April 20-26, 2009: 11th annual Yom Hashoah Issue

week of April 20-26, 2009: 

Our eleventh annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue

C.A Morrow
Charlotte Innes
Christian Ward
Dan Kasten
Daniel S Irwin
Ellen LaFleche
Gerard Brooker
Hanoch Guy
Howard Camner
J Barrett Wolf
Janet Bowdan
Jon Epstein
Joyce Lee
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Larissa Shmailo
Margaret Boles
Martin H Dickinson
Martin Steele
Michael Brownstein
Mike Scheidemann
Nicole Nicholson
Paul Hellweg

here for submission guidelines


C.A Morrow

Bio (auto)

C A Morrow was born and raised in the British Isles He was college educated in New York and currently resides in Miami, Florida.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by C.A Morrow and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

God’s Hand

The boat slips silently from the grassy banks
As the oars slice through icy waters below
Yellow stars offer strangers their whispered thanks
Two hunted lovers running from an evil they know.

Calm are the waters as they slowly thread their way
Hopeful, they wave a final Goodbye to the stranger
Knowing that secret evil lurks, they must not stray
How their loyal Friends Fear the present dangers.

Suddenly a whistle shrills through the dawn’s mist
In the distance men are rushing in black suits
Anxious, the onlookers clench their prayful fists
Pleading to God to deliver His Chosen fruits.

Then the boat, not twenty feet from the edge,
Is engulfed by an angel’s misty shroud
As Heaven shields them with a Holy wedge
They are protected by an Abrahamic cloud.

For them the journey is far from being done
They in ’38 would settle in an ancient desert land
And ten long years later, a country was won
From out of the mist had come God’s hand!

Charlotte Innes

Bio (auto)

Charlotte Innes has a chapbook called Reading Ruskin in Los Angeles due out from Finishing Line Press in May 2009 She has published poetry in The Best American Spiritual Writing 2006 (Houghton Mifflin), The Hudson Review, The Sewanee Review, The Pinch, Knockout, Ekphrasis, The Eleventh Muse, Speechless Magazine and The Chaffin Journal She was recently a semi-finalist in the 2008 St Lawrence Book Award, Black Lawrence Press, N.Y Her other awards include Knockout Magazine’s Inaugural Poetry Award 2008; the 2007 Chaffin Award for Poetry; the Anne Silver Award for Poetry sponsored by Speechless Magazine (2007); and a First Prize in the Poetry in the Windows V contest in Los Angeles (2003) funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Los Angeles She also writes about books and the arts for many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Poetry International A number of her reviews have been anthologized in Contemporary Literary Criticism (Thomson Gale) She received her B.A from London University and obtained a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York She has taught journalism as a part-time lecturer at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Columbia University And she has taught creative writing in the summer session at Colorado College in Colorado Springs She has taught at three high schools in the Los Angeles area including La Cañada High School and Brentwood School Currently, she is Writer-in-Residence at Pilgrim School, Los Angeles, where she teaches English and creative writing; assists students in putting out a literary magazine; and runs a Visiting Writers Series She grew up in England, the daughter of an English mother and a Jewish-refugee father Most of her relatives on her father’s side died in the Holocaust, her grandfather in the concentration camp at Theresienstadt, now called Terezín, in the Czech Republic She lives in Los Angeles

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Charlotte Innes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Rain Lashes with Anger as though It Wished to Flush Everything out of the World

the last words (in Yiddish) in the diary of Yitshok Rudashevski, 
a 14-year-old boy living in the ghetto in Vilna, Lithuania, April 1943

There are times the mind flows like rainwater
seeping through cracks under window sills, 
pouring down inside walls, 
crumbling plaster, pooling, rotting floors, 
water molecules, grouping and regrouping, 
as thoughts do, guerillas, sneaking up paths
of least resistance, armies, dissolving almost
everything, except some impenetrable essence–

sugar crystals, say, or rocks
separated from cliff faces by rain’s pressure, 
as anger, felt or dealt out, remains
the same collection of letters, as flush
connects embarrassed red with disposal of excrement–

there are times the mind rains down words
to address (or undress) horrors not readily expressed, 
like water we cannot see
filling these body bags slung on bones, 
these thinking, moving miracles
that can, nevertheless, be pulled apart easily, 
crushed, drained, ground, burned, buried, 

yet leaving a residue, a book, or a boy’s sentence, 
a pause in the world’s thoughts, until the next time, 
until a boy or girl in a ghetto tries again, 
against a rain of lashes, to write

First appeared in The Sewanee Review, Fall 2007

Christian Ward

Bio (auto)

Christian Ward is a 28 year old London based poet and translator His work has appeared in Diagram and Elimae and is forthcoming in Ezra, Bravado and The Emerson Review

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Christian Ward and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Inheriting Salt

Grains of salt
are passed from generation
to generation, each carried
under the tongue to protect
from hardship

The wind’s tongue lashes
against shut mouths, hoping
to prise open each door.

Still we resist, tasting
each grain as we go about
our daily business Bombs
may concuss the city, drought
may shrivel our palms,

but still we will carry
each grain At night, we mutter
the names of those lost
in Auschwitz, Belzec, Bergen-Belsen, 
Chelmno, Dachau, Flossenbürg, Grini, 

Jasenovac, Klooga, Majdanek, 
Maly Trostinets, Mauthausen-Gusen, 
Ravensbrück, Treblinka.

Sometimes I see the grains glisten,
as if wet with tears.

Dan Kasten

Bio (auto)

Dan Kasten lives in Poland, Ohio, as one only a handful of Jews left in the Youngstown area His fourth book—“The Rise And Fall of Patient Q”—is in production and will be out later this year.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Dan Kasten and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Lower Fear

I listen as a cello plays deeply and soulfully
a harp joins in offering distant yet gentle compassion

in this moment lives remembrance and sorrow
stones for those who passed with a people’s dignity

a blank canvas to the lone violinist
each note a tear, a personal history

of cloth stars sewn to ripped garments
pictures of lives enjoying picnics before the lower fear

look skyward for any outward signs of Spring
for butterflies, for insight into God’s master plan

purposefully placed one octave to high for us
to reach without requisite pain

at which time I ask myself, is there ever
a bad time to listen to Kol Nidre.

Daniel S Irwin

Bio (auto)

Daniel S Irwin .sometimes poet My home is Sparta, Illinois The subject matter of this piece by me and the work of other writers in this collection presented by Poetry Super Highway humbles me and I feel it inappropriate to ‘toot my horn’ noting places that I have been published.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Daniel S Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Madagascar A new hope, a new land
Free of the increasing
Government imposed
Restrictions Leave the old life behind Buy your tickets,
Get on the train
That goes east
East to Madagascar Pack it in tight Ride for days with
No water, no food,
No facilities Oma is dead The guards said that
We can throw her out
With the other filth
At the next stop Such is life Oma will not see
Madagascar And we realize,
Neither will we.

