April 24-30, 2006: Eighth annual Yom Hashoah Issue

week of April 24-30, 2006

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

Charles Fishman
Dave Whippman
Gordon Ames Keller
Helen Bar-Lev
Imani Tolliver
James D Babwe
Jan Theuninck
Lynn Strongin
Margaret Brown-Bailey
Michael Virga
Dr Ralph Tieszen
Sharon Esther Lampert
Stewart Findlay
Tom Berman
Trish Shields

here for submission guidelines

Charles Fishman

Bio (auto)

Dr Charles Adés Fishman is a Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Distinguished Speakers Program at Farmingdale State University He is also the Poetry Editor of New Works Review He has edited the book “Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust” and is the author of “Country of Memory”, “5,000 Bells” (2004), and “Chopin’s Piano” (2006) Visit Charles on the web here: www.charlesfishman.com

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Charles Fishman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Baby Carriages in Birkenau

They were out for a walk, strolling in Birkenau
under the eyes of Germans: model prisoners
enroute to the crematorium door
.where death
would smile at them and ask them to stay
That is what they thought, but baby carriages
awaited them that day: fifty empty prams
they would row to safekeeping in the green shadows
of birch trees
.fifty beached hulls they would steer

into deep water When they nudged those small ships
forward, they sailed with a crew of memories: infants
their breasts couldn’t nurse, children their wombs
wouldn’t harbor They had two miles to walk,

but they sailed their craft across oceans It was Sunday in June .yet these ghost galleons
edged closer
.like rafts of sheered-off ice: bereft of all
but drawing near to the shore.

from Charles Fishman’s book “Chopin’s Piano”

David Whippman

Bio (auto)

‘m in my fifties, have worked mostly as a psychiatric nurse I live in Lancashire, UK This is one of the few works of mine that has a specifically Jewish theme.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by David Whippman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Eichmann Answers Hannah

Hannah, we have so much in common Both of us
Have lived in tall buildings, far from the ground
Where terrible things happen Mine is an office block,
Yours, a slender pale tower.

Philosopher, you see I look like one of your own kind
Thin like a tailor, bald like a financier
And so you think I have a soul
Trapped by the routine of atrocity.

Jewess, my building is rubble
Yet somehow your tower stands I wish
I could test your forgiveness
By experiment.

(Hannah Arendt argued against Eichmann’s execution).

Gordon Ames Keller

Bio (auto)

Gordon Ames Keller resides in Birmingham, Alabama.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Gordon Ames Keller and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I remember cold
during a fall Some leaves were green and bold;
some were no longer there at all
I remember Rachel ululating 
with a rasp We all shiver in pain Does God consider our travail
and what will attain?

Mottel held the Torah fast Her daughter-in-law wailed Trees accepted the fall
and winter as in past
Minutiae of our diurnal submissions
were packed into duffle bags The leaves continued the fall
without our permission
Mania and I fell behind a woman;
Dombrowa was her name The trees sighed in the cold
and continued to cycle without pain
We huddled in the wagons
moaning and heaving from cold The paths looked the same as
did the trees, creaking and bold
The lorries lurched to Krasnik Station
carrying a family last as such The falling leaves
continued with their ablation
The cold bit
as it was The Fall We were marked by the stars
and had no control at all.

(after No 18 We Will All Perish)

Helen Bar-Lev

Bio (auto)

Helen Bar-Lev was born in New York City in 1942  She has lived in Israel for 35 years She holds a degree in Anthropology from California State University, Northridge, 1972 Since 1976 she has devoted herself to art: painting, teaching and writing poetry From 1989 until 2001 she was a member of the Safad Artists’ Colony in the Upper Galilee where she had her own gallery Today she paints and teaches in Jerusalem To date Bar-Lev has participated in 80 exhibitions, including 30 one-person shows  Her poems and paintings have appeared in many online journals such as Other Voices, The Coffee Press Journal, Boheme Magazine, The Poetry Bridge, and also anthologies, including Voices Israel Anthology, Manifold Magazine of New Poetry, Lucidity Poetry Journal and Across The Long Bridge, An Anthology of Award-Winning Poetry Helen is a member of Voices Israel English Poetry Society and The Israel Artists’ and Sculptors’ Association She is the global correspondent for Israel for the Poetry Bridge and Editor-in-Chief of the Voices Israel Anthology

