18th Annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Poetry Issue

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

Ananya S. Guha
Boghos L. Artinian
Bryan Damien Nichols
Bryant Rogers
Carol Kanter
Clara Ray Rusinek Klein

Daniel Irwin
Dave Ludford
David Ades
David Supper
David Sermersheim
David Horner
Donal Mahoney
Douglas Steele
Gayle Kaune
Giovanni Scifo

Hanoch Guy
Helen Bar-Lev
I.B. Rad
Ivan Klein
Jay Passer
Jean Colonomos
Jo-Anne Aylard
Kaye Voigt Abikhaled
Larry Burns
Marsha Carow Markman
Martina Robles Gallegos
Mary Leary
Mary Langer Thompson
Matthew Scott Harris
Michael Brownstein
Michael Burch
Michael Virga
Neil Meili
Patricia Brooks
R. Bremner
Rifkah Goldberg
Rosalind.J. Lee
Samantha Terrell
Shirley Bell
Stephen Mead
Susan Olsburgh
Susan Beth Furst
Susan Solarz
Sy Roth
Tina Hacker
Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi
Vinita Agrawal

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

Ananya S. Guha

Bio (auto)

Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing them world wide, for over thirty years.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ananya S. Guha and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Spotlights Of Disease

to begin at nothing
is a wrong starting point,
the circle of doubt is polka dotted
in transmigration of holocaust souls.
I want to be, be, be.
What is, is not
the fire in the body.
What is, is not death
but fouled carcasses
bodies devoid of history.
I want to be, be in crucifixes
of self, in edifices
of living when die is cast
nothing, beginning, ending.
Sing a dirge, litany of praises please.
Cast out the flesh, carved from the bodies
which at times transfigured into little
demons of hope.
Ominous spotlights of disease.

Boghos L. Artinian

Bio (auto)

Boghos L. Artinian is a physician in General Practice in Beirut since 1968 and a part-time poet since 1986. Most of his poetry is scientific and medical as his frustration in his inability to publish scientific articles forced him to publish them in verse. The poem ‘Garbis’ is an actual tragedy and one outcome of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Boghos L. Artinian and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


‘O cursed Turk that raped my mother
And sired me! I am killing your son!’
Cried Garbis– born following the exodus,
Yet kept and raised to adolescence .
And one day she confessed the terrible ‘sin’
She had committed after her children,
Her Armenian children, were ruthlessly slain.
Then Garbis emptied a single bullet
Into his mouth and fell, avenging his mother
And his Armenian half sisters and brothers.

Bryan Damien Nichols

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 writing poetry through two different heteronyms: (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury. Generally speaking, Kjell provides an optimistic worldview, while Alexander provides a pessimistic worldview. Kjell and Alexander are not mere “extensions” of Mr. Nichols; instead, each heteronym is a unique character with his own personality, poetic style, and biography. Bryan’s debut collection of poetry, Whispers From Within, was published in 2015 by Sarah Book Publishing, a small, independent Texas press.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Bryan Damien Nichols and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


In those dark times, the air was ash:
Black fire consumed all. Consumed the minds
Of those who murdered Innocents. Consumed
The eyes of those who chose not to see.
Consumed the streets, the fields, the shops,
The trees. The earth was made, it seemed,
Of shifting, graphite-colored dunes.

The Innocents were the victims were
The Innocents. What can you say
To a tortured people, those whose arms
And fingers looked like bent steel
When sons were ripped from fathers,
Daughters from mothers, siblings
From siblings? Can there be solace
For those whose white fire to survive, at times,
Was snuffed-out by the fire within those
Who set all aflame? Can there be
An apology for the woman who,
As a girl, had her arm stained with numbers
By needle, ink, and blood?

But all was not fire, steel, and ash.
For those Innocents, blessed by God
And His covenants and His laws, arose–
Like the Phoenix–from the dark ashes.
Majestic wings, Canaan-made and glowing
In bright violet, gold, green, and blue,
Kiss the air proudly, triumphantly
Each day.

Bryant Rogers

Bio (auto)

My name is Bryant Rogers, from Jamaica, New York. I am an African American poet who wants to speak for all of the African American Jews whose lives were also lost in the Holocaust. I want to share stories I’ve heard from relatives and friends, who’s stories have never been told. This poem is for the special Holocaust Remembrance Day issue

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Bryant Rogers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Red Coat

.he still on duty,
.see the evil beauty,
benefits, no retire
Nazi Soldier, girl blood colder/
.protecting one/ came out
to have playground fun/
behind her machine gun/
alley way street walk, of sunset sun/
tears turn into escape to Jews lost/
who pedestrians going run to, back to they self boss/
the girl in the red blood coat
wash her off, she fresh in the hood, like dove soap

firer works in the sky, bullets popping/
women children crying/
worse then Japan atomic bomb, shells dropping/
little girl, keep walking/ broken voices of street
shoppers talking, dogs barking/
.robbers robbing robbers, stealing
do momma daddy, see this killing/
the girl in the red blood coat
wash her off, she fresh in the hood, like dove soap

.she witnessing, it was her standout,
alfit age/ that got her through this brave/
how can you forget, police man
hit several with one bullet/
same issue, different toilet /
.lives matter, thanks for
the hideout, under my bed
the sound of the noise, of
the little girl please don’t pull it

Carol Kanter

Bio (auto)

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

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Carol Kanter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Haunted House

I. Survivor (to her daughter)

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

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

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

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

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

II. Daughter’s Response

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

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

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

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

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

III. Adult Daughter’s Response

Ghosts pull less
since I cut the barbed wire down

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

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

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

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

IV. Granddaughter’s Response

I found old barbed wire in our attic.

Its smoky points
sometimes rip at me in dreams.

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

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

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

so you see how good it is to be alive.

Clara Ray Rusinek Klein

Bio (auto)

Clara Ray Rusinek Klein is bilingual in Spanish and English. She holds a BA magna cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies. Ms. Klein is an internationally published creative writer and author and the founder and Editor in Chief of A Quiet Courage, an online journal of microfiction and poetry in 100 words or less. On December 23, 2015, A Quiet Courage was named among the twelve best literary journals of 2015 by Authors Publish Magazine, just over eight months after its founding on April 2nd, 2015. Ms. Klein is a two-time 100 Word Story photo story winner, with her one-hundred-word stories Defector and Airport Shuttle respectively. Her one-hundred-word story Ostdeutschland was chosen as an Editor’s Pick on Postcard Shorts. For more information and a full list of current publications: clararayrusinekklein.wordpress.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Clara Ray Rusinek Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Munich, 1941

He wears his best suit,
she clutches her purse.
He holds her arm as they walk away,
leaving behind his great-great grandfather’s Torah
with its cover of gold thread
sitting on the mantel.

They don’t speak
as they board the streetcar.
Sitting in the back row,
they hold hands, hardly daring
to look at each other.

At the next stop,
a young Gestapo officer boards,
pistol holstered,
his armband a reminder
of the constant presence of death.
The policeman advances down the aisle,
checking each passenger’s papers.

In the back row,
he can’t breathe.
His pulse thunders in his ears.
She squeezes his hand.
Then he thinks of it.
He can’t tell her.

“You stupid bitch! You worthless cow!
How could you forget our papers?!
You stupid, stupid woman!
How could you do such a thing?!
You good-for-nothing bitch!”