(An early bit of Nazi propaganda was that the Jews were to be resettled in
Madagascar, an island of the coast of southern Africa That was just another lie )

Ellen LaFleche

Bio (auto)

Ellen LaFleche Northampton, MA I have worked as a journalist and women’s health educator, published poetry in Alehouse, Alligator Juniper, the Ledge, New Millenium Writings, and Kudzu, among many others

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ellen LaFleche and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Book of Ruth: a prose poem

I, Ruth Singer, had Hitler I had Crystal Night The night of glittering glass Violent night Unholy Night Night when jack-booted men smashed our windows like skulls, smashed our skulls like windows Still I can hear the sound of those goose-stepping boots Such boots you never heard They pulled me from my hiding place, threw me on a train The boxcar was dark, hot as an oven I had Auschwitz They cut off my braids, those twin ropes Hunger de-boned me like a fish Who knew what happened to my mother, my father, my sister Sarah? My aunts, my uncles, my cousins? I had liberation In the Displaced Persons Camp, they had to fatten me slowly, like a holiday goose I had steerage to America I worked on a farm I gathered the eggs, those fragile cups of life I held them in my scarred hands, each one a Faberge jewel I swept the coops, prepared the chickens for the healing soup I had a husband Joseph, a good man, a religious man May his memory be blessed Such a beautiful home we made A kosher kitchen Weeping willows for shade I had three children My Miriam became a doctor Max and Ruben, my twin boys, both of them are smart as whips Max teaches history at the college My children had Hitler in their own way Sometimes Miriam can taste my thirst Ruben the lawyer has nightmares Max feels the tattoo needle prickling his arm like goose bumps They remember my memories but forget their own Now I am old Always I sleep with one eye open My white hair I braid, wrap it around my head like a crown For my grandchildren, I make borscht, that good root soup I stand in front of the stove, the gas flame flaring before my eyes like a memory.

Gerard Brooker

Bio (auto)

Gerard Brooker lives in Bethel, Connecticut.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Gerard Brooker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Practicing at Dachau

I read a grave book today about the Holocaust, describing
the way hearts were unthrobbed at Dachau against

cinder block walls of the east section where bored camp guards
entertained themselves after lunch by sharp-shooting Jews

in the chest, their hearts often left to linger before breaking
in the courtyard of the camp
I am reading this by the fireplace, warm cider in hand, 
December blizzard slamming its flakes against the pane,

and I think of the day I saw the camp two years ago, leaned on
a railing by a stream where two young lovers wondered

out loud if the inmates ever noticed the beauty of its trickling
ways I could not make sense of the question then, cannot

now, as if beautiful thoughts can live where precision killing
mixes with random indifference to death
I put on my winter jacket and go outside, hoping that cold snow
falling on my face will release the numbness I feel in my heart.

Hanoch Guy

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood and youth in Israel He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English, Hanoch is an Emeritus professor in Temple University He has published poetry in Genre,Poetry Newsletter, Tracks , the International Journal of Genocide studies Poetry Motel,Visions International and several times in Poetica where he won an award He has also won an award in the Mad Poets Society on 2007 He has published poems in Hebrew and English in the magazine:In other words Hanoch lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Streets paved

Mountains of dirty snow
Melt down streets
paved with Jews
Dirty snow mixes with beards and ear locks
Sweeps away hunchbacks
with long black frayed gabardines
and a pregnant woman with a checkered kerchief Melting snow streams drag down voluminous Talmud and Mishna,
Torah scrolls and Sabbath meals of gefilte fish

Herringbones and pieces of challah mixed with dirty snow running down streets
paved with Jews wrapped in black and white prayer shawls,
and skullcaps
Dirty snow sweeps streets paved with Jews,

pushes them to the verge of muddy riverbanks,
leaves them stuck between roots.

Howard Camner

Bio (auto)

Howard Camner is the author of 16 books of poetry He was named “Best Poet of 2007” in the Miami New Times “Best of Miami” readers poll edition Later this year his autobiography Turbulence at 67 Inches will be released He lives in Miami with his wife and children.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Howard Camner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yad Vashem Revisited

I fell back against the wall
and sank to the floor
trying to breathe
and forgetting how

That pile of children’s shoes
would stay in my mind forever
with all the love that would never happen
all the love that was sent to die

Every arm of that monster kept busy
from the parish churches that pointed us out
to the post office that delivered the orders
to the finance ministry that took our property
to the transport office that arranged the trains
to the companies that bid to build the beast

There was no solidarity for us
no hand reached out
when we fell back against the wall
and sank to the floor
trying to breathe
and not being able to

J Barrett Wolf

Bio (auto)

Biker-poet writer J Barrett Wolf has lead a multi-faceted life since childhood Born in 1954, Freeport, NY, the Long Island native is the eldest of three brothers, the son of a truck driver father and entrepreneur businesswoman mother In High School, Barrett attended the Washington Workshops program in civics and government, and developed an ongoing interest in journalism and music, becoming active on the Freeport High School newspaper and radio station It was also during his high school years that Barrett began his creative journey as songwriter, guitarist and poet In front of the Speakeasy Folk Club on MacDougal Street in New York City.As a student at the University of New Haven, Barrett worked as a journalist for the college paper as both writer and photographer He returned to Long Island in 1974, thoroughly immersing himself in the songwriter community that centered at Middle Earth Switchboard in Hempstead, NY In 1979, he went on to organize the weekly Great Cultural Conspiracy Coffeehouse in Huntington NY The road called After a brief stopover down south in Boone, North Carolina, Barrett headed out west to San Francisco, where he worked as a street musician on Pier 39 and Fisherman’s wharf playing his original songs One day, he asked himself, “What would be the most difficult, challenging, gratifying job I could attempt?” His answer: the San Francisco Police Department Barrett entered the police academy in mid-1981, and was awarded the Bronze Medal of Valor for saving the life of a San Francisco civilian in May, 1982 Pondering in Portland, ME In 1984, Barrett returned to New York State as a songwriter, branching out to explore writing prose and poetry It was then he spent three weeks hiking the North Carolina mountains on an Outward Bound wilderness expedition, learning and testing survival skills Barrett moved to Stamford CT in 1990, And worked at the Stamford Public Library and joined the Stamford Loft Artist Association, of which he was President his first year there Pensive In August 1992, he traveled to Ireland, to study at the Irish Writer’s Center in Dublin, with Poets Eavan Boland, Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan He entered the 1993 Stamford Festival of the Arts Poetry Contest, receiving first prize for his poem “Old North Field” He also performed regular as half of the bilingual, English-Spanish poetry duo “Café con Leche” with Dominican poet Marianela Medrano In 1994, he was chosen one of only eight poets for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts ‘Touring Artist’ roster You can dress him up In 1998, Barrett moved again, this time to Cape Cod in MA, where he worked in web and graphic design, all the while booking other songwriters and acoustic musicians at New Driftwood Coffee House, and furthering his creative evolution from songwriter and musician to writer and poet His work was being was published regularly, in literary and general interest magazine around the country, including Black Bear Review, Portland Review of the Arts, Amelia and Cats Magazine It was on Cape Cod that his avocation of motorcycle riding intersected with the written word He joined the Highway Poets Motorcycle Club, the international association of published bikers, and began to tour with them and perform throughout the Northeast every August, during National Biker Poetry Month With Poet-in-residence Gerald Stern at New England College Barrett returned to New York State in 2004, fulfilling his long standing dream of living in the Southern Tier of New York State by settling in Harpursville, NY He continues to tour with the Highway Poets, performing for the last two years at the Colorscape Festival in Norwich, NY He is currently Editor of RoadPoet-NY.com, the Online Biker Poetry Journal, and will begin hosting an open mic at the River Read bookstore in downtown Binghamton this February Barrett’s ‘day jobs’ have ranged from factory worker to police officer, musician to private investigator computer salesman, alternative book store manager, night club manager, graphic designer, web designer, carpenter, saw mill worker , volunteer firefighter In an era of over-specialization, J Barrett Wolf is a Renaissance artist, jack of all trades, and master of most: an ideal background for a poet.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by J Barrett Wolf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Babi Yar

