sole-less.
(Gullible, primitive weaklings
wept in cattle cars and sealed chambers.)
On occasion, after a prediction brought about,
individual neighbors dressed in curtains
brushed through minds with chills.
Indoctrinating in cunning historical logic
the humorless generations
who stuck out heads from uteri,
bread thieves continued to despair.
Trampled by leather hoots, horrors,
and ideology treads, each newborn endured.

Richard Kalfus

Bio (auto)

Richard Kalfus is a retired Professor of Holocaust/Genocide Studies at St. Louis St. louis Community college and St. Louis University. He has Published articles and poetry related to the Holocaust (i.e 2017 Journal for National Community Colleges) and was awarded Teacher of the Year for Holocaust education at St. Louis Community College / Meramec campus. Rucgard received an NEH grant to Berlin to study the Holocaust in relationship to the Weimar Republic.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Richard Kalfus and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Grandson Remembers

She was a small, delicate woman
my grandmother.
She– with only an 8th grade education
but with the instinct of a survivor.
Raised 3 boys alone
in Nazi Germany.
Deported with thousands of Jews
to Gurs, a French concentration camp.
Max, her eldest
murdered in a Nazi street battle
Fritz, her youngest,
wife and child
“delivered” to Auschwitz
where none survived
Allen, my father
by sheer luck
survived in America
where I was born.
A Jewish relief organization
“bought” my grandmother’s
freedom to America.
Alas, a new form of survival
was needed
to face a mother-in-law
whose grief at the loss
of her parents, murdered
in the very same camp
as her mother-in-law
knew no bounds.
I too young to recognize
The emotional abuse
directed at my grandmother
by her motherin-law,
my mother.
I lived as the silent, powerless son—
a witness in a family
forever marked
by the Holocaust.

Rie Sheridan Rose

Bio (auto)

Rie Sheridan Rose is a writer based in Austin, Texas. Her poetry appears in numerous anthologies, including Metastasis, Twenty: In Memoriam, Boundless, and Mars: The Next Frontier. She has authored ten novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. More info on www.riewriter.com. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rie Sheridan Rose and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tears for the Children

Too young to toil
in the camps,
the children were
often first to die.

Led from the trains
straight to death chambers,
or the long ditches
filled with bodies.

Whimpering, wailing,
sighing, sobbing,
tears of precious water
draining their souls.

The unluckiest
met Mengele…
with his fascination
for twins and tots.

Romani sewn together
to fabricate conjunction,
dying of infection
in a misery of pain.

Sweets offered with one hand,
bullets with the other.
Cut apart for dissection
to see what was inside…

not understanding that
dead men tell no tales,
and children never even
knew the words.

Over a million of the fallen
were children…
tiny bodies broken,
releasing angelic souls.

When you remember
the lost Frank sisters,
spare a prayer for the
children too young to write.

Rifkah Goldberg

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, eleven grandchildren and five step-grandchildren; and is married to the writer Shalom Freedman.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rifkah Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Holocaust-Victim Grandmother

I carry your name
In the blazing Jerusalem sunlight
You probably never even imagined
But I would like to know
What you looked like
Bent over on your Vienna stoop
In a rare glimpse into your life
My father told me you were very pious
And recited psalms all day
Recently my sister told me
You spent long periods away from home
Trying to deal with depression that was never dealt with
There is a photo in my album
My father took on a visit back there
Of the outside of what was your home on Nickelgasse
But by then you had long been murdered
With my grandfather in Auschwitz after sending away
My father with the last Kindertransport* to England
As a teenager he ran back and forth trying to get permits
To bring you out of Europe and save you
Took him some years to discover you were dead
And now older than you were then
Would like to know what you looked like
But however hard I search probably never will

* Rescue operation in which 10,000 Jewish children from
Nazi-controlled areas of Europe were brought to the
United Kingdom between 1938 and 1940.