She stares at him, tears of
bewilderment filling her eyes.

Keep crying, he thinks.

It will be more believable this way.

Daniel Irwin

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin lives in Sparta, Illinois, where he was born and raised. Retired military now writer and actor.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Daniel Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tears In The Morning

Grandmother would have tears in the morning.
Another dream, another remembrance.
We understood that it had been terrible for her.
And, of course, it was.
The misguided craziness, the terror, the beasts.
But, Grandmother would thank God for the dreams
And said the tears were from happiness,
Visions of friends and family and a wonderful life
Before the darkness, before the world grew mad.
We said that we understood…but how can anyone,
Unless you had been there.

Dave Ludford

Bio (auto)

Dave Ludford is a poet and short story writer from Nuneaton, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Dave Ludford and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Every night for over a year, before his passing
The old man would take out his violin and sit
On his balcony and play low, melancholy tunes
Music so sad the birds would stop singing.
Often the same tune, played over and over;
Occasionally a new harmony would favour the air
With its sorrowful beauty and grace. After half an hour
He would stop, walk back into his rooms, and close the door.

In the evening there would be music;
His music, played the way he wanted it played
To honour those who had passed before him.
For now he watched the children run and laugh
In the park near his apartment, his brow creased
With a secret history that nobody wanted to hear.
His story, his music
Performed to an audience of one.

Now there is no more music
Only a candle, lit every night,
By a neighbour whose family
Suffered, too.
“Good night, my old friend.
You are with God.
Goodnight, goodnight.”

David Ades

Bio (auto)

David Adès is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who recently relocated to Sydney, Australia after living in Pittsburgh since 2011. He has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is the author of Mapping the World (Friendly Street Poets / Wakefield Press, 2008) commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008, and the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal (Garron Publishing, 2015). 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 Verse Envisioned: Poems from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Works of Art They Have Inspired. In 2014 David was awarded the inaugural University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize and was also shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize.‬

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Ades and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz (Tel Aviv, 1984)


A name,
a signpost to evil, a witch’s house rank
with the smell of a deadly brew:

five parts the twitching of dead limbs,
ten parts the putrefaction of burning flesh;
a sky filled with ash, darkness uncorked,

screams lost in a mirror maze,
swirling essence of two million severed dreams,
irrevocable diversion of the world’s destiny.

I was not there.
This belongs to an earlier generation,
remains a unique inheritance.

I do not remember: I cannot forget.


A word,
settled deep in the Jewish vocabulary.
The dead spread gnarled

and ancient roots among the living,
hunger for the green shoots of an echoed life,
clamour not to be cut down again

from memory, poisoned by revisionists
to an even greater death,
an even greater non-existence.


A silence,
sharp as a corpse at the moment of death
follows the Russian girl’s question

in the Hebrew class in Tel Aviv:
What she asks is Auschwitz?
The air expels an inhuman sob:

the dead are dying again,
their heritage suppressed,
vanquished unto death.

David Supper

Bio (auto)

Started out at Art College in the 60’s and worked as a Graphic Designer until the early 70’s. Made a switch to education and worked in secondary schools as an art teacher for 34 years. Now working as a full time artist, with work sold by London Gallery and shortly to open my home as a gallery for prospective buyers. People can view my work on my website: withspaceinmind.com. My unique style I describe as Hard-edge Realism and the paintings are medium to large. All are for sale of course! I currently live and work in Nottingham, England, but as I travel a lot my subject matter is often influenced by what I discover overseas. I recently re-married and my wife, Bryony, is an ex-professional actress turned children’s author and we are trying to get her current project off the ground.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Supper and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


And so it continues……..
The lies and the accusations
The never-ending, just existing
Is enough, no too much!
Seventy years on, the true revelations
The hate that defies logic
Educate to kill a Jew
And nobody cares about the truth,
Reason, humanity.
We have seen it all before
Over and over again
Senseless special rules, vilified
We suffer, we are the chosen
Chosen to be spat upon.
Blamed, condemned – for what?
We killed Yehoshua, not the Romans>?
We stole a land that was stolen from us?
Not given back by a majority vote?
When we defend ourselves
From attack it is a grievous fault,
Twisted logic grows from this hate
Boycotted, divested, sanctioned,
And when we protest
They sneer and they jibe and complain
The Yids are playing the Holocaust card again,
Zionists equated as Nazis, Apartheidt state
Is the cry. The tears though are ours…..
For the lost generations, trapped, gassed,
And burnt in the Death Camps
There was no escape for them – or for us!
Israel is the beacon, though its light grows dim,
Shout out to the world: we will survive,
Your hatred will consume you – not the Jews!

David Sermersheim

Bio (auto)

The author taught at The Hotchkiss School (Ct.) for 33 years; has had poems published in “The Aurorean”, “Ancient Paths”, “Sacred Journeys”, “Cloudbank” “Iodine Review”, ”Everyday Poems”, “Writing Raw”, “Poetry Pacific” and "Poetry Super Highway" as well as other journals and quarterlies. He was a MacDowell Fellow and has a book, “Meditations”, listed on Amazon.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Sermersheim and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nie Wieder

(for Vera Klement)

sacred images hover
as masks on
pure white stillness
in the glare
of the unstated ………………………..peace has found rest
ablaze in vivid tableaus ………….in a field that holds ashes
…………………………………………………of the unforgotten
……………………………………………….where poppies bow
silent hymns sound ………………..in idle winds
in memory …………………………….whispering names of
to the unforgotten…………………..the unknown ones
vanished in innocence……………always among us
without a chance to sing

in the hellish pyre ………………..anthems to the fallen
of a contemptuous void ………..die in echoes
where reason lost its way………..down silent corridors
………………………………………………..that speak ‘nie wieder’
………………………………………………..to nameless spirits entombed
………………………………………………..in cold gray stone

the hand that remembers
trembles with the weighted toil
of memories filling woven baskets
of radiant hues of another time

“light and dark
good and evil
life……death” ………………………...‘eins mit er ich auch jetz’
…………(Vera Klement) ………………………………(Paul Celan)

David Horner

Bio (auto)

David Horner is a freelance teacher trainer living near Paris, France.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Horner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

On a Visit to Auschwitz

In the air whispering screams fill my head,
And swirl like snowflakes abandoned in the autumn mists.
Spectral memories haunt the empty huts,
And the stillness seeps into my consciousness,
Tugging at awareness, while chillingly unaware
Of the seared white horror imprinted in the very air.
Beyond the fences life was lived in selective blindness:
A back turned cannot see what it does not want to see,
Nor hear the night trains rolling by. Yet now a pall hangs
All around: the pall of death denied and uncelebrated.
I look around; the autumn cold thickens into sound
And turns my eyes to the ovens where singly burned
The dead and sometimes dying. I turn my back
So not to see, but still I hear the whispering screams.
Selective blindness cannot hide the eerie stillness
Nor remove the buried truth: here died the many,
And here interned and interred generations died together
And left their trace of ineffable humanity and indelible cruelty:
Scratch marks in the fabric of time; the air Munch-like torn and
Warped into the twisted grimace of a scream.

