19th Annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Poetry Issue

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

Alex Chornyj
Ananya Guha
Anthony Watts
Bryan Damien Nichols
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Dan Fitzgerald
Daniel Irwin
David Ades
David Lohrey
G. David Schwartz
David Supper
Donal Mahoney
Elena Thornton
Elizabeth Harmatys Park
Nicholson Eric
Cona F. Gregory-Adams
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Graham Fulton
Hanoch Guy
Heather Browne
I.B. Rad
James Goodman
Jan Chronister
Jim Bennett
Johnmichael Simon
Krista Wallen
Lisa Stice
Marsha Markman
Martina Robles Gallegos
Matthew Scott Harris
Merridawn Duckler
Michael Brownstein
Michael Burch
Michael Virga
Neil Ellman
Nicholas Nicola
Ozzie Nogg
Nancy Scott
Patricia Carragon
Raoul Izzard

Richard Kalfus
Richard Widerkehr
Rie Sheridan Rose
Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg
Ron Kolm
Stacey Zisook-Robinson
Steve Braff
Stefanie Bennett
Susan Beth Furst
Thomas Elliott
Tina Edwards
Tina Hacker
Virginia Mariposa Dale
Wilderness Sarchild
Zvi A. Sesling


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


Alex Chornyj
xelanire@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Alex (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada) has been writing for approximately forty years. His poetry has been published in magazines, books, online and in journals. His writing is the expression of his inner self through the spiritual translation of his spirit guides. He is a regular contributor on the monthly Poetry Super Highway call in show on blogtalk radio.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Alex Chornyj and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sanctity

It’s something we need
To talk about
The ugly side of conflict
The cultural genocide of the Holocaust.
During the second world war
Most did not live to tell
But those who did
Speak of unspeakable acts.
As those of Jewish faith
Faced a persecution
Families were torn apart
Incinerators filled the air,
With an acrid odour
From the burning flesh
Of the innocent
Whose screams and cries,
Prevail to this day
As Hitler has many names
One face replaces the other
The suffering across lines,
Is non-discriminatory
It is as pervasive today
As for those who stood in line
Waiting for their execution.
Whose only guilt
Was being who they were
Not from anything
That they’d ever done.
But the race they were born into
To be chastised
By an ethnocentric doctrine
That lacks any legitimacy,
Or jurisdiction
We need to acknowledge this loss
As a black eye in our history
Not to forget,
But to solemnly remember
Not to relive the moment
But to teach us how not to be
To defend the dignity and sanctity of life.


Ananya Guha
nnyguha48@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ananya Guha and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Untitled

The bombs left many
gasping
many splintered
before seeing
a holocaust


Anthony Watts
sanchobramble@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Anthony Watts lives on the outskirts of a village near Taunton in Somerset, England.  He has been writing ‘seriously’ for about 40 years.  He has won prizes in poetry competitions and has had poems published in magazines and anthologies.  His latest collection is The Shell-Gatherer.  His main interests are poetry, music, walking and binge thinking – activities which he finds can be happily combined.  

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Anthony Watts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

He watched

black smoke curling from the crematorium
where his mother and sister were being consumed;

next he watched (they made him watch)
while they hung a child who took an hour to die.

‘Where is God?’ a prisoner asked, ‘where is He?’ 

– and a clear voice answered, ‘He is here,
hanging on the gallows.’



(Based on the memories of the Holocaust survivor
and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.)


Bryan Damien Nichols
bryandnichols@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan’s debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing, 2015).  In this submission, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Bryan Damien Nichols and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember

Remember the sore-ridden boy with the severed
leg, Gottschalk, who coughed himself to sleep
on a floor of dirt. Remember the half-blinded
girl, Jesenska, who collapsed by the assembly line,
her box full of machine parts scattering
as she fell. Remember the women–Desnos,
Nussbaum, Rubczak–who, after having
their children ripped from their slender arms,
forsook all pride and hope. Remember how
they became as statues, starring with dulled eyes,
into the infinite gloom of fresh-wound memories.
Remember the heavy rains, the muddy puddles,
the bodies of broken men–Feldman, Cohen, Shkop,
Ullman, Pirjevec, Kolbe–in muddy puddles.
Remember the compound where dozens
were held, finding room for themselves only
like folded sheets stuffed into a closet.
Remember that so many drained the cup
of that specious phrase spiked with insidious intent:
Arbeit Macht Frei.

But remember that these many millions–male
and female–young and old–all and singular–
remain woven into the blood and sinew
of our hearts as a testament to the simple truth
that the Oppressed–in spite of fear, savagery,
and hate–can survive.


KJ Hannah Greenberg
drkarenjoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg, who writes from Jerusalem, BH, plays with words that bud in pastures where gelatinous wildebeests roam and beneath the soil where fey hedgehogs play. Hannah’s poetry collections are: Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017, Forthcoming), A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016), Dancing with Hedgehogs, (Fowlpox Press, 2014), The Little Temple of My Sleeping Bag (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), Citrus-Inspired Ceramics (Aldrich Press, 2013), Intelligence’s Vast Bonfires (Lazarus Media, 2012), Supernal Factors (The Camel Saloon Books on Blog, 2012), Fluid & Crystallized (Fowlpox Press, 2012), and A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend (Unbound CONTENT, 2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Animadversion

Across social media, the animadversion of “Jews,” “Hebrews,” “Israelis,”-
You know the kind, remains popular fodder for denizens more intrigued
With Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram’s bright lights than actual collective
Justice, human decency, or the sorts of goings on that honor life’s worth.

Irresponsible censors claim prejudice is fake news, hatred died last century,
BDS makes better citizens, also that no one really wants to throw the Holy
Land’s people into the sea. After all, liberal attitudes are necessarily good,
Plus “equality” means treating terrorists the same as victims, worldwide.

Funny, though, the genocide that was the Shoah, our near destruction
In Esther’s Persia, plus countless other faces/places of enemies argued
Otherwise. In every generation, some villain seeks die Endlösung der
Judenfrage, the removal from humanity, of us, G-d’s precious children.


Dan Fitzgerald
writer@fayeadams.com

Bio (auto)

Dan lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several anthologies. He has written off and on for a number of years and has written three chapbooks- Musing, Your Star and Other Poems, and Random Tales.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Dan Fitzgerald and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembering Again

Numbers grow faint
on withering arms.
Old railroad tracks
dissolve in rust.
Flowers bloom where
only shadows grew.
Blue sky and wind
drive away the smoke
from long ago burnings..
Pictures fade.
Blacken bricks crumble
with the rain.
Words become just slogans
written on abandoned alley walls.

Then again, faces disappear, nameless,
into dark deep basements.
Tombstones are broken and scattered
on sacred ground.
The whiffs of gas and smoke
drift on the passing wind,
stirring memories
that should never have been forgotten.
Old voices begin to speak.
Oh yes, remember us again.


Daniel Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin, artist, actor, writer, soldier, scholar, priest, after traveling a great part of the world now resides back home in Sparta, Illinois. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by email and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Shame

A shame that it would happen
A shame what people could do
A shame so many took part
A shame innocents suffered
A shame the world did little
A shame to deny it happened
A shame if we ever forget.


David Ades
davidades@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Adès is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2016 after living in Pittsburgh for five years. He has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is the author of the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal (Garron Publishing, 2015) and the collections Mapping the World (Friendly Street Poets / Wakefield Press, 2008) commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008) and Afloat in Light (UWA Publishing, 2017 – see https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/afloat-in-light). His poems have appeared widely in Australia and the U.S. in publications including over 20 of the Friendly Street Readers, and numerous literary magazines and have also been widely anthologized, most recently in Australian Poetry Anthology, Volume 5, 2016. David is the winner of the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, was a finalist in the Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize 2016 and has been highly commended for several other prizes.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Ades and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Mother, My Daughter and Anne Frank

1.