Robert B. Robeson

Bio (auto)

Robert B. Robeson served over 27 years in the U.S. Army as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot. While serving a four-year tour of duty in West Germany (1970-1974), he was able to visit Dachau for himself. He has also been published 900 times in 330 publications in 130 countries, in addition to 60 anthologies. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Robert B. Robeson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Deranged Demons of Dachau

The first Nazi concentration camp opened
By Heinrich Himmler, March 1933
Three-hundred SS camp guards
Thirty-two thousand liberated by
U.S forces, April 29, 1945
Twenty-two thousand were Jews
Thirty railroad cars filled with rotting corpses
Sights, sounds and stenches beyond belief
Thirty-two barracks for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies,
Homosexuals, "asocials," Social Democrats, Jews,
German communists, physically and mentally
Handicapped and repeat criminals
One barrack for clergy and one for medical experiments
Each of 20 barracks had 1,600 prisoners
Designed to house only 250 people
Heavy metal gate with slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei"
(Work sets you free) Perhaps "death" instead
Of "work" would have been more appropriate
Barrack X, a crematorium with four sizeable ovens
To dispose of thousands of bodies
Prisoners used as guinea pigs for German physician
Experiments: bio-chemical, malaria, tuberculosis,
High pressure, exposure, testing new medications, high
Altitude using decompression chamber, excessive bleeding
Notorious shower baths where SS tortured prisoners
By flogging and hanging them at the stake
A special SS barrack, a bordello with female Ravensbruck
Concentration camp prisoners forced into prostitution
Thousands worked to death in armament factories
Typhus and lice epidemics, overcrowding, abysmal
Sanitary conditions, insufficient provisions, slave
Labor to solve Hitler’s "Jewish Problem" and
Contribute to his "Final Solution"
The wickedness of man on full display                                                             
Surrounded by guard towers, electrified 
Fences and water-filled moats
Misery and torment on an unbelievable scale, one
Of the world’s most gruesome symbols of inhumanity
Conditions beneath human dignity
The darkest of times in modern history.

Robbie Masso

Bio (auto)

Robbie Masso is a published poet, abstract artist, and photographer from Somerdale, NJ. His work can be seen on RobbieMassoArt.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Robbie Masso and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


She spoke accented English, 
but she talked for over an hour
while her weathered hands shook 
and tears raced each other down her cheeks.

“I was 16 and my friend, Helen, was 17.
We were sent to a death camp.
We started marching on the second day
in the middle of the winter.

Helen had no shoes, just sandals.
These sweet, innocent, little girls
were snapping off their toes
and not wincing at all.

Beautiful teenage girls slowed down on purpose
so that their life would end before it began.
They had no toes left, so a bullet didn’t look too bad.
Who knows what they would have become?

I would never dare call those girls quitters.
Some pushed on because of their will to live,
but I don’t blame the ones who wanted out.
I don’t know why I kept enduring – g-d maybe.

I see these movies and they mostly focus on
people dying without trying to live.
You see these women walk into a chamber 
without a peep, and that just isn’t true.

They scratched, clawed, drew blood from the men.
I don’t understand why there is still sexism.
It would die immediately if you saw us girls fight
and survive and endure and do it so young.

I killed two guards. 
Helen and I knew we had one more day to live.
We broke off pieces of the wooden bunk.
We told the other girls and waited until morning.

The doors opened that morning and I saw red –
at 16 I saw red.
Two guards laid at my feet and I felt Helen grab me.
We ran and ran and ran.

Bullets were screaming in every direction,
hitting trees and signs and cars,
but we didn’t stop.
We couldn’t.

We found the home of a doctor.
He saw us running and unlocked his door.
We came inside and before we said a word
he grabbed us and ran us downstairs.

He gave us food and clothing for months.
One day he came down the steps with a newspaper.
He showed us the headlines while he remained silent.
It was over. We were free.

Helen and I stayed close.
We buried her a few years ago.
Dying at 74 is a lot better than 17.
Although, she did die at 17, just not completely.”

Rolland Vasin

Bio (auto)

Rolland Vasin(aka Vachine), a third generation American writer, published in the anthologies Wide Awake, Coiled Serpent, and Lummox, among others, Features at local literary performance venues including Beyond Baroque, and reads open-mics from Cambridge MA to Big Sur CA.  The Laugh Factory’s 1992 3rd Funniest CPA in LA, his day job includes auditing child, family, and research non-profits as well as Auxiliaries of the California State University system.  A resident of Santa Monica CA, Vachine plays the guitar, banjo, and ukulele, but not all at the same time.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rolland Vasin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Witness For Yom Hashoah