Donal Mahoney

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis Missouri. Some of his earliest work can be found at here and some of his newer work here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ancient Paradox Alive Today

After two thousand years
we still have folks
who blame the Jews

for killing Christ even though
Pilate the Gentile could have
let him go and kept Barabbas.

This would have meant
no crucifixion, no resurrection.
Heaven’s gates would still

be closed—perhaps forever,
thus making it impossible
for anyone to blame the Jews

for doing what they had to do
for Heaven’s gates to open.
And those who blame the Jews

would still be waiting for a Savior
the way the Jews await the Messiah
they believe will come.

Douglas Steele

Bio (auto)

Doug Steele is a lifetime Wisconsinite residing in Portage. His prose and free verse have been featured in numerous print and on-line publications including Maudlin House Magazine, Gambling the Isle, Straylight Literary Magazine, The Courtship of Winds, and Sediments Literary Arts Journal. He is a media personality, broadcaster, member of the Pauquette Wordcrafters Group, Academy of American Poets, and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Doug’s recent Chapbook “Rivers, Streams, and Dreams” was released in December 2015. His work can be seen at www.douglassteelepoetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Douglas Steele and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tylawa Village

I “Boze Promos Nam"  (God help us)
On Tylawa village’s
Outer ring
Choking fire raged.
smiles faith hearts
huts crops lives memories
families’ worlds futures pasts.
In this Tylawa village
One flame
Changed all.
Bastard Raging fire.
Weeping, tearing of shirts
Wanting him back from war
Praying for the young
Wishing away Nazis.
At dusk
Johovahs chosen were
Gathered.  Solutioned.
With order.
II  "Boze Przebacz Im” (God forgive them)
In this Tylawa village’s
Outer ring
A fire raged
In Isaac’s heart.
Crouching, short breathing
Lined up in the mud
He felt burning SS lead 
Met the ground
Was passed by for dead  
As one can be.
III  "Jesters tylko prochem I cienie" (We are but dust and shadows )
Before strutting Norsemen came,
All was harvest delight
Plus dance.  
All was today’s world
with no regrets.
All perfect meter,
Rhyme, time.
After stomping Norsemen left,
We –  dust on the land.
Scattered.  Soulless.  Powder.
We us they me I –
never lived.
We, but a memory. 
Bones for the ages.
Tempest  dancing  ashes…
A fire raged
Though the veins of Isaac’s many others.
Their now’s stolen.
As He. 
In this Tylawa Village
Outer ring(less),
There is no more.
Only whispers left
In the wind
To tell the story.

Gayle Kaune

Bio (auto)

Gayle Kaune is published widely in literary magazines. Her chapbooks include Concentric Circles and N-Sid-Sen Star. Her book, Still Life in the Physical World, was published by Blue Begonia press and her latest, All the Birds Awake, is from Tebot Bach. She is a retired psychotherapist and lives with her husband in Port Townsend, WA and winters for a month or two in the Sonoran desert.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Gayle Kaune and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


—this Tarot card teaches us how the universe works,
so we can better understand it —
…………………………………………..Barbara Moore, Tarot

Morning and the lesser finches
have returned to the feeder.
Our woman sits on the patio, reads
how the Holocaust
History Museum has just opened
in the nearby city.

Two hundred thirty-three survivors
moved to Arizona after World War II.
Their stories are told in words
and photos.

The finches peck frantically at the sock-like
net filled with seed. Our woman remembers
the films she showed her history classes–
hundreds of bodies bulldozed
into mass graves.

(Now three hummingbirds have come
to suck sugar from their feeder). She reads
the story of a survivor,
Meyer Neuman. When he entered
Auschwitz he watched his wife and three
young children being separated, marched
to the gas chambers. Later, Nazis shoved
him from a three-story building, then tossed
him on a cart of cadavers.

Somehow, Neuman survives.

After the War he meets another
woman from the Camps. They immigrate
to Arizona, create a new family, birth four children.

A family of six, living with a ghost
family of five. Some nights
the children wake to their parents’ cries.

‘What is the karma of such atrocities?’
our woman wonders, drinking coffee,
as she draws the Justice card
from her Tarot deck.

The morning doves console her with their coos,
while the man next door
balances on a ladder. His saw
amputates the branches of a tree
with a high-pitched whine.

Giovanni Scifo

Bio (auto)

My name is Giovanni Scifo and I live in Colorado here is my submission entitled Matchsticks.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Giovanni Scifo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


stacked sticks
putrid is the ground
sunken eyes
and hollow mouths
cry out without a sound
frantic flies feed
upon a spread
flavored with tears
a black and white nightmare
that embodies all our fears
stacked sticks
burn without a fight
a field of ash
and glowing ember
warms the morning light
one by one
the old and young
stripped naked they fall
for those the end comes swiftly
against the cold chamber wall
stacked sticks
thrown hastefully in a pit
an act so heinous
only Satan could commit
GI’s storm the death camp
but alas it’s much too late
for the matchsticks and stacked sticks
beyond the barbed wire gate

Hanoch Guy

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood among cacti and citrus groves He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English, He is professor emeritus of Hebrew and Jewish literature at Temple university.He has published extensively and won awards in Poetica, Mad Poet society. Poetry matters and Poetry Super Highway. Hanoch 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. Hanoch resides in Elkins Park Pa.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Thou shall forget

Yehudah Elkana
Buried in the cattle car
At ten.
Kaddish whisperers die
on top of him.
Rust envelopes
wasps nests fill the wheels,
Russian soldiers carry out
corpses ,drag him out
to Auschwitz gate,
send him to a refugee camp.

Now a professor in Jerusalem
Plants flower
In his garden on Mount Scopus.

Watering his garden
He passionately recite new commandments:
Thou shall forget
Holocaust,pogrom,temple’s destruction.
We survivors are the only one entitled
To instruct you:
Forget and sing

Helen Bar-Lev

Bio (auto)

Helen Bar-Lev is a landscape artist and poet, born in New York in 1942. www.helenbarlev.com She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, has lived in Israel for 45 years and has held over 90 exhibitions of her landscape paintings, 33 of which were one-woman shows. Her poems and artwork have appeared in numerous online and print anthologies. 7 Poetry collections all illustrated by Helen. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013. Helen is Assistant to the President of Voices Israel group of poets in English www.voicesisrael.com and Senior Editor of Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, www.cyclamensandswords.com.She lives in Metulla, Israel with her poet-partner Johnmichael Simon.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

You can’t get away from it

the holocaust
sits mournfully
in the radio and television
in the sirens
all forcing you to remember
to reflect
even though
it would be best not to

best just to let go of it
like all the deaths
of all the friends
the shock
then the grief
then the acceptance
the continuance

But this one horror persists
perhaps it is not so much
the loss
as the barbarism behind it
the sophisticated culture
that thought of it
executed it
conscience gone blank
humanity slipping back down
the evolutionary tree

Everything about this era
is troublesome
but the barbarity
perhaps most of all

Today, when all these thoughts
and memories and nightmares
are called forth
I am certain
I shall never sleep again

I.B. Rad

Bio (auto)

I.B. Rad is a widely published New York City poet.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dancing at "The Abyss"