My mother, born in the same year as Anne Frank,
was woken night after night in July 1942 by sirens,

ran with her brothers and sisters, gas masks in hands,

to a basement for shelter, to hide from the bombs
raining on Alexandria, while Rommel stalked Egypt,

inching closer, fighting the battles of El Alamein

in the near distance, while Anne Frank moved into
her Secret Annex, began her diary probing a world gone mad

with curiosity, intelligence and burning questions.

My mother still remembers her father’s fear, his quaking
and stomach cramps at the sound of the sirens,

the first bomb that fell on an apartment block where friends lived,

the threat in Rommel’s approach, poised to push the British
from Egypt, to bring mass murder to the Jews of Alexandria.

One of six children, my mother witnessed

her family’s dispersal across the globe,
saw generation follow generation, a beautiful flowering

gifted only to those who did not perish.

2.

My mother’s six-year-old granddaughter knows about
Malala Yousefzai, burns with questions,

tries and fails to understand why so many girls

around the world are denied education.
My six-year-old daughter knows about Anne Frank,

burns with questions, tries and fails to understand

why Anne Frank had to live in hiding in an attic,
why the Nazis wanted to exterminate the Jews.

I cannot answer her questions, cannot explain

what I also do not understand. My mother’s
six-year-old granddaughter is a whole world unto herself,

the flowering of another generation that holds

a realm of possibilities, a realm of futures in its eager hands.
Had she been born in a different place in a different time

she may have been one of the millions of worlds

extinguished to fulfil one man’s demonic vision.
We live, we die, but what passes in between

is so senseless, so brutal, so full of carnage

and questions asked that cannot be answered
that we flounder in our sacred mission to try and try.


David Lohrey
lohr_burgh@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Lohrey grew up in Memphis. His poetry can be found in Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Easy Street and Quarterday. In addition, recent poems have been anthologized by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). Work can also be found in The Stony Thursday Book (Limerick) and Hidden Channel Zine (Mall Sligo). David is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in Houston. Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Brilliant Flash Fiction and inshadesmag.com. He teaches in Tokyo.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Lohrey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

At Sobibór, Prisoners Fought Back

The Rottweiler next door killed my wife’s pink
…………Chihuahua, but spat out one ear.
We planted its ear in our flower bed next to
…………the foxgloves under 3 inches of mulch.
It germinated, sending up coiled fronds 14” high.
…………At the first rain, it died, the entire spectacle.

It barks at night, or so my wife says. She hears it.
…………Lorraine, our Mexican maid from Oaxaca,
hears it, too. Her mole won first prize at the Pomona Fair,
…………taking 1st place for color but 3rd for taste. It was the color
of blood that’s been left out in the sun.

Lorraine calls everyone amigo except me. It’s clear we are
…………not friends, so she calls me mister or maestro.
She asks me every morning if I’d like some mud. Her ass
…………is wider than our Maytag. She doesn’t use pot holders
when she removes hot skillets from the stove.

The Rottweiler next door killed my appetite for life. It’s a special
…………breed bred for violence. He ate our pooch whole, clamping
down on its head and swallowing, as a snake devours a mouse.
…………Only Judy Collins can mend my heart. Only the past offers
escape. From here on out all our neighbors are Rottweilers.


G. David Schwartz
davidschwartzg@aol.com

Bio (auto)

G. David Schwartz is the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue (1994) and Midrash and Working Out Of The Book (2004) Currently a volunteer with the Cincinnati J Meals On Wheels Schwartz continues writing. His newest book, Shards And Verse (2011) is now in stores or can be order on line. Names are not real people.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by G. David Schwartz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Means Day

Yom means day
Hashoah means remembrance
Holocaust means disambiguation or burnt
We remember the burning
We recall not singing
For our voices were
Pecked out my a metaphorical raven
Metaphorically sitting here wishing there was saving
We hope the terror is gone
we pray we will see the sun
but a part of the sin
Is there is no grave yard to put bodies in.
So let us look to the sky
Not for a silent deity
But for any images we may see.
So we may say sorry
Sorry it happened, sorry we didn’t do enough
Sorry sorry sorry you are gone.


David Supper
davidmsupper@aol.com

Bio (auto)

David Supper now lives in Nottingham where he is a full time artist as well as writing poetry. Soon after the six day war David and his wife emigrated to Israel where his twins were born. Unfortunately this did not work out and they returned to the UK and he trained as a teacher at Manchester Poly. David was an art teacher in a secondary school in Berkshire for over 30 years. David has had poems published in a number of anthologies and magazines most notably ‘The Robin Hood Book’ and previous Holocaust shoah collections. Currently, with his second wife, who is Canadian, David is working on a series of children’s books out of which has developed a new game for 4-7yr olds which they hope will soon become well established for the youngsters.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Supper and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

All the Children

Sealed tight on iron wheels
clanging, clashing, grinding
metal on metal, burning coal,
choking, cold, flesh sticks and tears,
the smell of urine.

Small bundles of rags
are passed through air vents
as the train slows,
accompanied by desperate wails,
‘look after my baby, my little one’.

The cries fade as the grim freight
moves on, inexorably, heading east.
In monochrome queues of people
shuffle forward, left, right, left…
children cling to their mothers, whimpering.

Numb with fear, wide-eyed, dogs barking
they edged into the showers.
‘Leave your clothes here,’
were the orders,
‘fresh ones will be provided,’ they lied.

The iron doors clang shut,
and in the half grey light
there was a moment’s silence…
…until the gas came.


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney1@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney has moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to Belleville, Illinois. He is still searching for a “new pickle.” Some of his work can be found at https://thestoryshack.com/authors/donal-mahoney

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

They Were Refugees, Too

They were refugees, too,
back in the Forties,
settled in Chicago,
learned English,
some a lot, some a little,
found jobs of some kind,
made do like their neighbors
until things got better.

And by the Seventies,
on hot summer nights
they were loud and happy
gathering on Morse Avenue
around parking meters
in the dying sunlight
outside one of the delis
lining the street
to argue about the Cubs
or politics or anything
they could disagree upon.
If someone made a point
someone else made
a counterpoint.

Arguments squared off
with cab driver against lawyer,
handyman against accountant,
all of them equal as a people.
They were survivors of the holocaust,
some with forearm tattoos
shouting under short sleeve shirts,
others with tattoos silent under
long sleeves worn to the office
that day with a tie.

Chicago had welcomed them
thirty years earlier and now
they were giving back, working
and sending their children
to college after making a life
and a neighborhood their own.