It is the look of this dirt
the earth sounding gravely
beneath boots and low-heeled shoes It is the kneeling of older trees,
sycamore and oak,
sagging skin of bark and burl,
evidence of majesty and time spent watching It is the infernal, impotent washing of the river,
scraping cries against the fine dust of shallows and shore This earth, these trees, this river,
a cross road, within sight of the town
within earshot,
lying taut in its recollection,
unable, even, to rewrite the past
with the deliberate flair of secret police Spring will never warm this place,
Though May will see green hillocks turn
Rising from winter’s charnel grip
A generation fed on ash and bone
bent toward the cold and tragic sun
whose indifference mirrors that of man I recall when I have bled
Leaked deep redness on the ground
Yet, all the blood I’ve ever made
All the breath I will likely draw
Are one small grain when cast against
this shifting desert of incinerated souls They still walk this earth,
strident, brooding intellect
dragging knuckles on hard ground As if, at the resonant dark of the horizon,
An endless supply of bitterness
turns out from factories of hate.

Half a century and more gone like mist of breath
on a frozen breeze –
Still they accuse, they besmirch, they conspire
As if it was god’s very will that
god be extinguished .

Janet Bowdan

Bio (auto)

My poems have been published in APR, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Chicago Review, Smartish Pace, Verse, Tinfish, and other literary magazines One poem, “The Year,” was anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000 and again in Poetry Daily I teach English at Western New England College in Springfield, and live with a husband, two cats and sometimes three children in Northampton, Massachusetts

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Janet Bowdan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tree (Tapestry)

our family, timber merchants, the ones who fled Russia to Persia
the first time, 1921, Baku across the Caspian Sea to Krasuovodsk,
then horse and mule in a convoy across the mountains
gorges and fast mountain rivers—my grandmother wrote
“Mother sat enthroned on big cushions on a horse
holding 6 months old uncle Moulik on her lap.” So it took
twelve days, bugs, the baby’s dysentery, malaria for
everyone else, until they met Father and lived in Teheran
in a lovely house with a beautiful garden for two years
before going back to Baku Father was arrested in the early hours,
released, rearrested, released and went to Moscow to obtain
exit permits and visas for Palestine Hearing he was to be
rearrested, an uncle bought a train ticket for Odessa to coincide
with Father’s train home, the two trains arriving at Rostov
at the same time on the same platform, the two men
changed places To join him in Odessa our family had to do
everything in secret: “nothing was packed and when we left the house
it was as if we were going visiting someone living in the next street.”
Always we had to wait for other trains either filled with soldiers
or deportees to pass At every station there was a mad rush
at the huge urns for boiling water to make tea; always there was fear
that someone would be left behind From Odessa, by ship to Jaffa
.“That is how we left Russia in 1923 or 4
.We never saw any of the relatives since.”

our family’s other branch, a story about the ones who fled Russia to Germany,
what timing! that they started over in the Weimar Republic, did well
and then fled again, left everything again, went back to Russia, Stalin,
disappeared into the white of another siege, or maybe Siberia, hard
to tell That emptiness of not seeing them: for my grandmother
who remembered the spacious house, the nursemaids, the tutors,
who on returning lived crammed into a few rooms, tight and close,
a wealth of family—what was it for her, now in England with her own
daughters and a husband with the army in Belgium, for them safe in Palestine
to hear nothing? to wait through the war, to show Moulik old photos
faces fading against the black garments, the sun-drenched background
so he would know them: This is your uncle, who saved your father These
are your cousins And how memory works, the little boy says, yes,
I remember them I remember the tree in the courtyard I remember
the light against the tree, its shadow against the wall where they sat The husband brings home stories of lacemakers, the old ladies in Brussels
making delicate patterns in thread They don’t talk of fighting, have
no words yet for what has happened—they don’t even know whether
the family is gone, only that it is lost They might say, “pogrom,”
when the children have gone to bed, when the great-grandmother
travels over from Israel They might say, “purge.” They write in ink
on the back of the photographs, names in English The daughters grow
up move away, a quarter of a century passes Then there is a phone call They are in Israel, the cousins are in Israel There are more phone calls,
letters, my grandmother goes to see them, brings back embroidery:
this is what she sells, the cousin, needlework of native plants, a side-line Really she is a specialist, in demand: she repairs Gobelin tapestries She repairs only the faces, the ones that have vanished into time.

Jon Epstein

Bio (auto)

Born at Cedars of Lebanon in 1957, now the center for Scientology,  Jon Epstein grew up in a secular Jewish home in the Hollywood hills Battling drug addiction and alcoholism at an early age, in his senior year of high school he traded in his high school cap and gown for a pair of silver handcuffs and a booking number After nearly another decade of felonious high jinx and criminal tom foolery, Providence interceded; in January of 1986 Jon crawled out of his dark and dank root cellar…back into the sunlight Now a man of fifty one and sober over two decades, Epstein resides in the West San Fernando Valley with his wife of 21 years Jon and his wife Kelly have a twenty one year old son and a nineteen year old daughter; both attend college in Northern California In addition to writing, Epstein’s an entrepreneur, musician, surfer, student and poet Jon is known for his three distinct categories of writing: Lost Childhood, the Hell of Addiction and his Recovery thereafter.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jon Epstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Yoni, put these candlesticks on the table please…
Bubbie, why does Zadie have those little numbers on the inside of his arm?

They’re from the camps back in Polland…

Why did they put numbers on his arm? When I go to camp we just get name tags on the first day

Yonnie, they were different camps, not summer camps, they were ugly places where Hitler’s men put away many many Jews, and killed them


Why do you have so many questions today Yonnie? Here…please put the borscht in the refrigerator…

Bubbie, Rabbi Ron told us to ask questions, many questions, and never stop asking them…I asked him “what if they were dumb questions?”…he said the only questions that were dumb were the ones we didn’t ask

Bubbie, why don’t you have numbers on your arms?