There’s a club dubbed "The Abyss"
where everyone who’s anyone
dances on the edge,
where terrorist and general
separatist and loyalist,
leftist and conservative,
elbow one another,
high on jingoistic near beer
and solidarity’s addicting upper,
cultural-ethnic superiority,
where war and death
prance cheek to cheek
to an orchestration so enthralling,
with a culmination so invigorating,
it’s left all caterwauling,
" From crematoria of Europe,
to killing fields of Rwanda,
Syria, Cambodia,
we’re dancing at The Abyss"

Ivan Klein

Bio (auto)

Ivan Klein lives in downtown Manhattan, is the author of Alternatives to Silence from Starfire Press and a chapbook on the sumi-e paintings of Koho Yamamoto. He has been published in Leviathan, The Jewish Literary Journal, Urban Graffiti and the Forward among other publications. His poems have appeared in several previous PSH annual Yom Hashoah issues. A poem sequence on the Japanese poet Sakutaro Hagiwara is in the current issue of the online magazine Arteidolia.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ivan Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In The Garden Of The Sanitorium

After a poem by Nelly Sachs*

……..……..…….The poet as madwoman / the madwoman as poet

……..There to be protected against the vicious radio messaging of the
Nazi cabal that had hunted her down & penetrated the walls of her one room
refugee apartment in Stockholm with their cunning & all-knowing antennae & microphones.
……..Protected from herself, from the image of the recently captured
Eichmann’s jackbooted, obscene face, the open wound of her martyred dead.
……..She walks alone, guilty in the starlit midnight snow,
clutching the living, stirring buds of the frozen tree branch
she has broken off for her very own.
……..Eyes wide open, poor heart failing,
……..she begins to compose the music of
……..the coming Spring in her beloved high German language.

*A Nobel Laureate for Literature in 1966,
the middle of the decade of her frequent
psychiatric hospitalizations.

Jay Passer

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer’s poetry has been published in print and online since 1988. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the Jay Passer.

Cantos and Resurrection

Pound was rambling, yeah,
Ezra exhorting from his 6×6 cage
insufficiently post-war.
they found him just crazy enough
not to shoot him for treason.

Mahler avoided the great wars
spinning off in spiritual tangents
conducting opera but with no time to write any.

Richard Strauss outlived Mahler by 40 years and
provided the soundtrack for 2001: A Space Odyssey –
tough love through hard times.

Modigliani drank absinthe, smoked hashish
and wildly gesticulated before dropping dead from TB.
a week later Jeanne H. threw herself out a 3-story window
embryo included.

Chaim Soutine, long escaped from the shtetl
became a rich man, while Marcel Duchamp
decided to never finish another painting.

so Pound says to Ernest Hemingway
Join me in Rapallo, the uninvited clause:
Let’s be besties someday back in the States!
with a curtain-call to the provincial,
Fascism so closeted, so orgiastic.

Gustav M. traveled from station to station
Austria via Bohemia
converted to Christianity in order to legally conduct,
then keeled over dead
before any worldwide diabolical substantiation
could cull him from the intelligentsia.

those were good hard times alright –
they still are.

the Americans eventually sorted it all out, right?
The Rape of Europa
Picasso safe on the cover of Life magazine
as Max Jacob is marched off for extermination
among millions of others who never had a chance to make it:
you can listen to their voices on a perpetually looping recording
at the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.

you can sit aside sibilantly muttering
while the reconnaissance of countless souls vibrate,
you can gaze at what the emaciated convicts
delicately carved out of canes of wood and composed with blood
on slight fragments of discarded parchment
you can escape to the men’s room
all these decades later and lock yourself in a stall.

the wonder of what blooms beneath barbed wire,
the color of the nightmare oblivious to sentience,
and how to carry on.

they went mad.
they died mad.
Artaud gazing at his shoe at Ivry-Sur-Seine,
Celine with his hounds and parrots and clothespins in Meudon
the air thick with the stench of ennui, so very close to
des usines de munitions.

and so many others – now more than ever.
Mahler has never possessed such quintessence.

Jean Colonomos

Bio (auto)

Jean Colonomos lives in Topanga, CA. She appreciates Poetry Super Highway’s honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jean Colonomos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One More Day

……..…….—for Lola, Kuba and Jacob,
……..…….survivors of this story.

In the was time,
on a back street in Paris,
a woman and two men flee
their cramped apartment.
Day and night the men hide
in the bathroom where
no footsteps can be heard.
No males or Jews are allowed.
Unless the three are picked up beforehand,
they’ll receive forged passports from
the French underground, permitting
passage to Spain. Undetected
when they leave the building,
they’re surprised by a Nazi checkpoint
which hadn’t been there
the day before when the woman
scoured the streets.

In the was time,
on a back street in Paris,
a Polish Jew without papers
is as good as dead. She aches
for her five-year-old-son staying
with a Catholic family while
they await new papers, longs to
roam his field of curls.
But how to save themselves?
As they walk towards death,
perhaps to project a party mood,
she leads them in the French national anthem.
As if light were burning the one-way sign
to heaven, the Germans, unfamiliar with
this occupied country’s language, lift the gate
and let the fake Frenchmen pass.
On the other side of the gate,
their unbowed song is still heard.

Jo-Anne Aylard

Bio (auto)

My name is Jo-Anne Aylard and I live in Bright’s Grove, Ontario Canada. I have been writing poetry for many years and have been published several times in ‘Quills’, a poetry anthology in Canada as well as a Canadian anthology called ‘Existere’. I have also been shortlisted for a poetry contest in ‘Lichen’ magazine and my work has been workshopped by esteemed author David Bergen on CBC. My poetry has also been published in several chapbooks.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jo-Anne Aylard and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


(In honour of Etty Hillesum)

She was
a dark
until she
found God
within her
and was
the world’s
a postcard
a farmer
"We left
the camp

I am
in awe
of such
a bold,

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled

Bio (auto)

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled, born in Berlin, Germany, immigrated to the U.S. in 1960. Her poetry has been published in state, national and international poetry journals. Editor, A Galaxy of Verse, 1999-2004; appointed Counselor for the Austin, Texas area of the Poetry Society of Texas; First Runner Up, The Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry, Madrid, Spain, 2000. Childhood in the Third Reich: WW II and Its Aftermath, (Mellen Poetry Press, 2000); a bilingual edition in German, translated by the author, 2006. Kaye lives in Austin, TX.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Kaye Voigt Abikhaled and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Paul Celan

An invitation to visit Munich 
a friend had plans
I have a colleague who is depressed
let us take him for coffee in the park 

spatial apartment that air raids had spared
we rang the buzzer bell   
he cracked a wedge at last
lead us through the dark foyer
through the mirrored living room
to a multi tiered library
(we followed him like sheep)
he settled back into his chair
at the end of a long table
and pulled his thick
winter coat around his neck
I’m Paul, he said at last
turned his attention to his papers
I cast sideways glances
galley pages in a circle

um mich die Toten      wollen Sie mich auch
             und was dann?
                    wer begräbt
                         die Erstmaligen?