Elena Thornton
info@artizona.org

Bio (auto)

Elena Thornton, M.A. – Educator, Poet, Photographer, Artist, has more than 30 years of hands-on experience in the education, business and the nonprofit sector. Founder/CEO, Arizona Consortium for the Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, an all-volunteer, community organization.  All the programs, events and activities are free to the community. The consortium’s vision is to establish a multicultural, multidisciplinary arts space/center with an open door policy. The center will provide a home for all creative and innovative activities and will foster artistic growth for people of all ages through the participation in the arts. It will be a home for many wonderful community organizations and groups representing and celebrating our diverse community. Visit www.artizona.org

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Elena Thornton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Remembered

In the museum everyone quietly, slowly passes through
Each photograph, each artifact, each memory
I walk through quickly, my time is limited
Time stands still
A photograph of a beautiful woman
Full lips, wide smile, hopeful eyes
Perished
One of six million Jews
Gypsies
Homosexuals
Handicapped
Poles
And many, many other nationalities
Perished
Gassed, shot, starved to death,
Worked to death
And remembered here in the museum
In our nation’s capital
In Washington, DC
In the United States of America
Images, films, photographs of
Children, men, women
Young, old, reduced to bones
Spirits crushed
Reduced to ashes
Laughs gone forever
Hopes, dreams, talents
Silenced
In the cold ground below
Generations lost;
Disappeared in the purple cloud above
I walk out slowly
I retrospect
I pray…
I light a candle
I cry


Elizabeth Harmatys Park
parkeliz@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Elizabeth Harmatys Park lives in Burlington, WI.  She is a poet, a sociologist by profession, a teacher by vocation, a prison volunteer and peace activist.  She is a past recipient of the first place Jade Ring poetry prize awarded by the Wisconsin Writers Association.  In 1910 Elizabeth’s grandparents came to America from a village in Poland very near Oswiecim (Auschwitz).  This poem has been in her mind’s eye for many years because she was born in America while Jews were being exterminated near the place of her family’s origin. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Elizabeth Harmatys Park and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

1942

Spirit babies
flowing down to earth
warm from oven wombs
descended through
millions of spirits
young, in-between, old,
unborn flowing upwards
into eternity

Those new babies swam
down into the world
through a river of horror
through grieving spirits
trailing fierce sparks
of remembrance
as they ascended still warm
still smoldering from the fire
of extermination ovens

These being born,
were they marked?
These being born,
were they singed?

Did the tears
that flowed from
the murdered ones
wet the birthing babies
and cover them like cauls?


Eric Nicholson
ericleo@blueyonder.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Eric Nicholson is now retired. He worked as an art teacher and also worked in other fields of education. One book about Renaissance Art and Self-inquiry is looking for a publisher. Now working on a book about Blake and Buddhism. He enjoys countryside conservation, writing, singing in a choir and walking. On facebook. Published in www.neutronsprotons.com, www.literaryorphans.org, www.emptysink.com and www.heartjournalonline.com – Blogs on http://www.erikleo.wordpress.com

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Eric Nicholson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Watching Martin Heidegger on You-Tube

Here he wielded an axe without thinking of it as an axe.
“He fitted in with the farmers and foresters so well.
I can see his face over there:
he’s still alive as far as I’m concerned.”
A smiling son ushers us deeper into the Black Forest hut.
Who would have thought we can see him today
thinking the unthinkable and doing that which a small part
of him knew not to do. A cousin speaks next:
“As a child he was the weakest and smallest but commanded
all of us with his piercing blue eyes.” Cut to a dog-eared still.
The camera pans slowly across a desk, switching directions
so as to avoid a dark swastika; an abrupt cut shows
a grainy footage of a rustic figure splitting logs;
the Hitlerian moustache a mere shadow among deeper shadows;
light splintering each black and white frame until the end.
A fly crawls over my laptop screen briefly covering 1942
then takes wing as Heidegger becomes a talking head,
full frame. As I watch it’s difficult to grasp, as he talks,
his comrades are inscribing philosophy on human flesh.


Cona F. Gregory-Adams
writer@fayeadams.com

Bio (auto)

Cona F. (“Faye”) Gregory-Adams is an award-winning writer of poetry, children’s books, nonfiction, and short fiction.Published in newspapers, magazines, poetry journals and anthologies in the USA, UK, Korea, and Canada, Faye won Missouri’s Senior Poet Laureate title in 2010, and 2012. She served as co-editor of the annual Missouri State Poetry Society Poetry and Prose Anthology, published by the De Soto Chapter, 2003 through 2012.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Cona F. Gregory-Adams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler Burns

Hitler is burning
He burned yesterday
He will be burning tomorrow
He began to burn immediately
after his last breath.
Hitler will burn forever.
He would gladly accept a drop
of cool water on his tongue
from the least of those at Auschwitz,
at Dachau, at Warsaw, at Flossenburg.

Now, he knows.

He needs no convincing;
how cruel
how wrong
how doomed
from the moment he began
to devalue those he termed
“useless humanity.”
Now, he understands
that each one
was more acceptable than he.

He has total recall of each
prideful thought, callous decision,
every brutal act,
Now, he sees their faces
perpetually before him.

Hitler cannot escape the flames,
his torment will never end.
Yet he is not consumed.

Hitler burns.


Geoffrey Heptonstall
geoffreylit@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Geoffrey Heptonstall writes regularly for The London Magazine. He is the author of a novel, Heaven’s Invention, and much short fiction. He is also an essayist, playwright and poet. He lives in Cambridge, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Geoffrey Heptonstall and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Chamber Music

Where once was Jericho falling
to the music of one mind
the stones have risen unseen.
There is no way of finding a way
of words that never fade
when written in the air.
 
Every thought an echo
of a voice once heard.
The speaker is unknown.
None dare ask of anyone
the answer to the question
‘Who walks into this world?’
 
How the mind may leap
higher than a hand can reach
There is no way of knowing
all that is passing unware.
and how it may appear to be
the sound heard only in silence
from the far side of the universe
where the walls have an ending.


Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton lives in Paisley in Scotland. He has had 11 critically acclaimed books of poetry published, the most recent being Brian Wilson in Swansea Bus Station (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and Paragraphs at the End of the World (Penniless Press Publications, 2016). Equal Night is due out this year from Irish publisher Salmon Poetry. He is also the co-author of Pub Dogs of Glasgow (Freight Books, 2014) and Pub Dogs of London (Freight Books, 2015).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Limits
Warsaw, Poland

not much left
of the ghetto

a small
shadowed-away trace
of wall

a relic of dead-ends

high and dark
skins of brick

guided here
by our local guide

as we walk behind
normal homes

with
functional courtyards

bare trees

a reluctant sky
invisible grey

lines on the ground
to show
where things
were

how to remember

maps of
dead people
dead stories

parked cars
window boxes

limits of hope

human limits
stones in holes

candles in holes
burning people


Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood among cacti and citrus groves He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English, He taught Hebrew and Jewish literature at Temple university. He has published extensively and won awards in Poetica,Mad Poet society.Poetry matters. He is the author of The road to Timbuktu/Travel poems, Terra Treblinka;Holocaust poems, We pass each other on the stairs, Sirocco and scorpions-Poems of Israel and Palestine, and A hawk in midflight. Hanoch resides in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Freedom Feast

My grandfather’s house
In Beltzi Romania
Whitewashed walls ready
for Passover.
Crushed matzos and special Carmel
wine from the holy land spills.
Bard’s hair caught
in the broken glass
Grandma Sura holiday’s
Kerchief torn
Baby’s doll ripped.

Attic pours bibles and
talmuds to the creek.