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Just Above the House

Right here
right here
just above the house
the woo-oo
of police sirens
the thrashing hum
of helicopters,
which we see
from our yard

yet another
terrorist attack,
traffic jammed
from Tel-Aviv
to Jerusalem

and then
the eight p.m news,
which shows us the damage,
reports on the condition
of the wounded,
interviews witnesses,
brings the body count
up to nine

informs us of the capture
of people police
have been looking for
right here
just above the house
at the junction
where we wait for the bus
to Tel-Aviv

next week
is Holocaust Memorial day
and sixty-one years later
Jews still
cannot be complacent
when they walk
on the street,
go into a restaurant

Imani Tolliver

Bio (auto)

Imani Tolliver is a native Californian, poet, visual artist, educator, arts advocate and has served as a consultant to community organizations, museums and educators. She is a graduate of Howard University where she studied English Literature and African-American Studies During her studies, she was awarded a Lannon Literary Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the John J Wright Literary Award and is a graduate fellow of Cave Canem African-American Writer‚s Workshop and Retreat She has been a featured poet across the country, including the Nuyorican Poet‚s Café, the Smithsonian Institution, Beyond Baroque, the World Stage Performance Gallery, the Autry National Center, and the Los Angeles Central Library Find her published poetry in several anthologies and journals, including Cave Canem II, IV, and V, Jones Juke Joint Magic, The Flow: New Black Poetry in Motion, Ghettoes are not Beautiful, Black Love, The Drumming Between Us ˆ A Poetry Journal, Drum Voices Review, Step Into A World- A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Beyond the Frontier, Beyond the Valley of the Contemporary Poets, and the forthcoming, Poetry is not a Luxury: LA Women of Color and Voices from Leimert Park.  Read her work on-line at www.getunderground.comwww.allaboutjazz.com, and www.poeticdiversity.org
Visit her space on the web: www.myspace.com/imani_tolliver

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Imani Tolliver and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

my man

my man is a white boy in a club too scared to ask me to dance
he is in the back, beer in his hand
and the club is this swim of sheer and pungent color
like california poppies
and blue love beads

i am dancing
and i think i see someone
but i feel him mostly
my head falls back in this heavy sort of way
like i am expecting a chest to catch it
and i see him there
real still, thinking he is blocking my view
of some brother somewhere
but he is not
he is my man, maybe
the white boy at the club
too scared to ask me to dance

my man is the brother i am afraid to love
he is locked up for the third time
this time, maybe for keeps

he studies the koran, the bible and the law
writing poetry about children who sit on the curb
of his old street
and he is lonely ya‚ll
missing cousin‚s stories, catfish and the movies

he misses getting up late on sundays
and that feeling at about 10:20
when you could make it to church
but you are not sure you want to go
cause you kinda have to go to the bathroom
and kinda want to wake up real slow

my man misses subtle feelings like that
decisions without a life in the balance
and eyes that do not witness
the rape of a black man‚s belief
in things like freedom
and a world that loves him

yes, my man is the brother locked up
for the third time
the brother i am afraid to love

on fairfax, hassidim wear their best shoes on saturday
women in long creamy blue dresses or red check
wigs and stockings you cannot see through

the men who walk beside them
balance a broad black hat
serious as preachers and straight as street lights

to their right and left are the locks that mark their lives
like to afro to us back then
curls that mark the cultural politic
the beauty that confuses, yet impresses the others

my man is the uncle without a bride
the one who angers his family
because he is marring for love
his early mornings are studying the torah
praying the rocking prayer of his brothers

he is the young uncle everyone loves
sharing poetry from the walls of the camps
the stories passed only to him
he shares them at a full table
tiny glasses of sweet wine
low amber light
still children and soft blinking cousins
they all hush as he tells them about mizel
who gave the underground crumble of bread
to shlomo‚s bubby
the woman, tiny as thistles
whose braided challa was the color of topaz
or bending wheat in a falling sun
this bread dressed mizel‚s shabbat after his mother died
an orphan now
everyone gone

her name forgotten
but he would smuggle a hard corner of gray wheat
discarded from an officer
salvaged from bins
tucked in a sleeve
hidden in hands that tremble
dropped at the bottom of thin pockets

passed and passed, hand by hand
until this woman, thin as thistles
delays the certain whisper of death
with a well handled shabbat
without prayer to make it holy
just the passing from palm to palm
blessing this woman, thin as thistles

this is my man
a storyteller
hushing the table with poetry
from the walls of the camps
with only the passing to make it holy

my man and i are so close now
so near are the possibilities
i catch a glimpse of him
when the back of his hand brushes mine at lunch
when i catch him noticing my lips at a streetlight
or watching me read in a bookstore

my man comes in fragments
curves of shoulders
a forearm
peering at me lovely
very nearly asking me to dance