frightening words
still haunted a post war world
denied by Germans
You need a break, said my friend
let us go for a walk in the park
get fresh air 
a cup of coffee and a fine
piece of Nusstorte –
but Paul demurred
he looked at me at last
his beautiful eyes made me want
to lie down in them
I noticed his receding hair line
decided to show respect –
May I open the window?
he said No
It is a beautiful day
come let us take a walk
to the Konditorei down the street
you would like that, wouldn’t you?
he stared at his pages and his notes
in the heavy stillness
I felt his deep sorrow weigh into me
desperate to lighten his mood
forced small talk
he answered monosyllabic
stared at his hands
folded in his lap
his pale expression
nearly made me sob
my friend wandered around
the library of leather bound volumes
the parquet creaking under his feet
charming away the minutes

my fifteen years burbled enthusiasm
Come, I said, you look pale
you need something sweet to wake your heart
at last he smiled
glad to see his demeanor lighten
forged ahead
Let’s get  some fresh air
sun and coffee and cake –
he looked at his notes and shook his head
in desperation I turned to my friend
She means it, why not give in
you’ll be glad you did
I saw a chance – went out on my ledge:
And if you prefer
I’ll even buy you a beer
at last he laughed
bemused at such risqué invitation
no respected female would dare
in 1949
I rose triumphant – alright a beer it is
bent to take his arm
he slightly stiffened
over his shoulder he said
I’m glad you came
please let yourself out
Paul Celan was no longer aware of us
disappointed we left
sad and helpless
a devastated young man

who had witnessed the murders
of his family and classmates
condemned to suffer guilt
of sole survivor

Larry Burns

Bio (auto)

Larry Burns is a SoCal native. Most of his work reveals elements of that history and geography with simple situations that provide plenty of room for the reader to create a particular meaning or subject. He believes that writing is a community effort, with the writer as the focal point; writing creates an outwardly radiating expression and description of the human condition. All things serve the Wheel.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Larry Burns and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Under the Sky So Blue

The ancient Fear
grips me Good.
And I sweat.
And I fret.
And it is all I can do
to flip you the bird.
If you are really there,
I hope it gives you a
thunderous belly laugh
Seeing your reflection
in such an antic.
I hope.
I hope to God
you have a Funny Bone.

Marsha Carow Markman

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman earned a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. She taught at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and, returning to her California home, in the English Department at California Lutheran University. Her publications include: The American Journey (Vols. 1 and 2) and Writing Women’s Lives, with Drs. Susan Corey and Jonathan Boe; Editor and writer of Piri Piroska Bodnar’s Holocaust memoir, Out of the Shadows; poems in If We Dance . . . A Collection of Poems ;and articles in scholarly journals. Markman divides her time between homes in Woodland Hills, California and Annapolis, Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Marsha Carow Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Find Me

amid this rubble stark as stone
a tangled heap among these ruins
whitened by an August sun
find me where my days are done

discarded in a twisted mound
together in this house of shame
scars forever on these lands
seeping scabs on human hands

in this place forget me not
nor rituals that brought us here
hatred from an ancient tome
find me G-d then take me home

Martina Robles Gallegos

Bio (auto)

I came from Mexico and lived in Altadena and Pasadena through high school. I moved to Oxnard and attended community college. I attended California State University, Northridge and got my teaching credential then taught for almost 18 years in Hueneme Elementary School District. I suffered a work injury followed by a stroke. I resumed my Master’s after hospitalization. I graduated with my M.A. June 2015. Works have appeared in Altadena Poetry Review, Hometown Pasadena, and Spectrum. I live in Oxnard, CA.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Martina Robles Gallegos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

May Humanity Never Forget

Some think of the Shoah as climate change;
It wasn’t real; didn’t happen; isn’t happening.
We can’t ignore that at least six million Jews
were murdered in hellish ways
by order of a demented, heartless man.
Images or starving and emaciated Jews
still live in memories of conscience.
Star of David was more often target to death.
‘Survivors’ carried era’s nightmares to their graves.
Humanity ignores what’s unfathomable;
the incomprehensible must be discarded,
but that’s a recipe for recurrence.
The Holocaust will never leave memories
of survivors’ descendants who still persevere
to tell the story humanity insists on forgetting.
Sometimes it feels like another Holocaust
looms on the horizon, and it oozes in
through unrestrained, hate-carrying leaders.
Forget the things we want to relive.
Huge events that destroy and kill humans
will also destroy humanity.
Each new event will be more destructive,
so never forget the Holocaust!

Mary Leary

Bio (auto)

Mary Leary’s poetry has been published since she was a teenager. She is especially happy about having been featured on KPBS FM, in Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball (Faber & Faber) & The Unbearables Big Book of Sex (Autonomedia), & winning 3rd place in the 2008 Book Habit poetry contest. Currently based in San Diego, she is also a music journalist & programmer.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mary Leary and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I’m against the potential morbidity

of being born Jewish and Irish
I wish I’d said to the creative
before it all started.  Egyptian torture alone
could engross any neurotic – let alone
the gas vans
and some Catholic closets.  Just

doom from the start
I wish I’d said to the director
who arrived all in black and who
hated the Blasters. I mean, how many times
do I need to explain

that all-black is so tired
unless you’re tall & Germanic
‘cause then all bets are off.
It’s so

easy to see
how some tall men in black
made some girls shave their heads
before tearing off clothes, running straight
into water
that wasn’t

Mary Langer Thompson

Bio (auto)

Mary Langer Thompson’s first collection of poetry, Poems in Water, published by Green Fuse Poetic Arts of Loveland Colorado, is available on Amazon.com. She was the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California. She resides in Apple Valley, California with her husband, Dave.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mary Langer Thompson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sneak Peek

I’m supposed to be asleep,
But my door is open a crack, enough
to see and hear our black and white TV.
I prop my head on my arm
as a film with a dark-haired girl begins.

She looks my age, nearly thirteen, and smart.
She has an older sister, Margo.
Why is she leaving her home, her school?
Why are there police in the streets with rifles?
Officers in our town smile and wave.
I’m supposed to look for them if in trouble.
Why is she wearing a star on her coat?
It stands out grainy white.
Why go live in an attic?

Anne likes movie stars, too.
She puts pictures on her new wall.
I have Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin, Annette,
Liz and Debbie on mine.

Others are moving in now, like when
Auntie had surgery and came to live with us.
I had to give up this bed.
Mrs.van Daan pets her fur coat.
My aunt says she’s too old for a new one.
No fake teeth for my uncle, either,
but he can chew apples with his gums.

There’s Peter.
Anne feels changes in her body.
Like I feel.
She loves Peter.

That siren. Ours don’t sound like that,
the wail going up and down.
It can’t mean they are coming for them,
Margo, their mom and dad, that dentist
and all the others, Peter,
even Anne.
How did they discover that bookcase
that hides the door?
Did they hear Mouskie, Peter’s cat?
My cat, Nick, sleeps at the foot of my bed.

I muffle my cries in my pillow.
Nick lifts his head, looks around.
Could even a cat betray you?
Anne and the rest are so quiet.
The police use their weapons to break down the door.

No one ever told me
that war might not care about a girl like me.
Wouldn’t care whether I grew up,
kissed a boy, grew old, cried.