A mournful hay roof touches snow


Heather Browne
dr.hmbrowne@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist in Garden Grove, CA, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard  released her first collection, Directions of Folding. www.thehealedheart.net

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Heather Browne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Her War Ghosts

The ghosts she did not know
 Tinged her days, sepia shaded longing
 Sadness touching upon celebrations
 Cooling the edges, chilling
 her laughter
 
The ghosts she did not know
 Painted her moments, washing her walls
 Their shadowy silhouettes hanging
 Among family portraits
 Photos of before or now lined the walls, never then
 
She looked into the eyes of her grandmother
 Grandfather, uncle, aunts
 Days, years, months before, lightness, light
 Family she’d never meet
 Or know
 She looked at their mouths, soft
 Their hands, open
 Their bellies, full
 Her parents never spoke of what happened
 Only these three photos remained, hung
 Silent
 
Walking the hall she struggled to capture their voices
 Their words, alert to prick their whisperings
 She could sense their muffled background rumblings
 
Standing before their faces she could feel the rise
 Their anger stirring, her hatred mounting, stomach rolling
 Her family had been taken
 Ripped from all they’d known, stripped
 Down to nothing, nothing but flesh and bones
 Their bodies burned
 The dust of their debris covering everything, falling
 Still
 
She moved to Papa and Mama’s portrait, young then, before
 A spring dance, lace, chiffon
 Laughter filling their faces, spilling easily into gentle bodies
 Ghosts she did not know
 She smiled, a bit
 Mama’s hand gently touched Papa’s clean-shaven cheek
 Her wrist soft, clean
 Their numbers inked
 Embedded into flesh
 Stained
 Always covered now, her body shook, on guard with prickling
 Her covering would slip in moments, exposed
 Fear and shame contorting Mama’s face, always fear now
 She longed to touch their mark
 
She turned to Grandmother’s portrait
 She had her Grandmother’s eyes
 Spoken, this brought stinging to Mama
 She looked deeply, her eyes
 She pressed her nose upon the glass, cold
 Dust stirred
 The barrier between then and now
 How could they share eyes
 When she’d never seen the horrors?
 Her reflection mirrored back in the aged glass
 Her eyes overlapping Grandmother’s
 Blending and reflecting
 Revealing
 Her ghost


I.B. Rad
IBRadeck@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I.B. Rad is a New York City poet who’s been published in a variety of venues, much of his work being available on the internet. This poem was first published in the online British “Tuck Magazine.”  I happily acknowledge that the initial part of this poem is indebted to Wistawa Szymborska’s “Hitler’s First Photograph.”

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Terrorist

Such a pleasant face,
so benign
as in ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly,’
who would have thought
he’d die a terrorist?
Did his selfie lie?
Could he have started out
some mommy’s precious child
laughing at a puppy’s antics,
liking pizza,
rooting for a football team
with boyhood pals?
So why then
did he grow so inured
to inflicting pain
or even death?
Did he succumb to a brain dysfunction,
a mental abnormality?
Was he taught a foreign ideology,
some sacrosanct creed
of his favored group
that transcended suffering of ‘others?’
Were family or friends
disfranchised by an ‘enemy’
or did some other kind of tribulation
or extreme disappointment
test his humanity?
Was a key ingredient
a life so vacuous,
a cultural alienation so profound,
he craved a terrorist’s clarity and belonging,
a moth to the flame?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know,
for as he was fatally shot
authorities can only analyze his history,
investigate his internet activity,
interview those who knew him,
and speculate on an answer.
Still, in the end,
varied pundits will mouth
the received wisdom
that he was nothing
but a demented savage.
But then, had I or mine been harmed
by a terrorist’s act,
what would my reaction be?


James Goodman
stonegoodman@mac.com

Bio (auto)

James Stone Goodman is poet-rabbi currently working in St. Louis, Missouri. He works in prisons, advocates for mental health, runs a rescue mission countering drug misuse and other extreme preoccupations.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by James Goodman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nowadays the Blue Is Hidden

The blue was taken from a snail found in the Sea. The snail comes up once every 70 years.
– Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 26a, Menachot 44a

1. There is a street in Paris (11th arrondissement) called
The Street of Tailors. I visited my friend who
lives near the street of tailors. We went to eat at a café
around the corner. The first day we passed the street of tailors,
I asked him, What is this street?

Don’t know, he said.
The next time we passed it, I asked again,
Where does the name – street of tailors – come from?
It once was a street of tailors, he said.

We passed it again the next day,
What is the street of tailors? I asked.

He said this: I heard that there was a street of tailors working there,
then the Germans took Paris, June 14, 1940,
and they all disappeared.

2. A street of tailor artists, seventy years of ghosts, they have not changed
the name of the street. A chasid on the sixth floor
ascends and descends silently
to make the evening prayers.
The street of tailors.

He knows fabrics but is a failure at freedom. Fingering the coat
he peers over his glasses. Nice merchandise, he says.
Expert in drapes and Torah, hands stained
with experimental dyes, he mixes a perfect blend
for a priestly tunic.

Expatriates tell jokes in a café, they order intestines all around.
It smells like an insult. Later they fuss
and pass the street of tailors.

3. The tailors sewed in secrecy, to recover the lost blue thread,
mystery blue, a deceased mollusk carried it
into the deep where it gave birth,
in salt, to the sea.


Jan Chronister
wfoppres@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jan Chronister lives and writes in the woods near Maple, Wisconsin. Her chapbook Target Practice (2009) was published at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jan Chronister and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hiding from Punch Cards

A net is dragged through Berlin,
Captures data from doctors,
schools, churches, post office.

The family changed their name
back in ’30, so that shouldn’t be
a problem. They converted to
Catholicism about the same time,
removed menorahs, took down
the mezuzah. David and Rebekah wear
crosses to school, a picture of Christ
hangs in the hall. Nazi thugs

break windows, paint graffiti on
Uncle’s store downstairs. They move
five blocks away. Three knocks

on the door
middle of the night
Father dragged away
family left to worry
what the machines
will do to them next.

(written while reading an account of IBM’s involvement
in the collection and processing of data used by the Nazis
to identify Jews during the Holocaust)


Jim Bennett
info@poetrykit.org

Bio (auto)

Jim Bennett lives near Liverpool in the UK and tours giving readings of his work throughout the year.  He is widely published and has won many competitions and awards for poetry and performance. He runs www.poetrykit.org a successful internet site for poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

written in a notebook on a visit to Auschwitz

I never thought it would make me feel this way
perhaps I should have listened read more about it
but I thought I knew it all I did know it all
but I had never seen it for myself
now i feel both guilty and a victim
and there is a smell in here

and the echo of the camp orchestra
lines of people waiting to come in to see
the ovens the showers the relics
outside noise from the school children
as they wait to be led inside and taught a lesson
this is an awful place and there is a smell here

a stench that clings to the air like honey
from the rosebushes flowering red roses
drop their petals on the path like spots of paint
while visitors in lines try to look respectful
as thorns covered by foliage
are ready to prick any hand that explores them


Johnmichael Simon
j_simon@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Johnmichael Simon lives in Metulla, Israel. He has published eight solo books of poems and several collaborations with other poets. He is published widely in print and website collections. Johnmichael is chief editor of Cyclamens and Swords publishing and webmaster of Voices Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Johnmichael Simon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yahrzeit

There are those on whom grief lies
like cold stones on a winter night
women and men in streets, on buses
gray, drab, holding their burdens close,
year after year,
worn before their time
Who will never love again
or grieve another time
telling themselves; this stone is mine
let no other disturb it
Tradition has us unveil stones
after a month and revisit them
once a year – on Yahrzeit
we stand beside
the stones and remember.
On this day each
may place his flower
his own small stone
on the grave
and move on
There are some
who dare to reach out
to touch another thinking
my hand is a flower
from under earth’s blanket
that can brighten drab stone
when spring comes
The flowers know that
only those who have
suffered winter’s cold are granted
to grow between the stones


Krista Wallen
krista.wallen@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Krista Wallen lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where she is a wife and mom. From a young age, Krista has enjoyed reading and writing poetry.  You never need to ask if she’d like some coffee, as the answer is always yes.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Krista Wallen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

Large eyes, wasted frames
Haunted looks, dead men walking
No end in sight, none.