The Russian-Jew cabbie in Sydney taxis
into his rearview that I’m a friendly person,
says every American Jew he knows is pleasant.
Survivor’s blue-eyes ask why my government
is so murderous?  I mirror back, good people
do evil when they cross paths with nationalism.
He squints, “Then why don’t American Jews
speak out more about genocide?
What I don’t tell him is how blue jazz,
and yellow dogs, in Leimert Park,
pinned balls on this honky,
how the Anansi Brothers,
with a smile and a Jesus-wrench,
forged ’round kitchen ovens, baking
peach cobbler sweeter from rotten fruit,
eased back the bolts of my armor,
let light slip through a tiny crack.  I
say, "I’m a poet,  I speak out,

not many listen."  The rest
of the fare is spent
in silence…

Rona Laban

Bio (auto)

Rona Laban has been a copywriter, as well as an editor for a published writer. Two of her poems appeared in the Fall edition of The Muddy River Review. Her poem, “My Father’s plant stand was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart prize. Previously published in two anthologies, her haikus’ have appeared in Extracts, an online zine. She is from Plymouth, MA. 

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rona Laban and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


        For Julius Tauber

there is a name
a face
his eyes
stare back at me
from the computer screen
married to Malvena
from the village of
Moravsky Svaty Jan

Those eyes tell your story
what horrors had they already seen
your people being taken away
systematically killed
when did you know
you wouldn’t survive?

my grandfather’s brother
my great uncle
perished in Aushwitz

Rosalind J. Lee

Bio (auto)

I live in the center of Norwich, Norfolk, UK, where I lived as a child with my ‘relatives’ who knew me from the early days after the war…they were good to me.  After they died or too old, I was made to go North to live with a good decent Christian family as there was no proof I was Jewish, and I always thought I/we were Catholics. I was a disabled half caste at the time.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rosalind J. Lee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


When there was nowhere to walk,
We ran, past views past visual, past lost –
In the pale shrouds of time we passed
Shadows in a dark sky. 
Inside our minds, we saw the blue sky,
The songs we sang, notes of music
That lifted us up.  Past the walls –
Past the edge that ran razor sharp
To cut us apart.  We made plans –
What to do when we were free
As the birds were – we’d fly
To new countries, to people who knew
What life was.   Later – I saw our image
Skeleton thin, set aside for our difference,
Not able to fit in.  Always too bright,
Too knowing, too able. 
In our minds wheels turn, razor sharp,
The terror within, led others to greed,
To mayhem and violence, claimed
Our attention, shook our foundations.
Back into memory, past the door
I won’t open, to the day when I lost them
In a war, I couldn’t fight.  Their blood
Colors me in, and blankets my bed.

Rosemarie Krausz

Bio (auto)

Rosemarie Krausz lives in Manotick, Ontario, Canada where she reads and writes poetry.  She recently began a low-residency MFA program in poetry at Drew University, where her first mentor is Alicia Ostriker.  Before she retired, she was a psychoanalyst and psychologist who published in her field.  She is a child of two Holocaust survivors from Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Rosemarie Krausz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Post Shoah Glosa

– for Ellen
In the light between the dark
I will let sadness rise like a balloon 
filled with what is yet to be lost.
let the sun lift me from this spell.

                        – Rachel Goldstein,
                          from #21 of her last unpublished poems
Born of the war, but not our own persons,                                        
they filled us up with memories to bursting—                                   
so full we never wanted to eat real food
growing up.  And they looked at us—guilty—
as if they were Nazis, starving us.
My weight was a lissome balloon that hit the mark—
my mother—who always complained of being 
built like a tiny bull—huge shoulders, no hips, no ass.
She’d watch me running free in the park,
in the light between the dark.
What should I do, cry?  Laughing after telling  
how he almost died in the Hungarian Army—                       
standing up like boxed toothpicks in the back of the truck—
how the driver’s eyes spotted the low wire 
stretched between two trees and stopped
before the wire decapitated the whole platoon.
Yes, you should cry—after all that!
Ach! If I started to cry, I’d never be able to stop.  
I’d be lost.  So.  The war was like a cartoon. 
I will let sadness rise like a balloon.  

Thirty-year-old woman—shortest in the lager—
unraveled eight inches of hem on her potato sack dress
cut the threads off with her teeth.  Hatched a spell.
Slunk out of the lager at four a.m. in the frost
to stand in line next to the others for selection.
Wanted to be invisible.  Survive at any cost.  
Stood on a mound she found—to look as tall
as the other women—her hem lined up with theirs.
The world is filled with folktales from all holocausts—
filled with what is yet to be lost. 
Let all of us—victims and perpetrators of war
     rear our children and children’s children to forgive.
Let the slaughterers and the slaughtered make peace
     when we all object with conscience to killing.
Let the dark smell of the crematoria float up to the sky.
    And let us vow in each country with each bone-cell
to let Others be in their glorious difference—
    Others who don’t cancel us out and whom we don’t cancel out.
Let us all forgive and be well.
Let the sun lift me from this spell.  