Matthew Scott Harris

Bio (auto)

Matthew Scott Harris begat during April shower made unheralded debut (nine months later) on a brutally cold January thirteenth. His conception wrought as second offspring and only son of boyce and the late harriet harris. He counts himself as a lucky papa of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His two near adult darling daughters capstone as he tra verses and wends along the long and winding road of life. His father – employed as a mechanical engineer with general electric – heard the powerful lungs of this gangly newborn prior to being permitted to cradle said enfant non terrible. Extreme shyness in tandem with a congenital speech defect (submucous cleft palate) seemed to alienate him from other classmates. As an outside neutral observer, he passively watched with gut wrenching agony how others seemed socially attached, and rarely invited him to join in any reindeer games. The absence of clear-cut goals found him enrolling and withdrawing from countless colleges and/or universities.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Matthew Scott Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

letter to Esther Bauer

no doubt ye did cower
at world word two darkest hour
yet summoned forth survival power
to withstand the infernal third Reich tower.

my life and hard times – with abject despair
will never approximate terror and fear
felt by huddling masses forced to sustain gear
of genocidal machine, which we must continue to hear
even when the sole survival does pass on and dis a pear
to…who knows where?

yet one with Semitic lineage, though an atheist to boot
although fifty three, not considered an ole coot
knows even the upbeat music of Mozart magic flute
cannot in the least offset rampage of life and loot
perpetrated by heinous henchmen of Hitler silent & mute
reverberations of genocide thru offspring need root
out vestiges of deadly Nazism which vibrant shoot.

those few in number who endured galling beast
where the ferocious maws of extermination did feast
which forced human sacrifices wheels greased
this horrible lumbering mythical Aryan leased
and leashed to quash all traces of Levant yeast!

Michael Brownstein

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, Poetry Super Highway and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011) and administrates the websites http://projectagentorange.com/ and http://projectagentorange.com/simplemachinesforum/

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Strength in Spirit and Faith

The duck of winter heavy with clouds of snow and sleet,
did not offer relief, nor did the shacks built for strong men,
nor did the barbed wire fences bent to keep us in.

There is a story about how the slaves in Mississippi,
tired of the abuse and hatred of slave owners and overseers
leaped into the air and flew home.

The winter that year was colder than most,
And the strong among us—for we were all strong—
Worked with pain and insight, a knowledge of evil.

The slaves filled the skies with outstretched arms.
For a moment, the skies blackened with their shapes
their shadows, and then they were gone.

Behind the fences, within the camps of poisoned minds
and ignorance, we sang Torah, praised God,
and we too knew how to fly away: We built community. .

There is solace in flight, solace in prayer, solace in praise.
There is solace in light and shadow,
solace in flight and thoughts of flight.

When the war ended, our suffering was still great,
but we were strong before the war, and we were stronger
after it came to a closing and we are even stronger now.

Michael Burch

Bio (auto)

Michael R. Burch is an American poet and editor of Holocaust poetry who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He edits and publishes www.thehypertexts.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Epitaph for a Child of the Holocaust

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

The Burning of the Books
by Bertolt Brecht
translation by Michael R. Burch

When the Regime
commanded the unlawful books to be burned,
teams of dull oxen hauled huge cartloads to the bonfires.

Then a banished writer, one of the best,
scanning the list of excommunicated texts,
became enraged: he’d been excluded!

He rushed to his desk, full of contemptuous wrath,
to write fierce letters to the morons in power —
Burn me! he wrote with his blazing pen —
Haven’t I always reported the truth?
Now here you are, treating me like a liar!
Burn me!

Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

The passing of Prince & The New Yorker cover current (May 2, 2016) at the time of this composition coupled with an NEA Big Read in-progress in my home-city Birmingham (AL). http://www.bsc.edu/features/bigread/index.cfm an edition concurrent with the 20th National Poetry Month which waxed special to my calling: I ranged around the metro engaging in the buffet of related events and feeling stronger for rekindling my literary kinship with sister Emily Dickinson by way of of our "purple host," my (and my father’s) alma mater. — and that’s how the spirit moved me upon receiving the call for this 18th annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

no race to the finishing line

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

— Portia, Shakespeare’s heroine-in-disguise

on the outside of ruthless
walls — over the cast
of faucets leaking gas —
free from the stream of illusion . . .

. . . the run-off of the after-birth
jetting through roofless sky
like a watercolor with the shower
of spring light levitating on
an expressionistic canvas
of clouds dripping blue-violet
lilac iris indigo & lavender

botanical manna from the divine garden

of Sister Emily’s bannerless "purple host"
floral in form fragrance & function
to caress all the hues
Ruth watering for truth with just
that certain slant of whitelight
that washes clean the gray from the slate

All the colors no longer bleeding
& dying instead to arrive Home
showing up in the clear

Neil Meili

Bio (auto)

Neil Meili: Edmonton, Alberta and Austin, Texas. Most recent book: Putting aside the Mask for the Moment.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Neil Meili and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

If a Jew Falls in the Forest

and no-one hears
was there a sound

The Holocaust of Hitler
was not the only wiping out of millions
in man’s history of murdering his fellow man

People of the Americas do not think
there was no genocide on our side
of a hundred million, maybe more

Every year we hear
Haven’t we heard enough
can’t they ever, ever, ever let it go

Put your ear against a forest
They are teaching us to listen

Patricia Brooks

Bio (auto)

Patricia Brooks is the published author of two novels, short fiction and poetry. She now lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Patricia Brooks and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bread upon the waters

Their children looked to the sky and wailed,
What have we done?

Before long, will our children be wailing,
What have we done?

R. Bremner

Bio (auto)

R. Bremner, of Glen Ridge via Lyndhurst, NJ, USA, writes of dead kings and many things he can’t define, the clutter in your mind, and the color of time. He was in the very first issue of Passaic Review, along with Allen Ginsberg. He has appeared in dozens of other journals, including International Poetry Review, Yellow Chair Review, Poetry Super Highway, and Poets Online. Please look for his eBooks You are once again the stranger and Poems for the Narrow on Amazon, BN, Lulu, Itunes, and Smashwords. You’re welcome to visit him at Poets & Writers, where milk and cookies are waiting: http://www.pw.org/content/r_bremner

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by R. Bremner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The sky still darkens at evening

“Now the tears in the gutter
are flooding the sea.
Why was I born?”

-Laura Nyro

The sky still darkens at evening
The sun still wakes up in early morn
I’m told the waves still break on the shoreline
The frost comes overnight in November
How can all these things keep on?
Don’t they know it’s all changed?
That the earth has turned backwards on its axis
and now down is up, up is down?

I try to joke but the joke is on us
And I can’t laugh, can’t even cry anymore
I used to count days, and mark them
With a twig In the dirt behind a shed
Now I’m not allowed near that shed
And I don’t count the days anymore anyway
Instead I count bodies, bodies not people
Bodies that go into that building one way
Bodies that come out another
Bodies I used to see and know
But now I don’t see anymore
Bodies that fall to the ground before me
And bodies that wish that they could

But these are not just bodies, they’re people
Friends I have known for some years or a day
Or family, scattered here, there, and afar
Some I never knew till just now

But they’re better off being just bodies
For then I don’t mourn them as much
When the sun still wakes up in the early morn
And the sky still darkens at evening.