Lisa Stice
houlistice@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse who received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in Hampstead, North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of a poetry collection, Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). You can find out more about her and her publications at lisastice.wordpress.com and facebook.com/LisaSticePoet.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Lisa Stice and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dear Elie Wiesel

I cannot forget the sickness in my throat,
the heaviness in my core when I learned
that in 1939 900 Jewish refugees 
on the MS St. Louis—a ship named
for the patron saint against the death
of children—cabled ahead, but the president
did not respond because he feared
they would take jobs from his own
and so the ship was turned away.
 
But I am sorry
others have forgotten.


Marsha Markman
marshamarkman@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman is Professor Emerita of English at California Lutheran University. She is co-editor with Susan Corey and  Jonathan Boe of The American Journey, Volumes 1 and 2 and Writing Women’s Lives, the latter including her, “Breast Cancer Diary.” She wrote and edited the “Introduction” to Piri Bodnar’s, Out of the Shadows, articles with Gordon Leighton in College and Research Libraries News and Research Strategies; “Teaching the Holocaust through Literature,” in New Perspectives on the Holocaust; and a review in The Historian of Martha Blauvelt’s, The Work of the Heart. Marsha’s poetry explores childhood memories and racism in its many forms. She and her husband divide their time between California and Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Marsha Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Watchers

They were witnesses as Jews
were dispersed from
the land of Bach and Beethoven
to the far corners of that
ancient continent.

They saw evil wave his baton
to the left….to the right
when names became numbers
labor was forced
ghettos dotted theland
ovens spewed the noxious remains
of innocents.

They watched as six million Jews
were robbed of
their properties
as family and friends
were eliminated
another five million deemed
unworthy
unfit for life
for Nationhood.

…... . . . .
Watching came to our shores
when the first Americans
were driven from their homes
to arid deserts
lands stolen
treaties broken
lives shattered.

They witnessed
the institution of slavery
and Jim Crow in
"the land of the free."

And in the past century
gathered again on the walkways
if towns and cities across Europe
to witness forced marches
to see cattle cars filled with
human refuse
to hear the clanging of their
death toll.

Shameful accomplices
are these bystanders*
witnesses to misery and death
as they watch
…..and watch


Martina Robles Gallegos
Selbor2015@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Martina was born and raised in Mexico and came to the United States at almost fifteen. She spoke no English. While recuperating from a work injury and stroke, she got a Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. She’d picked up writing during her initial recovery. Some poems have been published in the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015, Hometown Pasadena, Spirit Fire Review, PSH, Silver Birch Press, Somos en Escrito, Spectrum, and Basta! She lives in Oxnard, CA.

 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Martina Robles Gallegos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Impossible to Forget

Some claim the Holocaust didn’t happen
that there was no use of chemical weapons
that decimated innocent people,
but present events remind us
that the Holocaust was real
and shouldn’t be repeated.
Who listens to departed souls
who couldn’t escape the gas chambers?
Who listened to emaciated bodies
who died waiting to be fed?
Who listened to orphaned
children whose parents
couldn’t escaped the horrors
of the Holocaust? All those souls,
bodies, and orphaned children
are screaming from far-away worlds
and beg us to remember
a dark, criminal, and deadly
past which seems likely to repeat.
Voices from the graves never forget the past
and call out to humanity to halt the hateful
rhetoric if our planet is to survive.


Matthew Scott Harris
Harris40tude@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Matthew Scott Harris resides in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He dwells among a moderate population of Eastern European offspring. His misty past comprises gaps, where missing links (albeit demonized, penalized, vilified subjects of a cruel fate imprinted an ugly scar) upon humanity.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Matthew Scott Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Hashoah
(Holocaust Remembrance Day April 24th 2017)

Haunting apparitions resurface upon a tabula rasa
whereat soundless ancestors beckon, clamor, and despair
excruciatingly fateful gasification heinous hour
incinerating, numbing and soiling Yahweh
genealogical holy illustrious Jewish kinsfolk lost
mine name obsolete per quotidian rapacious suffering testament
unbeknownst victims wickedly yanked
absolute blistering, charring, and desecrating every family
grotesque hallucinations intimating jarring killing machine
inducing jagged, mangled and pronounced sorrow
tears unequivocally viciously and wretchedly annul bereavement
crematoriums devour glorious Hassidic kind loving
outlook painfully riddles
Sephardic too vanished wraithlike yield zero;
culture fractured interrupted links
odiously rendered ultimate x’d ancestors
blackened crisps descendents emptying fracking,
genocide heaps irrecoverably jumbled
key learned men noticeably obliterated
plenti quality resplendent sons tormented,
ultimately value wrenched
ache benumbs captured, deported, exterminated
flourishing glorious Hebrew individuals
jammed, kicked, liquidated mercilessly never offending population
overtly pilloried, quintessentially ridiculed,
Semitic tribes underwent venal wretched x yoked
ancestry begone; cremated, decimated, egregiously fated grim hell
insidiously jerked, killed odiously
perdition reigned suffering
toll untold vacant withered x’d y Zed
thy genealogical family tree severely truncated
great many generations of mine genealogical tree
paternal and maternal grand descendants met their doom
thy family devoid of many branches
limbs lopped and fed fiery ovens
forever missing links constitute gaps sans broken chain.


Merridawn Duckler
idawn@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Merridawn Duckler is a poet and playwright who lives in Portland, Oregon.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Merridawn Duckler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Genre

I went to the horror film
with a victim of its horror,
and though he was not my relative
I kissed his cheek,
blue track veins
under skin of winter paper white.

Various “miracles” had brought him
to this not very clean theater;
silent on that subject,
he took his seat among those with no idea
this was his life.

And when they loaded the trains, he was the cargo.
And when they dumped the ashes, his were absent.
The projector has no conscience,
in dark we sit
as events unfold, before one who folds his eyes.


Michael Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, PoetrySuperHighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Sun Never Rose Over the Belzec Death Camp

The shape of the sun did not enter our minds,
Spring days and summer, a sameness.
Yet we gathered our strength and helped
Each other to our feet, hid the sick and injured,
Made excuses for those not strong enough to rise.

The fields gray and mud, our skin darkened
with labor and sweat. We ate because we had to,
We shared what we had because that is our way.
We dealt with the sameness with prayer and Kaddish,
A jubilance for life even as they tried to murder us.

We must have been frightening to the men with rifles
Holding the leaches of violent dogs. We scarred them
Into horror and night sweats. Still we worked,
Sharing the little we had growing stronger inside.
Everyday the same. They knew we were better than them.


Michael Burch
mikerburch@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an editor, publisher and translator of Holocaust poetry.  His poems, translations, essays, articles and letters have appeared in TIME, USA Today, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, Voices Israel, the Holocaust poetry anthology Blood to Remember, and hundreds of literary journals. Some of his poems have been used in Holocaust memorials and taught in schools around the globe. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Something

for the children of the Holocaust

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality has swept into a corner, where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.


Michael Virga
mavbuon@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga, son-song of Virginia Ruth, writes from their native heartland, Birmingham, Alabama. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

"Though I walk through the valley of darkness" Psalm 23:4


the wandering
Jew walked
and wondered beyond death


"Not all those who wander are lost." — J. R. R. Tolkein


Neil Ellman
ellmans@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published numerous poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Neil Ellman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Victor and Victim

Time crawls on bloodied knees
and I am mired in the earth
where millions died
both it and I doing what we must    
without a choice
to keep alive the memory
of so many souls
tossed in shallow graves
and to keep ourselves alive.
Time, perhaps, is the victor
wounded but struggling on
while I, the vanquished,
became a victim
of everything I have seen—
time and I without a chance
to stay our destinies
unscathed.