I left the old country with my Mama and Papa before this insane man Hilter came into power

Bubbie, we talked about the Seine River in class today…is that like Hilter is insane?

No boychick, the Seine River is far away in Europe…do you want to see a painting of it…

Sure Grandma…let me see the picture

Wow…it’s so big and wide, it looks really slow…is it long too?

Yes it’s very long; it stretches far and flows all through France

Did you finish your matzos and herring?

Grandma, I don’t like the fish, it’s not a good snack, it says pickled on the jar, but there’s no pickles, just stinky fish…I don’t want to eat it…did the herring come from the Seine River?

Bubbie, what’s all the noise outside, what’s Papa hammering on?

Didn’t you see the broken window when you parked in the driveway?

No Grandma, but I saw that big black X’y kinda cross on the wall, it looks like someone used spray paint…I think I saw that symbol in my Sunday School…the Rabbi called it a swazka

No boychick, it’s called a Swastika, it’s a dreadful Nazi symbol…there are still people that don’t like us Jews

Bubbi, why do men like Hitler want to hurt other people that aren’t doing anything to them?

Yonnie, I don’t know, but I think it is because they’re afraid of their own death and dying

Grandma that sounds crazy…why can’t they just be like the Seine and flow?

Joyce Lee

Bio (auto)

Joyce Becker Lee is a freelance writer living in Mundelein, Illinois She is currently enrolled in the MFA-Creative Writing program at Northwestern University

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Joyce Lee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The photographs are of shadows,
Thin faces and haunted eyes
That guilt me for my chance:
A life saved by time and circumstance I want to cry out, Don’t hate me,
That I live while you are dead I know they charge no fault,
But in their blameless eyes shines
A silent expectation demanding fulfillment Is love or guilt the music of remembrance,
The resulting dance invented or innate?
I only know that in my core
Lies a promise unspoken,
An owed strength that must validate Thus from photograph to future,
Specters become substance,
Spider-silk filaments of hope passed on,
Traversing time, unbroken.

KJ Hannah Greenberg

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg tramps across genres and topics Some of her recent Judaica has been accepted or published by: G Stern’s Hag Samaiach Anthology, Hamodia, Horizons, Mishpacha, Miriam Liebermann’s The Best is Yet to Be, Poetica, The Blue Jew Yorker, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Woman, and The New Vilna Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

When Bringing the Shoah

Recorded testimonies, survivors, further witnesses
Die or fade otherwise,

No matter the celebrity, euros, and dollars,
Raised on behalf of certain “social mistakes.”

Meanwhile, media-savvy, official-looking, anti-Semites popularize
The proffering of “rhetoric of change.”

Eschatology, history, plus common, sense prove
Such cityscapes reflect not collective but individual adjustments
Without crusading monks, brown shirts, red ghutras,
Catastrophic upheavals infiltrate Yiddishe wellbeing, anyway
Jewish lives are determined by the words, thoughts, and deeds,
Espoused entirely by the individuals of our Klal.

Larissa Shmailo

Bio (auto)

Larissa Shmailo translated the Russian Futurist opera Victory over the Sun by A Kruchenych; a DVD of the original English-language production is part of the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Hirsshorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art She also contributed translations to the new anthology Contemporary Russian Poetry (Dalkey Archive Press 2007) Larissa is the recipient of 2009 New Century Music Awards for spoken word with jazz, electronica, and rock; her poetry CDs, The No-Net World (SongCrew 2006) and Exorcism (2008) are frequently heard on radio and Internet broadcasts Her chapbook, A Cure for Suicide, is available from Cervena Barva Press 2008 Larissa’s full-length collection of poetry, In Paran, will be published by BlazeVOX Books in May, 2009

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Larissa Shmailo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Kalinivka, Kalinivka: The ground over the mass graves is hard, the soft grass grows The Ukrainian Guard, boy and girl, make love, happy to be alive In the Ukraine, collectivized, they walked on corpses And the Germans alone protest, her father tells the girl Siberia, purges Like the Irish, their parents collaborate; Hitler fights the Russian, English masters of their lands Now here, Kalinivka The mass graves crack with green 41 forgotten in the summer of ’43 She is 19, pregnant soon.


By 1943, the ghetto holds the few not deported, living in tunnels, basements, caves, the hiding ones, the ones who know All the rest to camps in Poland, Germany, or dead The boy no longer likes the girl, but through her, he got his Kapo job Even his mother says, marry Have a child The female Kapo bears a boy through the camps, Prymsl, through the unknown tombs of Poland, the unmarked graves, the walls marked with Jewish blood, the bloody broken nooses, the dark rain She wants the boy to marry her, he makes excuses, says, the Germans won’t permit That the child will die soon after the war, that she will beat her head upon the grave until it bleeds, that sorrow is unknown The death of the Jewish children is unseen Poland is always green.


Germany, Harz Mountains The Germans turn now, now SS The war is failing Fewer the slaves to command, the girl, heavy with child, translates, working, starving, carried in rail carts for miles to build the V-2s A rachitic Jewess cleans the barracks, the boy’s eye turns, with pity, with lust; he gives her bread From Erfurt to the extension camp, Buchenwald’s new Dora Northausen Here they spare the rope to hang All are hungry, the Germans too The Allies bomb the industrial camp Liberation Rows of corpses, the eternal rows, line Northausen The Germans are forced to respect the dead Kalinivka, Prymsl, the unseen dead, now here in respectful symmetry, no longer piled in heaps, but rectangular, marked The flowers grow, the burghers sing, “After every December, there comes a new Spring.

Margaret Boles

Bio (auto)

The Holocaust is something that I find moves me to write, and I have had poems published for Holocaust Memorial before on Poetry Super Highway, and also was one of two poets published weekly last fall My first collection The Eye of the Tiger has been published in India.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Margaret Boles and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Music at Auschwitz

Music -at Auschwitz
I hadn’t thought
I’d want to listen to it,
And something of the mournfulness
Of its character draws and repels

The newspapers were full
Of the iconic view
Of the railway tracks running
Beneath the archway
At the final station
That was Auschwitz.

We’ve seen it all
So many times before
Minds wondered at
Prison guards who dealt with
Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau, Bergen Belsen –

Went home to wives, families
Blond proper German children
Played with them, 
Next day worked again
At the Final Solution.

Music at Auschwitz
Beauty and poignancy
Living, born inside the head
Of the prison camp dweller The feeling in a quality , a timbre of voice,
Poignant Vibration of Violin and Cello strings
Music at Auschwitz.

I hadn’t thought I’d watch it
But having started, it drew me
And vibrated within
Long after
The music stopped.

Remember, remember the dark side
Is it ever too far away?