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

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Rifkah Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Serving God

Sent out in your youth from
Holocaust-bound Poland
Most of your family lost

To start a lifetime
Spanning the world
Helping others to find God

For the past two decades
Retired in the land where our
Forefathers fashioned prayer

Now from your sick-bed
Miraculously rise and
Put one foot before the other

Slowly struggle to reach
The small synagogue where
Inscrutably you lead the prayers

From the emergency room
And rickety ambulance
You come not to miss a day

Becoming steadily more difficult
Still manage to make your way
Through the sun-bathed streets

Then prayer-sated return
Holding your helper’s hand
Over the darkened stones

All the time coming closer to showing those
Who cannot master this seemingly simple art
How to pray in our question-filled troubled world

Rosalind.J. Lee

Bio (auto)

Rosalind J. Lee is a name for a woman with a divided past. It is not her real name. She was moved around from home to home, not always finding her feet, and always half afraid to sleep. She now lives in the village of Mattishall, Norfolk, UK, where she once had riding lessons with Alistair Crowley, and writing lessons with Tolkien. The nearest city is Norwich.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Rosalind.J. Lee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Recipe

Part 1

My adoptive mother’s recipe for fruit cake
set on lined paper torn from an exercise book
has stood the test of time. She wrote

the ingredients, from currants, black as sin
to hot red cherries, a dust dance of flour.
The movement of the wooden spoon.

Rites we were not to witness,
………………………………………….the making –
We children reasoned a why.
The tale of babies in the saucepan
set to broil, tap, tap, tap on the lid.

Father’s outraged face,
he too was excluded,
the never spoken arguments.

The cake would lay in a sellotaped tin, rich dark,
swollen in spirit. For three months
her long piano fingers would stroke the sides.

She never played, didn’t dust the piano –
her first concert, she was scared sick,
and fled the stage. When I was ill –

I’d sit on the stairs, clad in a nightie,
and the music would trickle allegro,
wave after wave, under the door.

After the three months, she’d whip out the tin,
turn the cake out, and line it with yellow almond paste,
and decorate it with royal icing, piped rosettes,
the ornaments and the slogan.

Part 2

In ways we are similar –
You taught a solitary existence.
Your not played music, a muscle trapped and frozen.
Creativity, was desired and dangerous.
How not to want: wanting.

We lived –
A step out of society, not aware of the danger.
In supermarkets your look could upset towers
of tins, coffee jars, and tool cases.

Before your death, we took to talk by phone.
Conversations, about politics, news nit bits,
how to change the world we lived in.

How to deduce it all. You no longer baked,
had no one to bake for. Before people payed you,
for Celebration, Banana and Walnut cakes.

I knew you didn’t love me, more that
we found the level that good neighbors talk.
Yet, for all that, we needed the connection.

The crocodiles moved in, you weakened;
shards of dark, spiked the end of your life,
as light pierced mine. I cannot give up.

The recipe says the cake will last a long time
if it remains unsealed in the tin. At the end:
you didn’t ask for me, family came first.

Yet on days when
I’m not well, I hear music. I see you spread
giant fingers over the keys, and the music
rises, on the back of my eyelids.

Samantha Terrell

Bio (auto)

Samantha Terrell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Her poetry is intended to give voice to societal issues around the globe, and can be found in: DoveTales by Writing for Peace (Colorado); Ebola, a chapbook by West Chester University (Pennsylvania); NonBinary Review by Zoetic Press (online), and elsewhere. She has been a contributor to PS, Poetry Salon (California), and has written her own chapbook, entitled Honesty, for almost five years. Visit Samantha on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Samantha Terrell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Humble Me

Baptize me
in your
Red Sea,
so I may know
what you know,

that I may go
where you
Make a way,
away from the waves

of humanity’s woes,
that we
might undergo
a transformation
of peaceful collaboration,

admitting over and over again,
that we must drown
our own hopes and sins,
to keep
each other afloat, in this world of waves and deep.

Shirley Bell

Bio (auto)

Shirley Bell lives in the UK, in Boston, Lincolnshire. Her poetry had been widely published and she is now putting all of her published poems together for the Special Collections Archive at the University of Lincoln.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Shirley Bell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Babi Yar.

Shostakovich is playing: it is Symphony 13, Babi Yar.
Can music explain it? Can words? Babi Yar.
It sits on the tongue like a mumble of bones,
“All Yids must come; bring documents, money, valuables

and also warm clothing, linen, etc.”
And there’s the hook. Clothes mean a future. In the
serpent words there is a devious hope and it calms them,
like cattle at the abattoir, not to panic yet. Not to think.

The commander of the Einsatzkommando boasted,
“until the very moment of their execution,” they
“ still believed in their resettlement,
thanks to an extremely clever organization”.

And the bureaucracy makes it easy. Do this. Do that
Lapping and lulling them. Although there are dogs with sharp
teeth and soldiers pushing. But ‘Luggage here’. It’s possible
that they will load it onto a train to their impossible future.

Every step now tolls. Babi Yar. It is a funeral march.
And they take off their clothes and add each garment to its own
particular pile. Do they think now? Of fingers sorting through
those lots, assigning them. If they hesitate they are pushed

and kicked for they, too, are destined to join the heaps, but for
a simpler sorting. They are unclothed and their flesh is tender
and vulnerable. There is only one journey
for the stripped and bared to the truth. A naked mother

holds her baby to her breast and the child is wrapped in
the comfortable eternity of sweet milk. They go in tens. Here
is a terrible new bed of the freshly dead, lying in layers.
With each shot they fall on the ones that went before them

on that terrible voyage into an unrepentant hell, of targets,
contracts, officials, records, tags. The lists, the lists.
And all those futures obliterated. And God is not looking.
There is no absolution here, on the lip of this particular abyss.

All material in "Babi Yar." is taken from the
Wikepedia entry on the massacre at Babi Yar in 1941.

Stephen Mead

Bio (auto)

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads. His latest P.O.D. amazon release is an art-text hybrid, "According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made)", a work which takes to task the words which have been used against LGBT folks from time immemorial. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in one place: http://stephenmead.weebly.com/links-to/poetry-on-the-line-stephen-mead

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Desperate Journeys

(with thanks to Ursula H.)

Have I forgotten the future Nazis
who smashed barn kittens,
the flung laughter of derisive fists?
Of the bullies that become bigger,
the monsters among us,
has numbness taken over?
To the hills, then the stars,
from whence cometh—–
St. Rita beseeches still
do not question the tests
of hunger’s tyranny creating snitches
amid the Harriet Tubmans.
Look hard, breathe long
the ashes of ancestors falling
as the living who were victim
to the inhuman that persist
brutally human enough.
How deep their ravines are,
how inventive the torturous mechanisms
in simple Bic lighters and tongs for ice.
As ulcers they travel inward
leaving landscapes a travelogue
of imploded glass, of driftwood flesh
in napalm fog…
Still, while they are at it,
others eternally use for bandages
their very own fingers.

They journey each on a collision course,
force and its opposite:
days of open hand.

Susan Olsburgh

Bio (auto)

Susan Olsburgh was born in the North East of England . Her parents were victims of Nazi Oppression and were glad to find a safe haven in the UK in 1938. For the past five years Susan has lived near Netanya, in Israel. She facilitates a monthly poetry appreciation activity for adults and is currently the national president of Voices Israel, an organisation for poets writing in English in Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Olsburgh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Papers Please

"Achtung! Where are your papers?"
In drawers, in boxes, filed and unfiled,
"Your papers are not in order. You have defied."
Randomly stacked, partially sorted,
Methodical arrangements are time-aborted.
Why can’t you toss these into the bin?
To throw them out would be a sin.
You surely won’t need this anymore.
Leave it. Please return it to the store.
Files, dusty as decorator’s dustsheets,
Could be the key to family heartbeats.
Try sorting them and you’ll be amazed
What yellowed papers Father salvaged.
Returned to containers the rescued records go
So that grandchildren’s grandchildren may also know.