Nicholas Nicola
nic_nicola50@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Nicholas Nicola was born in February, 1959 in Melbourne, Australia but he spent most of his childhood & teenage years in Sydney where his Greek Cypriot parents had a milk bar. From his mid-20s, 30s & early 40s he travelled extensively overseas; one positive legacy from this somewhat wayward time is to have developed an ongoing interest in humanitarian issues which can have an underlying influence on his creative work which includes etching and writing. Nicholas still lives in Sydney and his ‘day job’ is as a casual (substitute) teacher mainly in the area of E.S.L (English as a Second Language) and Visual Art. Nicholas has a website: https://nicholasnicolaetchings.synthasite.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Nicholas Nicola and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mass

When you think of ‘mass’ what do you think?
Church mass
Mass graves
the human mass
the dark mass within the universe or of the dark mass in our minds
or
perhaps there’s
the masses of particles
of physical existence
which makes our huge populations able to wonder about God while looking at
the stars and also wonder about God after looking
at
a
massacre
consider the
increase
in
mass
of
a
falling
object
when
that
falling object
is
a
human
being
who
has
become
a
victim
of
a
falling morality


Ozzie Nogg
ozzienogg@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Ozzie Nogg’s poetry, essays and short fiction have appeared in 50 Word Stories, Apollo’s Lyre, Flashshot, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Diddledog, and weekly Jewish newspapers. Her book of personal stories, Joseph’s Bones, won First Place in the 2005 Writer’s Digest Press International Self-Published Book Awards. She lives in Omaha, NE where you can visit her at: www.ozzienogg.com

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ozzie Nogg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Majdanek 1995

We are here because our ancestors told us to come
go
in the winter they said
go
feel the chill in your
bones
some of us walk on the ground
in the snow we leave
tracks
some of us perch on the
fences
from here we see Lublin
the chimneys of Lublin
the chimneys of houses in Lublin where
mothers
cook pierogi for their
families
sweet pączki for their
children
fathers
smoke cigarettes
smoke
rises from chimneys of warm houses in Lublin where
blind people
eat dinner
remember
we are here because we were lucky
because our ancestors told us to
go
here even the summer wind blows cold


Nancy Scott
nscott29@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Nancy Scott has been the msnsging editor of  US1 Worksheets for more than a decade. She is the author of nine books of poetry, her most recent, Ah, Men (Aldrich Press, 2016) is a retrospective of the men who influenced her life. Pivotral Moment is an excerpt of a longer poem from that book. Originslly from the Chicago area, she currently resides in New Jersey. www.nancyscott.net

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Nancy Scott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pivotal Moment

for Peter M. Blau

The summer of 1941 a young man with a thick accent came to our door and asked to speak to my father. Whether my father had heard about him, I can’t say. I was two. And so my father signed for his fiancée desperate to escape from the Nazis, while this twenty-something Jewish student attended the local seminary at a time when safety was his only other concern after making his way across Europe with no thought except to board a ship which was delayed in port. While waiting, he met an American, who knew about a seminary that had raised funds for a scholarship, but couldn’t find an eligible refugee, and it turned out the seminary was in our hometown.

After he graduated, the young man left to pursue his education elsewhere. I learned some, but not all, of this years later when I was a student at the University of Chicago in need of a part-time job and he was already a distinguished professor seeking someone to transcribe dictation tapes for his new book, difficult because he had such a thick accent and I was unfamiliar with the subject—just this between us until the day I stood in the doorway to his office and explained that I couldn’t come in for a few days because I had to go home. He asked where I lived and was moved to find out

who I was and told me how grateful he’d been for my father’s help, but was dismayed to hear that my father had recently died so he thanked my mother instead. She recounted to me how my father arranged for another family to hire the fiancée, a lovely blonde and fine seamstress, but she married a different man and moved away and nobody could remember what happened to the man who asked for help to bring her to America.

The professor took a personal interest in me because it was clear I was still grieving my father’s untimely death. I had no plans for my future though graduation was just a few months off, so it happened over lo mein in a Chinese restaurant that the professor asked if I wanted to go to Stanford with him for the summer; he’d arrange for the University to hire me as his assistant—exactly what happened and then one evening he invited me for dinner where I met a young man with a post doc fellowship. Within weeks, I moved in with him and the marriage lasted for twenty-three years.

Now fifty years later, I decided to surf the Internet for news of the professor who had died in 2002; impressive list of accomplishments, books, papers, and awards, two marriages. This part of his story I never heard before—his capture and torture by the Nazis, details of his daring escape across Europe, his sister saved on a Kindertransport, his parents dying in Auschwitz, his enlistment in the Army and return to Europe where he served as an interpreter, but what I do know first-hand is the dinner and conversation we shared one spring evening on Chicago’s South Side and the offer that propelled me on a trajectory setting the course for the rest of my life.


Patricia Carragon
pcarragon@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Brooklyn writer, Patricia Carragon’s latest chapbook is Innocence (Finishing Line Press). Cupcake Chronicles is forthcoming from Poets Wear Prada. She hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is one of the executive editors for Home Planet News Online.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Patricia Carragon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

senryu

synagogues on fire
Jews crowded into boxcars
arms numbered for tears


Raoul Izzard
raoulizzard@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Raoul is an English teacher who lives in Barcelona with his wife and two-year-old son. He loves drinking coffee in the city’s numerous bars and cafes when he isn’t on daddy duties.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Raoul Izzard and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Kristallnacht in Esslingen

“The Propaganda Ministry instructed the papers on 10 November:
“here and and there window-panes had been smashed; ‘synagogues
had set themselves alight or burst into flames in some other way”
from The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939, by Richard. J. Evans.

At daybreak, in a Jewish orphanage,
sledgehammers broke down doors, and stones
broke glass. The cupboards and the tables all
gave away, and sinks exploded inwards, paper worked
itself into a storm that covered floors.

The orphans watched a bonfire in the yard
mount up with prayer books, shawls, their toys,
in silence. There were no beds to go back to.
The angry air bruised, pulled at hair, and spat:
“Get out or you’ll be next into the flames!”

The children in pyjamas ran through streets
where Jewish shops and houses blew out smoke.
Prone men and women bled and were detained.
Unwritten orders carried out themselves,
and shunted people off to unknown fates.


Richard Kalfus
rkalfus@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Richard Kalfus is a retired Humanities Chair who taught interdisciplinary courses on Holocaust/ Genocide Studies. He published poetry and articles on Holocaust education as well as a three part DVD series of interviews with St. Louis Holocaust survivors. The National Humanities Community college Association (CCHA) awarded him The National Community College Educator of the Year. As a second generation Holocaust survivor who last most of his family in Nazi concentration camps has  led to a life-long personal and professional  dedication to the study of the Holocaust.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Richard Kalfus and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

An American Son

“Dad, you gobble up your food
Like a vulture eating his prey.”
“How can I invite Tommy for diner
when you eat like this?”

I was 13 at the time—a sensitive boy
who nothing of what my father
suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

Why was I kept in the dark
about the darkest chapter
In the life of a father I loved?

It was my American mother
who understood him so well.
She knew his fear
in giving voice to the past
and burdening his American son.

So he kept the years of an entire family
lost to himself.