James D Babwe

Bio (auto)

James D Babwe lives in Encinitas, CA. His mother was Jewish and his father was raised by Christian Scientists Sometimes he jokes about being brought up to be a doctor he would not be allowed to visit He remembers his great grandmother’s tatoo He knows she did not belong to a gang of outlaw bikers.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by James D Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Newly released from darkness,
the photographs spilled hesitantly
onto the garage floor,
where they squinted,
shielding their eyes
after almost thirty years away from the sun
With little expectation of being understood,
I spoke to them in English,
told them I was with the resistance,
so everything would be okay now
I said,
Follow me into the house,
and when I told my grandmother
I’d freed the prisoners,
she introduced me
to family secrets
After retrieving
a bottle from the freezer,
she said,
Sit here at the table with me
One at a time
(without tears)
she spoke each name,
and gently (one for each)
touched the images of faces
remembered into my own past
on the day I learned
something about vodka.

Jan Theuninck

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck (born June 7, 1954), is a Belgian painter and poet Although born in Zonnebeke, Belgium, and a native speaker of Dutch, he writes in French and occasionally English His painting is abstract, falling somewhere between minimalism and monochrome expressionism As a painter, he has been influenced by Ellsworth Kelly and Joan Miró His work in both media is guided by his social and political convictions, dealing with topics such as colonialism old and new, mass and society, and pacifism.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Red River

the train was too late
by foot it was too far
the river too nearby
the hatred too strong
bullets through your head
river of blood
red Danube
dead Budapest

Lynn Strongin

Bio (auto)

Lynn Strongin (b 1939 NYC to parents of Eastern European Jewry) grew up in and around NYC Early studies in musical composition led to writing Worked for Denise Levertov, the Sixties, in politically active Berkeley Began publishing in anthologies WIll have 12 books out by mid-2006, among them the anthology The Sorrow Psalms:A Book of Twentieth Century Elegy (University of Iowa Press, June 2006 ) Poems in over thirty anthologies, seventy journals–Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Confrontation, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Prism International (Canada) Storie (Italy) Niedergasse (Switzerland ) Featured poet in seven journals Work recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in “The Dublin Quarterly ” Two PEN grants, one NEA Creative Writing Grant Work translate dinto German and Italian, published in Italy, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Lynn Strongin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What a Waste of World

Yesterday Mother still drew
.Sleep toward them like a white moon,
There was the doll with cheeks de-rouged by kisses

–Nelly Sachs, “O the night of the weeping children!” from O the Chimneys,
translated by Michael Hamburger

I Bleeding thru the Roses on Your Quilted Vest

O Lord of burning,  how permit this conflagration?

At intervals through day, glancing at sun through barbed wire birds,
Bergie, you brusht the hair from your eyes, thin as smoke or nerves.

Fifty springs ago, you were a girl opening a new cake of lustrous rosin At Yom Kippur air was flammable kerosene Then you were taken
Rounded up.


This, walking from the beginning,
Your shoes ripped off your feet:
The outer world harsh, the inner not forgiving.

Whiteout love’s name snow had fallen during night It was in brick crevices
Of this star-shaped fortress
Which was your hell:
A trio was rehearsing chamber music
Despite the music, despite the theatre, despite the dancing
It was all a macabre theatre, aglitter
Like that snow world at the Town Gate of Nuremburg
into which Casper Hauser came
You too had been stabbed to the heart
Through the roses on your quilted vest.

II Closing Both Eyes You Imagined

Bleeding thru the roses on your quilted vest,
Closing both eyes you imagined first snow back home mirror-like
Flake after flake
Language, speech forming, before you lost them
The triage workers came.

Old Father, his pipes & leathers, old Mother, her yarns of colors
Their names will be written in the book of life
You had no sweethearts, only Lisi, little sister: you were too young
To have lain with a boy.