Susan Beth Furst

Bio (auto)

Susan Beth Furst is a writer and poet. She enjoys writing prose and considers herself a haiku artist. She was "Poet of the Week," on the Poetry Super Highway. Her poems have appeared in The Avocet, Haikuniverse, and "The Best of Kindness," anthology by the Origami Poets Project. She lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with her husband Herb and a canary named Mozart. You can also find her at beautifuldefect.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Beth Furst and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Poet

Ninety four years old
she tells me her stories
about the ghetto
and Auschwitz
and Stutthoff
I struggle with the words
and write poems
that do not rhyme –
I inspire her she says,
so she writes her own stories –
seamless and beautiful,
perfect – the first time.

Susan Solarz

Bio (auto)

Susan Solarz of Sacramento, California is the child of two Holocaust survivors. Her parents, Renee Gitla Berlinska Solarz (Renia) and Simon Solarz (Szymon) were both from Lodz, Poland and survived the Lodz ghetto, labor camps at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Her parents met when they were at a displaced persons (DP) camp in Hannover, Germany. They emigrated together to the United States in 1950 and settled in Los Angeles, where Susan was born. Since retiring at the end of 2013, Susan has been sharing her passion for nature with schoolchildren as a docent at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and is active in various local environmental groups. Susan has been active in Sacramento’s Holocaust Remembrance committee and 2nd Generation group for many years.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Solarz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Honor of Renia

Renia picked flowers at her summer home
In the Polish countryside
Laughed and played

Plucked like unripe fruit
Girls in the ghetto did not see the green leaves
They did not smell the roses
They did not dance with the boys to happy tunes
They smelled the stench of the ghetto 
And then the smoke of burning bodies at Auschwitz
They were hungry and lean and sick

Alone, after the branches crashed to the ground
Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and babies murdered
How did they climb the tree of life again 
And dance the hora?

My mother, liberated from Bergen Belsen in 1945
After Auschwitz and the Lodz Ghetto
Married Szymon in Hannover, the DP camp
Older, handsome man, whose wife and young daughter perished

I stand before you a child of survivors
A new blossom
I heard my parents’ stories 
In hushed voices in the wind

On this spring day 
Let us remember:
Those whose voices we no longer hear
The souls who cry out

Sy Roth

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth lives in Mt. Sinai, New York

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

From Something You Said

You stood

stolid salt pillar
after the conflagration
buildings burning behind you
smoke rising in oily, black columns.
You listened to their whimpers
read the tatoos
and failed to believe in never again
drowned in their losses
missing a caress
a pat, drowning in palliative dreams

skeletal bodies 
their ashes dammed from Jerusalem,

wrapped sans prayers shawl.
the crouching beasts
cicadas on their seventeen year journey
will fill the air with their screeching
where memories fade that never were
into the gray images of them
swept by the tractors into their black hole
a thought from something you said
left unsaid
what bleached bones rest
beside  the hidden graves
of the nameless?

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 in May, 2014, by Aldrich Press. Her chapbook titled, Cutting It, was released in late 2010 by The Lives You Touch Publications. Tina served as Co-president of The Writers Place and Vice-President of the Midwest Region for Women in Communications. Since 1976, she has been poetry editor for Veterans’ Voices, a journal of writing by veterans. This year she is being named a Muse, an honor given by The Writers Place for all the work she has done for that organization and for the Kanas City literary community.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Tina Hacker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hiding Places

Some survived because they hid
behind false walls, in secret attics,
under floors in pits the Nazis missed.

When I was a child, I hid inside a shadow
when obliging drapes held sunlight
at bay. I felt invisible except Mother

always found me. Sometimes angry,
she’d ask, “Why didn’t you come
when I called?” I wouldn’t answer.

I hoped my stillness would shimmer
like a mirage, blurring me until
I was sure I was safe. I never knew

when I was safe. In my first apartment
I looked for a place. Bent down to peer
under our bed. Too childish, too obvious.

I pushed our large recliner into a corner
and crouched behind. A tweed grizzly
guarding my cave, but its hulking body

left revealing gaps. Maybe bury myself
beneath piles of pillows, become invisible
under shams, throws, bolsters on our bed.

My husband said I was silly. This is America.
Can’t happen here. But I never knew
when I was safe, could never feel safe enough.

Halloween is three weeks away. Bottles
of false blood, elastic gore, plastic wounds
from vampires, zombies, ghouls

line shelves. Make-believe fatal wounds.
Look bloody, look repulsive, look dead, I thought.
Lie very still, hide in plain sight.

Previously Published in
Coal City Review 2010,
Lawrence, Kansas

Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi

Bio (auto)

Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi, from San Diego, California, survived cancer and began writing poetry. Her book, Eye Whispers, is a life affirming reflection on her experiences.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

April 19th

all day long my barely seeing hardly hearing aunt sits with her house robe on eyes sunk deeply her only child a daughter died in 1992 she can’t understand why i must leave her my own daughter will be home soon as i go aunt eula sits at the window waiting home early enough to glance out worried because jennifer is late the neighbor who rarely speaks to me knocks oh she has a dead cat in her yard she is afraid to touch it i go in her backyard first time ever she somehow begins to tell me about three years ago when she saw that man she’ll never forget his face jump over my back fence caucasian man with his sandy hair in a ponytail and gloves on his hands but she didn’t want to get involved she’d know him if she saw him to this day i can’t tell her how a year ago when her daughter’s young baby died i wanted to say how sorry i was just didn’t know how too late now she feels you (i think that’s me) must be braver than her to pick up a carcass without caring in such a way my gloved hands hold a plastic sack to bag the dead a box to put bagged dead cat in i was brave when the bomb went off in the frankfurt american shopping center i flip my five year old to the ground throw myself on top of her she hasn’t forgotten earthquakes scare her too i was brave when the corpses in bags came in from beirut (lebanon) watching bodies be sewn together for burial morticians eating pizza their smeared in guts unwashed gloved hands i was more afraid walking the grounds of dachau the air still ashen with filaments of jews murdered there the earth still screaming souls don’t rest incinerators still exist grand memorial inscribed in many languages the words Never Again militia skinheads a bomb in oklahoma the children we awake living

Vinita Agrawal

Bio (auto)

Vinita is an award wining mumbai based poet. She has authored three book of poetry two of which – The Longest Pleasure and The Silk Of Hunger are available on Amazon. Visit Vinita on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Vinita Agrawal and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rimless Coffin

A bouquet of a million bones were blanketed in winds
Peonydaisybloodroot sprouted nervously in the soils of death

Children in hollow collarbones gleamed white in the brilliant moon
Made grown men cry

A cradle of ashes held the pink flesh
And smoke stitched horror on time’s poor face

A reconciliatory sky – bridged earth with water, sun with moon
And the prevaricating gray of mother’s eyes with the puzzled blue gaze of toddlers

If showy rulers had thought beyond race
History would not have lost precious pollens

Countries were not enemies, people were.
Everywhere, soldiers strutted like vultures looking for meat

They sloughed smiles off innocence for a long time to come
Holocaust was a rimless, lidless coffin…not a single orchid was laid on it.

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