Martin H Dickinson

Bio (auto)

Martin Dickinson’s poems have appeared in California Quarterly, Clamshell Broadsides, Heartlodge, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Isotope, poeticdiversity, and World of Water, World of Sand, A Cape Cod Collection of Poetry, Fiction and Memoir Martin has read Emily Dickinson at the Library of Congress for the Favorite Poem Project, and his reflections on “The Grass” are included in the project’s anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, edited by Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz and Rosemarie Ellis Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, distance runner and lover of nature, he is the father of two sons and a daughter, and grandfather of one grandson Martin lives in Washington, D.C where he works for an environmental organization.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Martin H Dickinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pouring the Tea

.For Eva Roszia

I don’t know the relationship exactly,
but we’re related
At the sound of the whistle, I remove
the kettle from the flame
You walked through flame and came back
to tell your story
Wife of the cousin of my father-in-law,
we meet for the first time
The talk at my table is of mathematics Windows
are open to springtime

both here at my house and in Budapest I stand
above the talkers at my table, notice

the blue numbers tattooed on your forearm I pour the tea
I don’t know the relationship exactly,
but we’re related.

Martin Steele

Bio (auto)

Martin Steele writes, “I was born and raised in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa I was educated at King Edward VII School where I first found my love for words I settled in Delray Beach, Florida in 1999   “My first real success was in 1951 when my poem “The Fall,” appeared in a new English literary magazine, Nimbus In South Africa I won the Sunday Star’s Contest in 1992 for “Language of the Heart ” I received a prestigious award from the South African Writers Circle for thirty-six of my poems entitled Night Shade/Day Shade The volume was the runner-up in the award made to the Professional Writer of the Year, 1999 by the SAWC I won First Prize in the SAWC Poetry Competition for my poem, “Until Now I Have Struggled ” It told the story of the anguish of the heart of a man who was crippled and wounded in some protest action forty years before 1998 The adjudicators were Professor J.P Wade of the Centre for the Study of South African Language and Literature and Lionel Lawson “Nineteen of my poems on the subject of war appeared in Crescent, a journal of new poetry in 1999 In July 1996 my poems appeared in the classical issue Something Quarterly My poem, “I’m Still Waiting,” concerning 9/11, was published in the Great Books Florida News Letter (February 1, 2001) and another poem, Picture a World Gone By (…11 September 2001) was included in the September 28, 2001 edition I was a finalist in the 2003 War Poetry Contest, Winning Writers, for my epic poem Sarel and Samson I was also a finalist in 2007 for Can We Believe Them? Recently  my poem , “Omaha Day one”,  won a Highly Commended Award  in the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest I also won High Distinction in the 2006 Tom Howard/John H Reid Poetry Contest My poem, Service and Set appears in  Sailing in the Mist of Time, an Anthology of Award Winning Poetry 2007; my poem Big Tent Game is published in an Award Winning Anthology entitled Traveling 2005 Jendi Reiter critiqued my poem, “New World”, in 2005 In September 2007 in San Francisco I received Second prize for exceptional poetry that inspires dance from Artists Embassy International Dancing Poetry Contest Award My poem Urginea Maritima I wrote whilst I was in Sardinia in September 1998 My Brother is a Scarecrow, a prose poem  appeared in Coyote Wild in November 2006 In June, week 9th to 15th I was Poet of the Week in the Poetry Super Highway My poem Lost Tears was showcased in Poetry Place on June 15 2005 for several months One of my favorites The Man in the Window was published in Genesko I enjoy writing in America; I write every morning from 5 a.m to 9 a.m I have such wonderful peace of mind in this Country Winning Writers, Jendi Reiter, has been instrumental in guiding me to poetry sites and places of literary interest OurEcho also revived my interest in writing poetry; such a friendly site.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Martin Steele and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bring Back the Children

The barbed wire enclosure bristles A gaunt gauleiter looks on He is amused He laughs,
As he shoulders his cold steel steps
Red blue eyes start bleeding
From sad songs
And lost words of last testaments Red blue eyes bleed
From dank, deep desolate dirges
Of sad children’s songs sashed in rags–
Hidden in last year’s religious guises There is rage and fright
In the eyes of fresh arrivals
Who seek lost transparent ghosts
Melted down to warm wax
That spreads new stains on brick kiln walls,
Washed by clean daily blood,
Once so pure,
As petals on white roses,
Churning grey cement
To joyless red;
Promised pledges are lost
On page one of a Family Book Fresh-fruit promises fade remorselessly;
They hang from broken trees
‘longside haughty smoking stacks,
Substituting soot and grime and stench
For a lost laughter in children’s eyes-
Fleeing this drunken stable of broken promises
And unfulfilled dreams

Lead the children ,
To a cold thin stream
Standing sentinel in the dawn Show them views of life
And last reflections
Of unsurviving, quick-sand genes

Help search for minutes
Of those long lost lifetimes;
Aeons of thoughts lost
And packed in thin air
Around fine ashes
Once so far scattered,
Now lying lost
In the strokes of dead lead pendulums
In a disused suburban mall

Don’t stare at your thoughts Walk on by,
And pray in soft undertones of grey;
Hear a last goodbye echoing to nowhere,
Kindling with soft salt tears
For warmth,
Forever staining cheeks
With the unwashable joyless tears
That coagulate again, indelibly
‘gainst the gauleiter’s-mason’s steps,
Leaning lazily and drunkenly
In a forgotten, dissipated warlord’s
Unused blackened broom room,
Nestling with his mixed eternal curse The long-gone children seek him They want back a little bit more of life If he will trade,
They will be forever, eternally grateful

In remembrance of the brave children who perished in the dastardly camps.

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, After Hours, Free Lunch, PoetrySuperHighway.com, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review and others In addition, he has eight poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005) Brownstein teaches elementary school in Chicago ’s inner city, studies authentic African instruments with his students, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators and the State of Illinois Title 1 Convention, and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago ’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Everything is different when you see the lack of the tattoo Morrie did not find his way into a camp, but he knew its presence,
felt it the day he was revived laying under his father’s dead body,
discovered himself in an outlaws camp growing strong–
strong as in let my peole go, strong as in we can do this strong as in the strength to solve a problem in need of solving
Short in stature, he took risks adults could not and discovered
within himself, within his nature, a survivor who could survive,
who could leave the bomb behind, the catalyst at a bridge,
the packet of food, the envelope of money for bribes His memoir begins: I was under my father’s dead body
and there was blood everywhere He is still alive
Fifty years later he honors those with the tattoo,
remembers his father, his sister, the uncle who found him
after the war had ended and the camps were emptied He remembers and through him, I remember and now,
though hell was earth that time, the surface scratched
and bleeding, he has allowed me to never forget.