Shai Ben-Shalom

Bio (auto)

Shai’s first collection of poems, Martians Among Us, was published in 2012 by In/Words Press. His poetry appeared in The Calling, 2011; In Air/Air Out, 2011; Our Hircine, Murine Doppelgangers, Mars, 2013; Ottawa Arts Review, 2013; and is published weekly in Blacklock’s Reporter. Shai lives in Ottawa, Canada.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Shai Ben-Shalom and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Crystal Night

November 9, 1938.
Intense light
from burning homes,
burst through the sky
at 300,000 km per second.
80 years later
it is 750 trillion km away,
leaving behind Earth,
the Solar System.
In 50,000 years
it will reach the edge of the galaxy.
In 46 billion,
the edge of the universe.
it will reach

Shelly Blankman

Bio (auto)

Shelly Blankman, of Columbia, MD, is the wife of Jon Blankman, and the proud mom of two sons, Richard, of Brooklyn, NY, and Joshua, of San Antonio, TX. After receiving her BA degree in English at Virginia Wesleyan in Norfolk, VA and pursuing a Journalism degree as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Marshall University in Huntington, Virginia, she followed careers in both public relations and book editing. Now, she enjoys time at home with her dog and four cats. Her favorite hobbies are making scrapbooks and cards.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Michele Hyatt-Blankman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Name is Miriam

A world of dreams imploded by age,
my mirrored face gazes back at me.
Summers of buttercups would soon be over,
the sweet taste of life, too, would wane.
This is the sum of me, I thought.
This is who I am.
But who am I really?

My name is Miriam.

No one calls me that,
Miriam exists no more.
Her story like so many others-
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
their lives in trinkets and candles
and clothes edged in lace.

All that make a house a home,
looted and littered with shards of glass,  
photos and papers shredded and burned,
nothing left to share,
no one left to share them.
Ghosts of children, too.
A stuffed bear matted with drool.
A crinkled game board, pieces lost.
Stick-figured cats on wrinkled paper.

And Miriam, like so many others,
robbed of strength and spirit,
no way to stand, nowhere to go,
mired in the mud where life used to be,
where  men toiled
        and women cooked
        and children  giggled
        and teachers  taught
        and rabbis chanted.

Burning embers are all that remain
where skeletal villages are living graves,
spit on by brown-shirted boys, barely men,
air thick with the stench of the dying, the dead.
A fortunate few able to flee,
jammed in a barge destined for dreams
In America.

Among the chattel, my grandmother,
Miriam’s sister, her dress so lovingly stitched,
now stained and grimy, sagging on her four-foot frame,
so tiny against this monster war that had choked her childhood,
and in its wake, sweet Miriam.

In this barge prison, my grandmother,
masking pain and loss like so many others
on the boat that day, headed in fear for freedom
hanging onto a frayed rope of hope through fickle waters,
hearts pounding with each ocean wave.
Like others, she cries and no one hears, should hear,
but Miriam.

My grandmother,
packing her pain – what little was left –
as she headed for the boat that day,
her small carpet pouch filled
with photos, maybe a coin or two
from her beloved Austria.

Dreams of freedom mixed with fear.
No family waiting to yell, “Here I am!”
No shoulder to cry on.
No aunt or uncle or friend to say
“Cry on if you want, cry if you must.”
Her tears invisible. No one must know.

My grandmother,
so small and frail at seventeen.
Her high-top shoes, scuffed with mud.
What would her mother say?
She shudders.
Her mother gone, her father, too.
Nine brothers and sisters left behind
in distant snaking smoke.

And Miriam, her sister, her confidante
Her anchor to life itself.
Where was she? Her dear, sweet Miriam.
Like the rest of them, devoured.

Now, generations later,
The smoke long cleared,
I carry her name.

"Miriam." Hebrew.  “Rebellious,”
Yet, how could Miriam rebel?
How would she? How could she?
No voice to scream. No fists to fight.

I am bound to rebel where she could not.
I am bound to remember her,
and all the others who died with her
and all those who would have been born
for generations to follow
if only she had lived.