It was years later when I learned
that by protecting me
he was protecting himself
in order to live in the present
and not in the past.


Richard Widerkehr
fordwid@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr’s new book, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press in 2017.  He earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan.  He has two collections of poems: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press), along with two chapbooks. Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character.  Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Arts & Letters Poetry Super Highway, Bellevue Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Gravel, Naugatuck River Review and Cirque, Other poems are forthcoming in Measure and Mud Season Review.  He’s worked as a writing teacher and, later, as a case manager with the mentally ill.  He lives in Bellingham, WA. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Richard Widerkehr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cracow

For years I didn’t say much
about being Jewish. My surname’s
pronounced Whittaker. My father
changed his name from Abraham
to Andy, didn’t have children
till Hitler was dead. When I sing
a few Hebrew songs at my music camp,
the other Jew in the room says almost
tenderly, No one does this. It’s been
hidden.
Yes, misspelled
like smoke from certain kilns,
mass graves near Vilnius.
If I tell someone and they say,
Oh, you don’t look Jewish….
Or half-jokingly: I didn’t know
they let any Jews into Bellingham….

Or: You know, I’m tired of hearing
about the Holocaust….
I can’t
misspell our streets like damp cigars
in someone else’s teeth, can’t hold
my poems as if they weren’t
these porous shields. Yes,
dear reader, let’s discuss
a certain vacant lot
near Austen Street, where a gang
of four strips a boy, sits him
down in an armchair, burrs
sticking to the boy’s wrists,
so their sickle eyes get to revise
the kid a little, see if he’s
American or if he’s been
circumcised. In Cracow,
once, there were wells
with no eyelids, lakes like Gretel’s
oven, where almost no one
muttered, My error will abide
with me and spend the night.


Rie Sheridan Rose
riewriter@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks from Austin, Texas. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2,  and Killing It Softly. She has authored eight 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 © 2017, and owned by Rie Sheridan Rose and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

We Must Be Remembered

We came in cattle cars
to the camps,
Huddling together in hope.
At least we had each other…

Until they sent off the sick
and separated us,
men from women
mothers from sons
fathers from daughters
wives from husbands….

The showers took the weak
sickness took others
work details wore down the strong.

Flesh melted away,
leaving hard bone
under ropy skin…

Liberation came far too late
for far too many.

We must be remembered–
lest the world forget our names.


Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg
rifkahg@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

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

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Coming Back Shortly

(In memory of Ivan Schwebel (1932-2011))

Half-drunk cup of coffee
Half-read newspaper
Half-used paints

Went out along
Well-trodden leafy path
You knew so well

After your turmoil
Bringing Jewish history
Into modern Israeli cities

King David arising
Lone Warsaw Ghetto trolley
Together in Zion Square

These walks in your “Safe Place”
In calmer paintings of caves and grassy banks
Where you float or lie still and garlanded

Perhaps foreseeing your final day
When you remained there forever planning
To come back shortly to your beloved painting


Ron Kolm
kolmrank@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

Ron Kolm is a founding member of the Unbearables and has helped edit their five anthologies. He is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine. Ron is the author of The Plastic Factory, Divine Comedy, Suburban Ambush, Duke & Jill, Night Shiftand, with Jim Feast, the novel Neo Phobe. A new collection of his poetry, A Change in the Weather, has just been published by Sensitive Skin books. He’s had work in Flapperhouse, Great Weather for Media, the Resist Much / Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance anthology,  Local Knowledge and the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Ron’s papers were purchased by the New York University library, where they’ve been catalogued in the Fales Collection. Ron Kolm lives in New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ron Kolm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler Was Wrong

I’ve just entered
The subway in Queens
And it’s early for me
Two in the afternoon.
I’m tired and hung-over
Trying to figure out
How I’m going to make it
Through another night
When I notice
Some graffiti on a poster–
Yeah, you got it
A ‘Hitler was right’ tag
And it cuts through
The morning-after fog.

No way, I mutter
Under my breath
You’re absolutely wrong–
Hitler was wrong!
Think about it–
He was a small dark man
With a strange haircut
And film noir moustache
Telling people to worship
Tall blondes.
Didn’t he ever
Walk past a mirror?
A store window?
Or was he truly that blinded
By self-hatred?
I doubt it
Because it seems
He tried very hard
To disappear anyone
Who even remotely
Resembled him, so
He would never have to see
His reflection anywhere–
That way he could fantasize
He was a ravishing blonde
Sword in hand
Playing out
All the old myths.

Let’s move on.
He lost the fucking war.
It doesn’t matter
How many Jews
Or gypsies
Or Russians he murdered
Ten million Germans died
His supposed countrymen
His compatriots with the clean genes
Blonde Nordic giants
With gothic weapons
And designer uniforms
All dead
Killed following a small dark man
Who couldn’t
Face the fact
That he’d failed utterly
As a leader
So he blew his brains out–
Very brave, right?


The guy was dead wrong
A total loser.
And I’m positive
He’d never have reached
That pinnacle of power
If it hadn’t been
For another
Small dark man
A man beloved by the masses
Famous in France as Charlot,
In Japan and, yes
In Germany.
Hitler looked enough
Like Charlie Chaplin
That I truly believe
The Germans were following
The Charlie Chaplin
In their subconscious
When they goose-stepped off
To their fate.

And it hits me
As my train comes screaming
Into the station
That there probably
Wouldn’t have been
A Bill Clinton
Without Elvis,
Or a Donald Trump
Without The Terminator.


Stacey Zisook-Robinson
office@naamatchicago.org

Bio (auto)

Stacey Zisook Robinson is a poet and essayist who lives in Chicago with her teenaged son and their cat. She blogs at staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com, and is a regular contributor to kveller.com, the Reform Judaism blog and several other online sites. Her book, Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand, was published by Hadassa Word Press. Her poetry has been included in several anthologies, She is currently working on her next book, tentatively called Unexpected Hosannas.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Stacey Zisook-Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Counting Infinity

I wonder about the
infinity of light
that shattered
in a single Breath –
and the dust of Adam
that scattered, a
sweeping whirlwind of
limitless everywhere upon
the earth, and the stars
that Abraham counted –
numberless,
and distant,
and cold fire.

We counted
time by moonlight
and threads of
blue –
Exquisitely finite
and eternal,
a holy cadence
of one
plus one
plus one again
a never-ending measure
of binding
and grace.

So I wonder,
with all the counting
of all the endlessness
of stars and dust
and light
and time
and one
plus one
plus One –

what happens when
six million –
when twelve million –
when a thousand –
when a single
one
disappears
from infinity


Stefanie Bennett
suneagle@bigpond.com

Bio (auto)

Stefanie Bennett… globetrotting… has published several poetry volumes, is of mixed ancestry, [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee]. She can be found between Riverside, California – and Trumbull, Ct. US.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Stefanie Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Epilogue

for Dan Pagis

There is no train.
There is no station.
The stopping point
Begs recall…

There was a house.
A lamp.
A window
Through which

The forest entered
Following
A sky-rail
And tomorrow’s

Apocalyptic
Swan-song.


Steve Braff
stevebraff1@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Over the past year, 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, is slated for publication by Cholla Needles Press in May. 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 © 2017, and owned by Steve Braff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Exodus 33:16

For wherein shall it be known here that I
and thy people have found grace in thy sight?
Is it not in that thou goest with us?

How can I do justice
to a six foot pile
of seventy two
year old
shoes?

Picture
hóloskaustós
burnt whole spare
shoes display
indifferent stare
this we share
my God.