Mike Scheidemann

Bio (auto)

Mike Scheidemann was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) He read French and English Literature at Capetown University, before devoting himself to poetry and socialism on Kibbutz Yizre’el in northern Israel He is the president of ‘Voices: The Israel English Poetry Association’ and has served on its Editorial Committee He was the Senior Coordinator of the XIII World Congress of Poets in Haifa He has published four anthologies of poetry and co-edited two editions of Peace through Poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Mike Scheidemann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Like Father Like Daughter

She rode desolate waves, dreams beached on her past;
A proud child mostly hidden behind her image in the glass In a dusty attic before a mirror, dull as tarnished brass
Amidst a heap of faded velvet, satin, lace, and tatters
Of another era, when she’d dared to beam back at herself For such a brief while her dark had not been feared
She’d fluttered through youth; a detached bird’s feather
From a nest echoing ghosts A lady languished forever;
With the child tucked into her twilight between columns
Of curtains and chintz Her father sought every excuse
To quit home buoyed by passion and self-righteousness
Before ever she might devise a complete picture of him In time, she took to people from afar and saw in her soul
A kinder light She thought she had her music though
Her violin barely reverberated; trapped in its wood
Sometimes her frozen smile and glazed, jade eyes belied
A relentless throbbing in the blood Then her face fractured
Her image became a lightning crack in the mirror It showed
Not when she appeared but it stirred along the violin chords Her being would balk, could confuse and confound her
Until her skin tingled and crawled and every instinct
Shrank Once she had talent It haunted every sound
As it had in her father when he’d played at Birkenau There he had played for his life and has never done so since!
Such gifts, gossamer light, gave charismatic glow to her cheek They had swarmed around her once and she’d delighted
In the flirtation Then she recalled her initiation; preferring
To remember her first full-length concerto like that
Full-length skirt she’d swam in, before the mirror bronze
And silver Memories now help her bear her composure She splays slim fingers across the strings Her blood flows.

Nicole Nicholson

Bio (auto)

Nicole Nicholson is a 32 year-old writer and performance poet who draws inspiration from history, legends and folklore, people, nature, the vast cosmos of being…and upon occasion, the voices in her head She is the founder and sole contributor to the Raven’s Wing Poetry blog at: http://ravenswingpoetry.com Her work has recently appeared in Young American Poets (http://youngamericanpoets.blogspot.com), Shoots and Vines Zine (http://shootsandvineszine.blogspot.com), and the Orlando Artist’s Collective Zine She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her fiancé.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Nicole Nicholson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


a lime pit had opened its mouth
and swallowed his mother
and all that he is left with are

of her face tattooed
inside his paper-thin eyelids

endless refrains of mother words
the d.j in his mind respins them
respins them
she says:
“don’t forget your coat”

“watch out for your little brother”

“I love you”

in indelible ink
will outlast the Nazi numbers
tattooed upon his arm
you see

nothing can make you forget
blood running through veins
carrying building blocks reassembling
themselves into a brand new configuration
every time a new soul in your family
is birthed and
how much your building blocks look like your mother’s
look like your father’s
look like your brother’s
look like the faces staring out of the windows
of trains
carrying them away so that their blood
can run down a scrubbed half-tone gray hill of rocks
that cannot understand
just what that blood meant
and cannot hear
its screams – silent, the kind that
only Heaven
and ears that were pre-programmed to hear
blood calling from the ground can hear

the sky is singing above their heads
weeping yellow six-pointed stars
back down to earth for us to find
and if anybody ever tells you

that there were no trains
that there were no camps
there were no congregations of hollowed eyes
staring out of fences, peering
searching the horizons for Heaven
to come back down to earth
that there were no hearts crying
pleading for the chance to sit shiva
looking for outer garments to rend
but finding
that someone had already torn them
then look

for those yellow stars

the crackle of latkes plays in his head
as a backbeat to her mother refrains and
the melody of seder strains where
as a child, he would ask who he was
in five parts and every year
he would get his answers
spoken from the mouth
of the Haggadha

and if you question for a moment
wonder if the song in his head is real or if
history is a liar, then remember

a lime pit had opened its mouth
and swallowed his mother

Paul Hellweg

Bio (auto)

Paul Hellweg is a member of both Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and he strongly believes that working to help end all war is the most important purpose of his life He fancies himself a poet too Visit Paul on the web here: www.paulhellweg.com

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Paul Hellweg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Death I appeal your harshness
having robbed me of
.both my parents
.my best friend
.my childhood friend too,
You remain unsatisfied,
and that’s just personal loss,
I don’t even want to
think about the Holocaust
and all the other wars,
but still
You remain unsatisfied,
waiting for all of humanity
to languish too

Inspired by Villon’s “Testament.”

Peter Austin

Bio (auto)

Peter Austin is a Professor of English at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Peter Austin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Beech Wood

Beech Wood: can you see it?
Silver-slippered breeze
Playing hide-and-find-me
In among the trees?
Cricket-chirr and crow-caw,
Linnet song and thrush,
Skittering of chipmunks
In the underbrush;
Bees, among the bluebells,
Drunk upon their scent,
Drifting in a zigzag,
Drowsily content
Pretty; but the truth? No Picture this, instead:
At a place near Weimar
Fifty thousand, dead:
Communists and gypsies,
Homos and the like,
Jews and Slavs and half-wits –
Foemen of the Reich;
Starved or shot or poisoned,
Rotting in a pile,
Maggots in their nostrils
Pallid, fat and vile
Oh there was a Beech Wood
Though of birds bereft Some who found disfavor
Here were marched and left
By their wrists suspended
From the limbs of trees
Till they shrank and blackened
Into chimpanzees This was entertainment;
This was the gestalt
At the Nazi death camp
Known as Buchenwald

(Beech wood is the English translation of Buchenwald)

Phyllis Johnson

Bio (auto)

Phyllis Johnson is an author and photojournalist Her book, Being Frank with Anne, is archived at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam It has been requested by Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide the Frank family and was reviewed by Buddy Elias, Anne’s first cousin and CEO of the Anne Frank Fonds in Switzerland It is available at Amazon.com, www.communitypresshome.com and at the New York Anne Frank Center’s website bookstore Phyllis’s other poetry book is Hot and Bothered By It, midlife humor for women

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Phyllis Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

excerpt from “Being Frank with Anne”

Slit sighted
curtain watching,
you see dirty children
pass by
just like your life

A noisy dog
announces his presence
and your quiet presence
in hiding makes
your insides
howl in sympathy
for the grim Jews outside.

Rain begins to fall
and umbrellas
with legs come
into view Rain
tries to wash away misery outside
but falls short

A morbid mosaic
of gray ruins,
red gunfire
and pale white faces
of orphaned children
interlock into pieces of
a nightmarish puzzle,
having no borders,
no logic

Like spokes
on a wheel,
you all sit
around a radio
plugged in to get
news of the

Quarter to two,
everyone sleeps
but you Sitting at the
writing table,
you feel your very soul
come alive Living life twice
through your writing

You describe
members in the Annexe A kind of hodge podge
vegetable soup Each having his
or her own
colors and tastes Each complementing
or contrasting
the other They form
a blend in this
sink or swim lifestyle
Each bobbing for
air and attention,
a fair share Some stirrers,
some settlers,
some sinkers

Renee Summers

Bio (auto)

Renee Summers of Boston/Scituate, Massachussetts, is a member of Sea Glass Poets, South Shore, Boston, have self published If The Potter’s Hands Shake, Waves,  have appeared in Ibbetson Press, The Aurorean, Max Magazine, Mariner Newspapers, University of Texas Medical School Newsletter, others Am a volunteer pension counselor at the New England Pension Assistance Project, Gerontology Institute, UMA Boston, and read for the sight challenged at the Talking Information Center, Marshfield, MA