I am bound  to speak for those muted by fear
to show strength for those who cannot.

I am bound to rebel.
My name is Miriam.

Stanley H. Barkan

Bio (auto)

Stanley H. Barkan’s most recent awards include the following: 2016 [Trapani, Sicily] – L’Occhio di Scammacca" (sculpture) Sicilian award; 2016, 2017 HOMER – The European Medal of Poetry and Art, June 2016 in China & January 2017 (ceremony), Brighten Beach, Brooklyn, New York; 2017, China: “Best Poet of the Year” (2016), 8 January 2017, The International Poetry Translation and Research Centre, The Journal of The World Poets Quarterly (Multilingual), Editorial Department of the Chinese Poetry International; and 2018 Poetry Prize of European Academy of Sciences Arts and Literature (January 26, 2018, in Paris). His latest books are The Sacrifice: A Midrash of Origins (Oyster Bay, NY: New Feral Press, 2018) and More Mishpocheh (Swansea, Wales: The Seventh Quarry Press, 2018).

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Stanley H. Barkan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

III. Isaac

He who laughs
defines your name.
But why such a name
for one who nearly died
on the altar
of his father’s dream?
Was it because
Sarah laughed
when told of his birth
to come in her dotage,
the mocking laugh
of no faith?
Was this not vengeance?
Oh, was not this vengeance
worse than a single death!
All the persecutions, pogroms,
expulsions, slaughters,
massacres, autos-da-fé,
catastrophes, crematoria
of all the future Isaacs—
a far, far greater sacrifice
than only one on an altar.
Laugh, Clown, laugh.
All humanity’s heart
is breaking!

*From The Sacrifice, A Midrash of Origins,
by Stanley H. Barkan (Oyster Bay, NY: New Feral Press, 2018)

Stefanie Bennett

Bio (auto)

Stefanie Bennett… based in Canberra, Australia is still globe crossing. She has published several volumes of poetry – a novel & a libretto. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she has worked with Arts Action For Peace & been nominated for both Pushcart & Best of the Net.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Stefanie Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


for Olga Berggolts
Pressing my two palms together,
Finger-tips lightly touching
I create an atlas – where
Citizens sleep
… Often fitfully.
House of death’s asphalt,
How abstract
You’ve become
Below the dome of sky – as
Thumb-balls crack
The glass cheekbones
In Kiev. In Canberra.

Stephen Mead

Bio (auto)

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer living in Albany, NY.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Greetings Lamentations

(Thank you to Peter Matthiessen)
Place names on calling tongues
of love, of recognition.
Give faces back to the mass unidentified
that number millions in far flung pits
dug by their own hands,
or told to climb and writhe on one another
in the ovens, the crematoriums.
Witness the mountains of children’s shoes,
the multiple haystacks of human hair
and the howling silence
from such vast absences.
They are shimmering through again
in tickertape pajamas
candles catch the shadows of
to hold as memories in the prayers unsaid
save by spirits lit in the flesh
who pilgrimage to these vistas—–
German, Poland, Russian, and onward,
beyond maps of even tactile geography.
Now, here, the slow movement beginning in feet
is unexpected as hands, in improvised instinct,
lift too, fingertips touching like sage
swaying as cleansing in this circling dance
of honor, of homage
for those who suffered the atrocious
and in need of joy.
Grace envelop this air
generous with intention, compassion,
faith, grief, and go on ascending,
tear-bathed, smiling ’til ever lament is embraced
as we shall overcome.

Steve Braff

Bio (auto)

Over the two years, Steve Braff has been exploring his relationship to Judaism using poetry as a way to bring to word what it means for him to be a post-Holocaust Jew.  Steve’ poetry has been published in Tea House, Muryoko Journal of Shin Buddhism,  Muscogee Nation News, Cholla Needles, and  Nomad’s Choir. Steve’s first book, “Forty Days”,  inspired by images of Joshua Tree National Park, was published by Cholla Needles Press in 2017. He anticipates release late this year of “Exodus Remix”- a poetic retell of the Second Book of Moses. Steve lives with his wife, dog, and two cats, in Los Olivos, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Steve Braff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Joy to the World

– 4/4 swing to a 140 beat –
Buddha was one beggar bowl man.
Jeremiah be a bullfrog Jew.
Hitler the German Shepherd third
Reich gonna come for you.
One lead a sit-in for freedom.
Two come a cryin bad shit.
Three be one fuckin problem,
so for Christ’s sake never forget.
Nirvana ain’t for no one.
Don’t eat that kosher stew.
God left the oven door open, son–
none of this be lost on you.