III Fire Bit the Legs off the Horse

To have lain with a boy came later, was haven But early in childhood Fire bit the legs off the horse Shvesterlein kissed the cheeks from the doll
long ago Now,
Bronze sunrise finds the rooster crowing from his own dunghill The unanswered questions
Far outnumber the answered ones:
Being taken in a gas-van
In a locked cage No one lit the sun those days:
Only, on lowest branches, filaments of wiry angels
While Sabine, your bunk-mate, committed suicide throwing her head back upon barbed wire
One Arctic morning.

Ishmael knocking at the gate, shivering You knew
Hod carriers would come
The first Monday of Forever:
Without God
Where were you?
At this terrible ignition
You were at the junction
Of Hope & Despair
& cried out
Where are you
O Lord of all burning things?

Margaret Brown-Bailey

Bio (auto)

Margaret Brown-Bailey, a new York Resident, became a writer at the tender age of nine years old She first started writing recipes, which were published in the book, “The Potpourri Of Cookery”, the sixth edition in 1978 Margaret then graduated to writing poetry and children’s stories when she was thirteen years old After a long sabbatical, which she used to accomplish her goals of education She started writing more ferociously in 1996 Ms Brown-Bailey has become an accomplished poet and writer of all genres Her poetry was recently featured in an Australian publication called, “Metro Seven” She currently has work displayed on the following websites, Jamaicans.com, keepitcoming.net, poetryinacup.org and everypoet.com Her repertoire includes being published in several anthologies by the International Library of Poets and The Famous Poets Society In March 2003, she was the winner of the Universal Artists’ Slogan Writers’ Contest She has gained notoriety with her “My Granny” serial on jamaicans.com website and her literary soap opera on keepitcoming.net  Her credits in 2004 included, receiving an honorable mention in the Poetry In A Cup Spring Contest Her poem “Moments In Spring” won rave reviews She was also the winner of the FictionAddiction.NET Assignment:Writing Challenge for the second quarter of 2004.

In May 2006, her poetry book “Life Is Never What You Think ” debuted on Poetry Super Highway’s Great E-Book Free-For-All Margaret Brown-Bailey enjoys writing, and utilizes her writing skills to create social awareness and change.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Margaret Brown-Bailey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Where Was Moses?

Where was moses when Hitler had his reign?
When peoples’ faith grew feign,
While bodies burned to cinder and ashes,
Families cried,
They were screaming from emotional lashes,
Where was Moses when victims wanted to be free?
Did he hear the voices wailing from the debris?
Where was Moses when millions of Jews died,
He was there Perishing at their side.

Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga is a cyber-poet In his home-city of Birmingham(Alabama), he is the Instructor at the Museum School for POETRY in the GALLERIES His poems have appeared in various collegiate & professional electric & print journals, including Stirring, AMAZE, MELIC REVIEW (XXIII & XXVII) He is an IBPC Honorable Mention: March 2001, 2004, 2006.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

an icon stitched in time

In my vision I went to see
Grandfather in his house I knew I had to remain at a distance
I look up & cried out, “Oh Zayde,
You are close to God
You have to help me!”

Esther don’t worry

you will cross the river

you will be safe Esther

“Oh Zayde,
You are close to God
You helped me!”

I see Grandfather
in his house 
I remain the distance.

(I Dream of Grandfather)

Dr Ralph Tieszen

Bio (auto)

Dr Ralph Tieszen & his wife reside in Vestavia, Alabama He is certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics He has been involved with Poetry since 1995.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Dr Ralph Tieszen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Das Anchloss (The Attack)

Dawning death
Gestapo terrorizes
Jews in white nightshirts

blue sky
olive tree
swans swim
placid body of water

branches scrape walls
another abandoned
house nearby

near by
Nazi resistance
the final solution

comes by sundown
Russian infantries on the march
gray uniforms dangle to death
others fall scattered not far
from the foot of the tree

war is done
another hitler too

(after No 14 Prelude to the Final Solution)

Sharon Esther Lampert

Bio (auto)

Sharon Esther Lampert, is a famous poet, philosopher, and educator She is the Sexiest Creative Genius in Human History She has a POETRY WORLD RECORD of 12) words of rhyme from one family of rhyme In philosophy, she created the 40 Absolute Truths of “The Theory of Reality ” In religion , she created “The 22 Commandments” a universal moral compass for all people, for all religions, and for all time In education, she created the ACANDY Study Skills and she is the only expert in the country that can transform an F student into an A student There are many more contributions and a movie is in the works, entitled, A Complicated Woman “

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Sharon Esther Lampert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Survivor’s Burden

A Memorial Tribute in Poetry to Simon Wiesenthal

After six million Jews were silenced:
Simon speaks above a hush Simon speaks above a whisper Simon speaks above an earshot Simon speaks out loud above the deafening scream of EVIL.