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Renee Summers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Holocaust Survivor

The Scroll was unrolled, repaired
of char and water, but still so scarred
and the readers began the weekly portion:
Shmini, a catalog of firsts
“and it happened on the eighth day”

A Dedication of the Holy Sanctuary
the lighting of the Eternal Light,
an acceptance by the people
of priestly benedictions and blessings
.Of Aaron
Why the eighth day? On the first –
a quiet consecration of high priests
chosen to serve the Holy of Holies –
they were given the rights After seven days of deliberation and seclusion,
came the spiritual abilities, a foundation,
a focus, a state of mind On the eighth
day, as was G-d’s way, came the new beginning
A safe haven in the Tabernacle
for the hallowed servants of the Lord
and his Torah, gifted to Moses Grasped from the Holocaust of memory,
the survivor script is discernible

On that blemished scroll
lifted from a protective grave No grave will ever give up the six million
who could have been called weekly
to read from that Holy Book
They can only be called to read in memory.

Robert Walton

Bio (auto)

I am a rock climber and mountaineer My speculative fiction stories about climbing have been published in the Sierra Club’s Ascent and several other magazines and journals A dramatization of one of my stories was broadcast on KUSF on November 22nd, 2006 It was broadcast subsequently on NPR I’ve had three children’s books published My short stories have won numerous awards: the Deep South Writers’ Conference 1995 Contest, first place in Fantasy/SF; 1st place in the 2008 Saturday Writers short story contest A story of mine won the Central Coast Writers Club 2007 contest; another is on the short list for this year’s Mountaineering Literature prize in the UK My poetry has been published in a number of obscure periodicals.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Robert Walton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Rains of Sobibor

Insistent claws,
Smaller than a rodent’s,
Have furrowed the corners of your mouth Looking at your still face, I see that
Gravity’s touch
Was never a caress.

In an empty doorway
A light sways, windblown
And windblown drops shine
Like galaxies trailing starfire.

You survived until now and now
The falling rains are tears, 
Not just for you.

Citronella scent of candles —
I cup my hands to hold the glow;
It cannot be held.

Rolland Vasin

Bio (auto)

Rolland Vasin(aka Vachine), is a naturalized native of Los Angeles, and son of Encino booksellers, Alphabooks, Rolland is a performance poet, and for decades dabbled in improvisational theater and stand-up comedy for which we was recognized as the Laugh Factory’s 3rd Funniest CPA in Los Angeles Rolland uses the pen name of Vachine (Vah Ch [as in church] Eeen) which is the Romanian pronunciation of his last name, which means “neighbor” A student in UCLA Extension and Esalen Institute Poetry Workshops, he has performed at Beyond Baroque As a member of the Anansi Writers Workshop, Vachine has featured at the World Stage, the Encino Barnes & Noble, and wabisabi occasional series He has published in Gnome and Powered By Possibility, is anthologized in the forthcoming Master Class: The Poetry Mystique (Duende Books) and reads at Open Mics across the U.S An auditor of child and family nonprofits, Rolland speaks to groups globally on governance, workplace ethics and fraud deterrence His Firm, Vasin, Heyn & Company, also conducts audits of corporate social responsibility codes and is a sponsor of the Poetry Superhighway Contest Rolland currently lives, and bodysurfs, in Santa Monica, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Rolland Vasin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I saw the Dam, heavy stones and mortar,
set between tidal floods and canalside houses For one home’s tour I stood behind,
two New Jersey Jewesses,
big dyed hair and diamonds.

Projected on the wall, an old newsreel,
a wave of Blackshirts marching in a stadium The Fuehrer’s thin arms flail above his podium On the opposite wall, the film’s flicker animates
Anne Frank’s portrait.

At my elbow, a toothy, blond,
blue-eyed son, cherub-white face
Ranonkel on his nametag,
snaps a sig-heil salute His teacher hurls a finger of scorn in his face Loose diamonds fall through the oven grate I can’t breathe for the odor of burnt hair.

Hard rain falls on me all day Copper gutters overflow Pallid gulls in Dam Square are soaked,
will not fly I cannot love Ranonkel I have no other choice but to pray
for willingness to hold bricks
in the dike against the next Shoah.

Salvatore Buttaci

Bio (auto)

The poems, letters, and stories of Salvatore Buttaci have been published in The New York Times, Newsday, U.S.A Today, The Writer, Cats Magazine, and widely elsewhere in America and overseas His newest book, A Family of Sicilians is currently available at http://stores.lulu.com/ButtaciPublishing2008 He was the recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award in 2007 Buttaci has lectured on Sicilian American pride and conducted poetry workshops and readings A retired teacher, Buttaci lives in Princeton, West Virginia, with Sharon, the love of his life.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Salvatore Buttaci and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn: 1945

in my youth
after World War
Two were peopled by
sad walking skeletons
in black-striped prison-camp garb
released into the hot April
sunshine, marching on their lives’ last legs,
liberated, though you could not tell cause
for joy in those cavernous eyes, mouths agape,
scabrous feet shuffling living-dead bodies empty
of any semblance of humanity: crushed, broken and in my nightmares the screams of those in my city
who learned of their Holocaust departed cried Kaddish,
attempting no doubt to wake the dead from their deep cindered sleep.

I was just a boy,  nearly five years old, afraid of the dark,
of the shadows on my night-time bedroom wall, so frightened
when from my bed I would hear our Jewish neighbors weep
perhaps into pillows, then at open windows,
it seemed to me, wailing cries to the night stars,
to an unjust heaven, to the shoulders
of Yahweh Litanies of names that
once marked lives of loved ones now dead
blew out from trembling lips, names
cast to night winds out there
as I tried to sleep,
held my ears shut,
wept, sharing

Stephen Mead

Bio (auto)

In the early 1990s, Stephen Mead published poems in such journals as Onionhead, Bellowing Ark, and Invert, but upon moving to Provincetown, Massachusetts, Stephen decided to concentrate more on visual work In 2000, Stephen started seeking publication again forhis writing and his art combined Since, then, thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web, his work has appeared internationally both in cyberspace and hard copy Since then, his writing has often appeared along side his paintings and, at other times, with text superimposed on his visual art In 2004, Stephen began experimenting even more with these poetry/art hybrids creating a series of e-books, including the award-winning We Are More Than Our Wounds From there, Stephen began experimenting with his art and poems as films, at first creating slideshows with captions, and then doing his own soundtracks and voice overdubs His DVDs are available through Indieflix.com In 2006, Stephen put technology to use, releasing Safe & Other Love Poems (CDBaby.com), a CD of poems set to music, as well as two print editions of his image/art hybrids, “Selected Works” and “Tree Companions”, a fractured fairy tale for adults (Lulu.com) Stephen has also released two novels, Hang Onto Your Teeth and Where Time Goes through Amazon.com in addition to a photography book, Notes From The Interior at Blurb.com Currently, he is working on a film series entitled Swan Songs,which incorporates live footage superimposed over his paintings and digitized images as well as his own singing voice.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lamp Shade

They do not know its’ tale—–
one Fraulein ancestry bequeathed
& only slightly yellowing
through years of different homes
voyaging in fields, German-emerald.