Steve Klepetar

Bio (auto)

Steve Klepetar was born in Shanghai, China, the child of Holocaust survivors. His work has been published widely in the U.S. and abroad, and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. The author of 14 poetry collections, he lives and writes in Dalton, Massachusetts in the Berkshires.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Steve Klepetar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I asked the dirt

I asked the dirt for my grandmother’s bones.
"Ask the ashes," she said.
From the ashes I requested her eyes.
"Speak to the smoke," he replied.
I engaged the smoke in polite conversation.
"Where is my grandmother’s skin," I said.
"Oh, ask the wind, ask the wind" said the smoke.
I asked the wind.  "Where is my grandmother’s
face?  What have you done with her hair,
her mouth, the fingers she used, the feet
she walked on?"
And the wind blew cold around the chimney
stacks and whistled
                         through the dead
courtyard and rattled
some thin, frozen trees in its roar and its tumble
and rush, and the wind sulked
in seeping darkness, frowned and said
nothing at all.

Sunayna Pal

Bio (auto)

Born in Mumbai, Sunayna Pal moved to Rockville, MD after marriage. She opted out of her corporate job to embark on her heart’s pursuits – Sold art for NGOs and became a certified handwriting analyst to help people understand themselves. She is a new mother and devotes all her free time to writing and Heartfulness. Know more on sunaynapal.com

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Sunayna Pal and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The pile of debris, strewn
searches the smoky sky-
seeking its source, a reason.

The weapons of destruction
are done spitting their rancor
slaying, even the villain.

Forgotten reasons left in the air.
Only alive, is the helpless memory
with pain, hurt and despair.

Susan Olsburgh

Bio (auto)

Susan Olsburgh grew up in the United Kingdom. Her parents, victims of Nazi oppression, were glad to find safe refuge in the UK in 1938. Seven years ago Susan & her husband moved to Israel. She is the president of Voices Israel, a long established group dedicated to writing poems in English. Susan runs a monthly poetry appreciation event in Netanya.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Susan Olsburgh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wandering Wayfarers

Do you feel yourself still to be German?
The Nazis drove the German out of me
elderly Father said to the journalist
Yet they were always the Germans:
the German ladies can make the salads
the bazaar chairman blithely proclaimed
They left behind the horrors
but table settings, soup spoon shapes
divulged origins as much as accents.
Sauerkraut and punctuality remained
with yearning for Schwazwalderkirsch torte
more real than English beer or porter.
Here it is expected that you have roots from elsewhere
and ironically in Israel we are now  called the Anglos
 in our own land where British lifestyle traits show.

Susan Beth Furst

Bio (auto)

Susan Beth Furst is a poet and author. Susan’s haiku have been published online and in print. Her haibun, 57, was chosen to appear in, old song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, 2017. Her haibun, Something in the water, appears in the April 2018 issue of Sonic Boom. She is currently working on a collection of Christmas haiku. Susan lives in Woodbridge, Virginia.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Susan Beth Furst and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Green sea foam jello is a delicacy enjoyed
by the Curtain Snappers who also enjoy
an occasional game of carpet rugby
organized by the Ministry of Picture Wizards
who partake in an ever-increasing number
of typewriter joyrides while
rounding up all of the Candle Tappers
until the unbearable burden
of the enjoyment itself
comes down to
the sickening reality        
of a leather lampshade.

but the fruit was so sweet . . .

silence     the fig tree missing leaves

Sy Roth

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth (Mount Sinai, New York) is the child of Holocaust survivors. The pictures of their unsmiling faces, remind him of what he lost. He seeks pleasure in this cruel world in the smiling eyes of his seven grandchildren.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In A Landscape of Shredded Dreams

It spills over when I blink
the years and the wailing
and the stories silently read on their faces
bereft of smiles
for they could not smile
those prisoners of memory.
They banked those days
behind their eyes.
In the darkness, they swelled
those growing, gruesome, toothless hags
who tarried in the recesses–
reminding and reminding
that there was a truth then.
While purveyors of untruth,
shrouded in closely-closed lids,
tell tales for the happy masses
that they would repeat
to create new generations of unsmiling beasts,
gassed them into oblivion
waiting for red lines to be crossed
and re-crossed.
An unforgiving landscape of unkindness unfolds
and torn-asunder dreams
all lost in the possibilities that cannot be
claim the land in thrall.