After six million Jews were silenced:
Simon’s voice shatters the ghetto walls of anti-Semitism Simon’s voice bellows in the streets of Argentina Simon’s voice hallows in the halls of JUSTICE Simon’s voice harkens in the International Arena of INJUSTICE.

After six million Jews were silenced:
Simon Wiesenthal WALKS his TALK and JUSTICE is done:
Adolf Eichman is brought to JUSTICE Franz Stangl is brought to JUSTICE Franz Murer is brought to JUSTICE Erich Rajakowitsch is brought to JUSTICE Hermine Braunsteiner is brought to JUSTICE Karl Silberbauer is brought to JUSTICE Josef Schwammberger is brought to JUSTICE 1,100 Nazi War Criminals are brought to JUSTICE.

After six million Jews were silenced:
Simon Says:
“This man is on my list as a suspected war criminal.”
Simon Says:
“When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren’t able to
kill millions of people and get away with it “
Simon Says:
“If we don’t do anything about evil, that will encourage future perpetrators.”
Simon Says:
“My work is a warning for the murderers of tomorrow.”
Simon Says:
“Survival is a privilege which entails obligations I am forever asking myself
what I can do for those who have not survived.”
Simon Says:
“I have received many honors in my lifetime; when I die, these honors will die with me,
but the Simon Wiesenthal Center will live on as my legacy “
Simon Says:
“My epitaph should read simply ”SURVIVOR.”
Simon Says (in the afterlife to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust):
“I didn’t forget you.”

Stewart Findlay

Bio (auto)

Stewart Findlay is a Guitar teacher from Scotland Occasionally he writes Poetry (as the Muse dictates) His work has been published in an anthology by United Press: Body and Soul;
and posted on various web sites.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Stewart Findlay and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

there rose at auschwitz

natural resources
recommended poland
lime coal and water
the final solution
prussic acid pest control
bottled carbon mononxide

a shower of gas to wash away the past
the legend promised-if you try
you can make a lifetime last
work makes free arbeit macht frei

the chimney flowers a singular power
hydrocyanide drips from the shower
the roar of the furnace door shouting
the promise made at the gates of auschwitz

Tom Berman

Bio (auto)

Tom Berman :I have been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for over 50 years I am a scientist (aquatic microbiology) and most of my research has been focused on the Sea of Galilee (a.k.a Lake Kinneret) I grew up and attended school in Glasgow, Scotland having arrived there aged 5 from Czechoslovakia with the Kindertransport in 1939 Further education was in the U.S at Rutgers University and at M.I.T I am married with one wife, three daughters, six granddaughters, a grandson and a mongrel dog Most of my publications to date have been scientific but now and again I have had a poem appear in press or on the Web Amazon.com are still trying to dispose of my first book of poems (Shards, a Handful of Verse).

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Tom Berman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Terry, Czechoslovakia 1940

Together we were pups
Six legs between us

I remember you
Spoilt brat
Rolling on the floor
Screaming in a tantrum

Chases in the garden
Wrestling on the lawn
Over the hill
To our multi scented stream

We grew together
You and I
Whispering sweet secrets
Smells mingling in brotherhood

You had other friends
But none so close as me
Five years long

One day you were gone
Your scent lingered longer
Then no more
One day
Grey uniforms
took me

I escaped home

To a cold scent
And the grey uniforms

Trish Shields

Bio (auto)

Trish Shields has studied Fine Arts and creative writing Her first book of poetry was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award Her poetry and short stories are published internationally Trish’s first novel, Inferno, was on The Open Book’s best seller’s list for 2004 She lives in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, BC.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Trish Shields and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


over the span of an hour
a small get together
a garden party held indoors

while the winter in their hearts
rages outside
at odds with the
checkerboard opposites

fifteen men discuss

cold meats
carved and positioned
just so
tidbits to tempt the palate
while visions of meat hooks
dance in the heads of
these legends of the fall

bequeathed by each

wine flows thick and red
over thick lips and sharp teeth
carnivores at the conference
held just after Pearl

after presents are already
bought and opened
and yet new gifts
gleam in the offing

final solution

toasted over bone china
and genocide dessert


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