Two busy to mess unholy mass
sienna grave browns to olive cast
aways saved cover some poor feet
repurposed death eye witness
glaze fast past this past
in verse question-
my testament:

Grace in thy sight?
Goest with us?`
Shall it be?
Known?
Here?


Susan Beth Furst
sfurst14@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Beth Furst is a poet and author. She began her journey writing poetry to document her mother-in-law’s experiences in Poland and Germany during the Holocaust. She wants to honor the victims of the Holocaust by telling their stories through her mother’s eyes. She wants the world to remember that there was a girl from Poland named Irka, and that she lived. Susan lives in Woodbridge, Virginia. You can find her on Facebook at Susan Beth Furst poet and author, or www.beautifuldefect.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Susan Beth Furst and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Through blue eyes

I

She stands in line with the other prisoners,
at Auschwitz.
She is Jewish,
blue eyes,
still a teenager.
Her name is Irka.
There is a woman in line with her.
She is Polish and
wears a cross.
Irka asks her why
she is there,
with a cross.
The woman looks at her,
my husband,
she says.
Ruth

II

They load the train cars
with Jews leaving Auschwitz.
Everyone is given
a piece of stale bread,
for the journey.
Irka asks why they are not eating.
They look at her and answer,
Yom Kippur.
Atonement.
They honor G-d,
by fasting
and praying
for forgiveness.
Even now


Thomas Elliott
harlequin62@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Thomas Elliott. I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Thomas Elliott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stone of remembrance

‘The Jews – they leave a stone for a lasting memorial’
Explained the young female tour guide at Auschwitz.
I left my heart there- it was too heavy with grief
to carry home.


Tina Edwards
tina.poetry@zoho.eu 

Bio (auto)

Tina Edwards lives in the rural and coastal County of North Somerset in the U.K. Having loved poetry from a young age she has finally taken the plunge and has recently been published in Reach Poetry by Indigo Dreams Publishing.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Tina Edwards and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Deep in the Forest 

using paint mixed with bloodfrom deer
who feed upon the landwhere soil mixes
with remains of crushed human bones
he paintsaloneeasel erectsheltered
by Pine trees

his brush strokes are deftfree from constraint
first a pair of shoesbound together by laces
next twisted spectaclesa white flag with red
crossa railway trackdisappearsover the edge
of canvas

a bird cries in the distancesoon forgotten
he packs away his paletteeaseltreasured objects
slowlywalks barefoot to the village of Treblinka
painting2/8/43trussed under his armin the hope
someonewill take it off his hands


Tina Hacker
thacker1@kc.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Tina Hacker lives in Leawood, KS, with her husband Lynn Norton who is a sculptor and excellent editor. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, both online and paper. She was a finalist in New Letters and George F. Wedge competitions and Editor’s Choice in two journals. Her full-length book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published by Aldrich Press, and chapbook, Cutting It, by The Lives You Touch Publications. In 2016, Tina was honored as a “Muse” for The Writers Place in Kansas City.  Since 1976, Tina has been poetry editor for Veterans’ Voices, a magazine of writing by veterans throughout the nation.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Tina Hacker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Where the Chips Fall

"This might be worth some money now."
My uncle shows me a tattered black case.
It’s unassuming, small, but nestled inside,
six pristine rows of poker chips
stamped with dark brown swastikas
wait for a game. "Found ’em in a dresser
that came with the house."

As my uncle pours a row into my hands,
I see shadowy soldiers flinging chips onto a table.
I smell sweat and cigarette ash,
hear the clatter of chips slapping
against one another. Clack. clack, clack,
like train wheels pulsing on rails,
like shells falling from guns.

Stacks of chips reward the players.
Straight: capture a family from the ghetto,
grandparents, parents, new baby boy.
Three of a kind: beat two pair,
hurl twin brothers to the ground.
Flush: crush five rabbis
wearing black yarmulkas,
then stack your winnings into mounds.

Clenching a chip in my fist, I feel
the coolness of its surface,
the heat of the swastika, a snarl of lines.
Six rows of chips, idle for decades,
lying forgotten, their value rising
as the players who used them pass
out of sight. Six rows ready for a new game.


First Publication: Cutting It, Oct. 2010 by The Lives You Touch Publications


Virginia Mariposa Dale
vmariposa@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Virginia Mariposa Dale has lived in many countries, including Spain and Morocco, fascinated by the French National, Spanish and Muslim cultures there. She had many Jewish-Moroccan friends, who told her of their love/hate for their native land, in which Jews were not allowed to assume high positions in the government or even in the government offices. After she returned to Santa Barbara, Califoria, she continued to educate herself about the cultures I had fallen in love with. The Holocaust Room at the Jewish Federate of Santa Barbara was filled with inspirational stories of Holocaust survivors, and their dedication to helping others. That’s what inspired these poems.  

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Virginia Mariposa Dale and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Angels and Devils

Dedicated to Judy Meisel, Holocaust survivor

A host of angels
……..shed fierce tears
The devil sang out
……..in jubilation

Judy Meisel’s mother breathed
……..poisonous air in the Stuthoff gas chamber
Her daughters ran and hid in a ditch
……..Jewish pigs echoed in their tender ears

Autumn wheat never harvested
Looms left half threaded
Tapestries half finished
Lives cut short for no reason

Judy Meisel orphaned at age twelve
……..while her mother’s heart bled
The devil cut capers
……..as a host of angels shed tears

Jesus Christ, where were you?


Wilderness Sarchild
gooutside@capecod.net

Bio (auto)

Wilderness Sarchild is an expressive arts therapist, poet, and playwright.  Her play, “Wrinkles, the Musical,” (co-written with Naomi Turner) will be produced at The Cape Cod Theatre Company in May of 2017.  Her poems have been published in many anthologies/journals and she has won awards for her poetry and play writing from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,  Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and in 2015, was the first place regional winner of the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry Competition. Her first full length poetry manuscript, Old Women Talking, will be published by Passager Books in 2017. Wilderness lives in Brewster, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Wilderness Sarchild and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

No Escape

I’m visiting Auschwitz,
Spring day, 2010:
Flowers blooming,
Birds flying overhead,
Clouds soft and fragile.

Wait!

This is not a place for the living, the beautiful.
This is a lake of ashes, a smell of burned bones,
a watch tower where Nazis drank tea, shot bullets,
told jokes. Nearby are barracks where people slept
crowded as bedbugs; where I taste dirt
that holds their DNA.

I spend the night here.
I cannot sleep.
I can only take one breath, then another,
hoping I will be able to walk away in the morning.
I do. And I don’t. That is why
I won’t stop writing about Auschwitz.


Zvi A. Sesling
zviasesling@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling edits Muddy River Poetry. He has published two books of poetry, Fire Tongue (Cervena Barva, 2016), King of the Jungle(Ibbetson Street, 2010) and two chapbooks: Love Poems From Hell (Flutter Press, 2017) and Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva, 2011). He is the Poet Laureate of Brookline, MA where he lives with his wife Susan J. Dechter.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Synagogue in Belgium

In a small town in Belgium
not far from the city square
at the crossing of two streets
where the neighboring houses
whose white paint has grayed
with age stands a long-abandoned
synagogue where a small vibrant
community of Jews prayed
Today what remains is a boarded up
dark building empty except for the
memories, except for the outline of
the six-pointed star over the main entrance
the star having been removed by the Nazis
and the sanctuary provided no sanctuary
when the Nazis rounded up Jews and
placed them in the synagogue until they
were shipped to the death camps leaving
the synagogue empty again
Very few residents today know what it is
or remember – but we remember and mourn