Tina Hacker

Bio (auto)

Tina Hacker lives in Leawood, KS, with her husband Lynn Norton who is a sculptor and excellent editor. Tina’s full-length poetry book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published by Aldrich Press and her chapbook titled, Cutting It, was released by The Lives You Touch Publications. Tina was Poet of the Week for the Poetry Super Highway in 2015.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Tina Hacker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Golem* Returns Memories
Task: Comfort a Holocaust survivor.

Ruth, the lucky one,
traveled to New York with her aunt
before Hitler’s henchmen
brought urban renewal to her town.
Lost parents, cousins,
brother Sam. A sister, unnamed,
still in her mother’s womb.

At night she sang Yiddish lullabies
remembered from her childhood
to children she never had.
Didn’t know all the lyrics so made some up,
unaware that her words conjured a golem
beneath her window.

Sitting on a lawn chair, the golem
listened to her weeping,
discovered she had only three photos
left of her family. She wept
for lost images that would
stop the slow fading of memories.

The golem explored antique stores
for old photos and frames.
Then changed hairstyles, dresses,
heights, expressions
to reflect Ruth’s features
and those of her relatives.

He bought a ragged fan, an ashtray,
a cracked teacup she might find familiar.
When her doorbell rang, the mail carrier
handed her a package from Europe.
A note inside told her the contents
came from her parents’ home.

The writer apologized
for keeping her photos, mementoes
so many years before returning them.
The postage marks, signature,
were mud-smudged, illegible.
No return address.

*Part of Jewish folklore, a golem is a mud and earth human-like
creature summoned from the earth to accomplish a task dictated
by its creator. After fulfilling the task, the golem returns to the
earth, becoming mud and dirt again.

Tova Snitzer

Bio (auto)

Tova Snitzer was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the granddaughter of four Holocaust survivors. Tova enjoys writing both fiction and poetry as a creative outlet. This poem is dedicated to those who were lost before their time.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Tova Snitzer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Family Tree

They chopped down my family tree
Dug the roots out of the ground
Cut the trunk into rounds
Each round showed years of age
Some young, some old
And some ancient
Then they carted the pieces away
Burying them in places unknown
Or sending up full burnt offerings in smoke
Only a few small branches slipped through
More like glorified twigs
Abandoned and decayed
After years the sea carried them away
To reseed and resprout
And I grew from that sapling
But I’ll never know from where I came
All the memories erased and knowledge gone
When they chopped down my family tree
All the names unknown, forgotten faces
The children unborn, untread places
When they chopped down my family tree
So I’ll never forget and never forgive
Remember forever and on their behalf live
Since they chopped down my family tree

Vincent O’Connor

Bio (auto)

Vincent O’Connor plays with computers for a living, but writes for life. He lives in Ely, MN.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Vincent O’Connor and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Why We Remember

The Shoah began not
with the gas chambers
but with
crimes of indifference
conspiracies of silence
and distorted lies black
as Schutzstaffel uniforms.

Now anti-Semitic crimes
rise like
the ashes of
burnt bodies
from Nazi crematoriums
and white supremacists march
“Jews will not replace us!”

Deuteronomy tells us to
guard ourselves and
our souls
lest we forget the things
we saw

and make them known
to the children
who come after

so make a covenant
with those lost
to the Holocaust’s
death machine
to remember and preserve

acknowledge there are no 
bystanders to genocide

and immunize ourselves
to identify and
neutralize those who

foment hate

Zvi A. Sesling

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling is the Brookline, MA Poet Laureate and a prize winning poet. He edits Muddy River Poetry Review. He has published three books of poetry. The Lynching of Leo Frank (Big Table Publishing, 2017) Fire Tongue (Cervena Barva, 2016) and King of the Jungle (Ibbetson Street, 2010) and two chapbooks Love Poems From Hell (Flutter Press, 2017) Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva, 2011). He has been published widely nationally and internationally. He lives in Brookline, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Death Camp

Acid hate, scourge of decency
the mouth pours out bilge:
the petty, the vile, the unborn
thoughts of death
O child of gas, mother of the unbelieving
the claws of solitude
rip open the heart
boil the flesh
paint the humble bleak
death can be a reward
Oppressed of the oppressed
dweller in squalor
march in the cold, shiver by day
freeze at night
labor for a button of bread
death is the end

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