What blood still feeds
those waving blades?
What face, Marguerite,
this light bulb glows from,
with a being luminous still
as your hands of silk
turning the sheet music,
taper-fingers bright
on clef lines?

Most days were so studious,
a young promise cashmere kept
the lamb of: supple, pink,
with kid gloves at night
after the lotion went on.

During recitals
just a little lipstick
was the one treat
& butterfly barrettes
pinning the neat brown hair.

Workers shaved that first,
ignoring stories
of how she was courageous
in the train, whispering
“Don’t worry little one”,
to her brother, age four.

Gold star to gold star,
she held him so close
& then screamed “Bastards!”
when the rip-away came.

Later other laborers
marveled at how pliant she was,
the skin’s elastic stretch,
its milk-pure hue
so snug on the rods,
another product well-done
from the factory of Mein Kampf
manufacturing these Jews
to useful household accessories.

Thea Iberall

Bio (auto)

Thea Iberall is a poet, playwright, and scientist She has a Master’s Degree in Writing (USC) and a Ph.D in Computational Neuroscience (U Mass) As a performance poet, Thea represented Los Angeles at the National Poetry Slams Thea has had over 40 poems published in anthologies and journals, including Rattle, Spillway, New Works Review, Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets (Tebot Bach), poetrydiversity, Peregrine, and The Southern California Anthology She has a poem in Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust (Time Being Books, 2007) She was a semifinalist in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition She is featured in the documentary GV6 THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry Thea’s produced plays include: ‘Primed For Love’, ‘At Seven’, and ‘Amacry! The Neuronic Musical’ She is currently touring with her one-woman show ‘The Only Thing Greek About Me is My Name’ Her contextual poetry book ‘The Sanctuary of Artemis’ is to be published this summer by Tebot Bach Thea resides in Long Beach, CA.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Thea Iberall and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Small Fortress at Terezin

From the cemetery, it is a long walk back to the small fortress Its gate is painted sharply black and white, a contrast
to the dull red brick of the thick barricades of the prison
32,000 inmates went through it during the war, either dying from
typhus and torture or else being transported on to other camps, 
the big ones, the killing ones Only the dead stayed at Terezin
I tour the cell blocks, solitary confinement cells, 
delousing rooms, hospital, mortuary, guard’s swimming
pool and cinema Nazi officers and their families watched
movies and swam while Jewish men were beaten with nail-studded
posts and whipped with strips of thin wire
Below the fortress walls I discover a tunnel It’s almost a third of a mile long I stoop down to enter
Small openings every 100 feet barely light the way
The openings are covered by metal gates, so there is no escape I look out, see that I am following an old moat between
the fortress walls, the place prisoners were executed The tunnel
finally opens up to a field of yellow flowers, a place with a mass
grave of 601 corpses
I go to the museum in the SS barracks, but find it hard to look
at the exhibits Outside, an old couple, neatly dressed in suit
and dress, drive by on bicycles

Wanda VanHoy Smith

Bio (auto)

Wanda is a member of the Redondo Poets who reads at Coffee Cartel She has been published in a few anthologies and featured here and there and has too many chapbooks

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Wanda VanHoy Smith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rachel’s Courage

A wicked October wind rattles windows
behind bars in the Portland Pest House A wild eyed woman with tangled hair
is strapped to a bed next to mine and is raving She refused to lie down after a nurse confiscated
her pack of Camel’s smuggled insid a Kotex box
I hide my face in a pillow, damp with my tears I don’t cry from pain in my throat but because
my friends are out having fun on Halloween
while I am locked up in this quarantine hospital
with scarlet fever I switch on my portable radio which my weeping
mother sent along to cheer me bacause she knows
I am frightened and lonely I turn the dial from news of the war and find Vincent Price
reading Poe’s tale “THE MONKEY’S PAW” over airways.

The ward doors bang open and I cower in sheets
expect to see Poe’s decaying character from a grave
Iron lungs that look like coffins are lined up in the hall A nurse with nose and mouth covered in a mask enters
moves my mad woman neighbor to the end of the ward The nurse briskly changes sheets on the bed and a girl
with lovely sad eyes is put next to me
The child tells me her name is Rachel and she escaped from
Nazi Germany with her Aunt and cousin on a boat She doesn’t know where her mother and father were taken The true tales she tells in our six week confinement would
make Edgar Allen Poe shiver When I need courage I think of Rachel.

Zyskandar A Jaimot

Bio (auto)

Zyskandar A Jaimot is from Orlando, Florida.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Zyskandar A Jaimot and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

achtung achtung SCHIWE SIZN es verbotten!
[death prayer is forbidden]

Throughout March
When yellow stars of crocus
Come and go
Throughout the ‘gleichshaltung’
When Herr Goebbels distorted
Stalingrad into victory
Throughout the beginnings of 1943
When allied bombs
Began to crumple buildings

German women –
Most “pure” Aryans –
Marched to ‘polizei’ headquarters
On the Rosenstrasse
Demanding release of their spouses
Jewish men – consigned to die
By goose-stepping troopers ready to bring storm

From Berlin’s railway station
The trains continued to roll
Whistles signaling a horrible premonition
Or was it a recurring ‘nachtmare’
Images of snarling dogs
Herding frightened prisoners
Silently consigned to Riga, Osciem, Thereisenstadt,
Across flowering fields
Where yellow stars of crocus
Come and shortly go

Never realizing the dreaded Gestapo
Efficiently snapped pictures
And made meticulous notes about
These purebred German women
Carrying banners defying the invincible Reich
Insisting on freedom for their husbands

And the people of Berlin
Hid their eyes and closed their minds
While these women screamed and shouted
For illusory justice
Hoping to end
Ongoing ‘konzentrationslager’ madness
Hoping to end atrocity
At least for their own ‘ehemanns’

And on a bright day
When yellow stars of crocus briefly bloom
Jail cells opened as train whistles wailed
Or was it
A child’s screaming in terror
Which summons recurring dread
As the recently released cry
Thankful for another day

Praying that those packed on trains
Should be as lucky
As they were now – ‘zugts afen mir’

Leaving for homes momentarily saved
By love of those Aryan wives
Only a few
Observing the ritual ‘schiwe sizn’ –
Sitting on low stools mourning
Coming death
They and their wives
Would soon be permanently taken away
From life
As fleeting as the yellow stars of crocus

• {this is a true story of German women’s bravery on the Rosenstrasse during WWII} actually this is an addendum to another poem posted ‘just a man and his dog’ after meeting one of these women in munich by Zyskandar A Jaimot, Orlando, Fl for ROSA M , the old woman in Munchen who I was privileged to know .

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