May 9-15, 2005: Seventh Annual Yom Hashoah Issue

week of May 9-15, 2005

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

click here for submission guidelines

Brenda Roberts

Bio (auto)

Brenda Roberts lives in Sansom Park TX with her husband Cliff, & their poetmate Coke Brown Jr She has been published in Simply Haiku, DFW Poetry Review, and many anthologies, is author of one novel, A Cold North Wind, one electronic chapbook of poetry, Psychosis, and co-author of The Poor Man’s Cook Book She co-hosts the Four Star Five Minute Writing Workshop and is current President of Fort Worth Haiku Society.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Brenda Roberts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Remembered

Rain! Mother cries for her children
lost to megliomanical hatred Open maws gape, waiting
its buried treasures —
infants, children
and the old ones Killed for spite, for sport, for
the advancement of
some figure who through
terror and lying oration

dictates who can live
who will die 2001 — Boots stomping
echoing past realities
and someone sits in remote
closed minds

and says NO! to the need
to prevent hatred from
killing again for color of skin,
of man to man,
of woman to woman,
of a god different from their own Nailed to the cross, one man asked his Father
why have you forsaken me as God turned dark-cloud eyes to his son’s dying
obscuring his love
and I realize it is not rain I taste but tears Mother cries for her children.

David Fraser

Bio (auto)

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine,, since 1997 His poetry and short fiction have appeared in 28 journals including Three Candles, Regina Weese, Ardent, and Ygdrasil He has recently published a collection of his work Going to the Well

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by David Fraser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Kathy in her ham hand,
rough and raw
thick with toil,
holds the pencil on the page,
a shovel digging dirt I sit beside her
my hands large too,
but they are more familiar
with the paper than the earth I ask her as an outreach coach to write,
to write about a happy childhood memory;
an innocent request
from one whose baby-boomer knees
kicked through the waving tawny grass
among berries, deer and sun Her Warsaw childhood wasnít mine
and soon we were drowning in a room of tears,
a place of open scars and loss She speaks to me Iím paralyzed and numb Her meaty hands wring
moisture from the air as if
it were a wailing towel She speaks of long deep
holes and piles of excavated dirt,
bodies pushed
layer upon layer,
her back as a little girl
pressed into a shadow on the wall What makes you happy now? I choke My dog, she says
and so we start to draw back,
writing, word upon word,
sentence upon sentence
about her dog
until she is home and safe again.

Katherine L Gordon

Bio (auto)

Katherine L Gordon is a writer, editor, publisher, judge and reviewer, she has 2 full collections of poetry, many chap-books, articles and essays Her work is published in India, Cuba, the U.K and North America She works for many poetry organizations, believing that poetry is vital to our culture and a world unifying force She writes from a secluded river valley near Rockwood, Ontario Her last little book, “A Conjunction of Hearts, A Renga” is being studied in Israel by Tom Berman and a group of Israeli poets who hope to produce a group Renga, or co-operative poem.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Katherine L Gordon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Time Re-unites Every Atom

The God of Moses
has gifted his people,
like the sand and the rocks they endure Though eroded by waves of envy and hatred
they rise as mountains
on the other side of the sea By politics and prejudice
these people of precious stone
are crushed and battered,
yet not a grain is lost Their works and their words
endow the generations,
teaching us the overcoming of every blow,
forged steel becoming brighter, stronger,
resilience learned in the fire When the glass of hatred
is washed from all eyes
a continent of love
assembles from the shards.

Helen Bar-Lev

Bio (auto)

63 year old watercolour artist/poetess, born NYC, in Israel for 34 years, now Jerusalem Over 100 exhibitions, poems published on internet, in chapbooks, one poem, A Bus Ride from Calm to Chaos appears in Voices Israel 2004 Anthology Member Israel Artists’ and Sculptors’ Association, Voices Israel English Poetry Society

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Day 2004

Holocaust memorial day again
Ten a.m The dog is frightened
By the whine of the siren
The siren of two minutes’ silence

I stand
palms up
head down
Deep in grief
From which
There will never be relief

Is it my imagination
Or do I really see an Angel
Hovering just above me
Tears in his eyes?

My instinct is to embrace him
How can I,
Mere mortal,
Possibly comfort an Angel?

And then I feel
His tears of compassion
Calming my palms and fingers
As just a bit longer
I linger
After the siren
Is silenced

Haunted by childhood memories
Wondering about the absurdity
Of trying to forget
That which must never be forgot
That which is impressed
Into my being

And find little consolation
That I have kept my vow
Never to visit Germany

And I wrestle with the New Age philosophies
That believe the reason for it all
Was so that the State of Israel
Could become a nation
Why do I have such difficulty
With that notion?

I could write about this topic forever
But it will never make me feel any better

Jan Theuninck

Bio (auto)

Jan heuninck is an artist for peace, justice and civil liberties.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


wandering jew,damned jew
and no words on them are forbidden
suspected of crimes and treason
they have been put in jail

they have been tortured and murdered
in the name of an insane idea
and now-more than ever –
who is next, please ?

John Clays

Bio (auto)

John Clays of WIGAN, Lancashire, England, UK, has been writing for ten years and next September he will start on a course to learn how to do joined-up writing Meantime he continues to read his poetry where ever he can.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by John Clays and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


As memories fade we should not forget
the Holocaust Such cruelty brought on,
subhuman traits with its own etiquette Tales of locked gates, and inmates left to fret
bread thrown in, not like manner from heaven As memories fade we should not forget Food so scarce some might dream of crepe suzette;
others survive for the moment, live on,
subhuman traits with its own etiquette Gassed bodies piled high, human pyres set
alight, disposed of like an old coupon As memories fade we should not forget

Extermination was always a threat
at Auschwitz, ladies orchestra played on,
subhuman traits with its own etiquette Sonderkommando* worked with great sweat
but took photographs, aim to be passed on As memories fade we should not forget
subhuman traits with its own etiquette * Sonderkommando, a special unit of prisoners whose job it was
to burn the bodies of those who had been gassed.

John Michael Simon

Bio (auto)

Simon was born in England in 1938 and raised in South Africa from the age of ten He has resided mostly in Israel since 1961 He has collaborated in a book of poems entitled: Animals are Nature’s Poetry with the well-known Jerusalem artist, Helen Bar-Lev Currently, he is involved in producing his first book of poetry, which will also contain illustrations by Helen Bar-Lev Some of the publications featuring his poetry are:

* Meeting of the Minds Journal
* The Poetry Victims
* The Coffee Press Journal
* The Other Voices International Project
* Literari Magazine
* Voices Israel poetry publications
* Boheme Magazine
* Manifold Magazine

He is a member of the Voices Israel Poetry Society Simon was the winner of the Reuben Rose 15th Annual Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English for his poem “To Hold the Notes”.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by John Michael Simon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Do Not Erase

Together yet apart they waited at the station
Mummy’s boy and Daddy’s girl
so alike yet so different
the curds and whey of their sour milk childhood
indispensably separating them from us and each other
like the twin gleaming tracks of the
railroad leaping out to the future
parallel yet never meeting they carry their
genetic traffic to an undisclosed horizon

He, taller thinner more serious
a brush wash of male femininity
spectacles often threatening to slip off his nose
when wrinkled into that self conscious apology of a smile
she, fuller of figure and matronly
yet still brandishing her father’s brusqueness

Together yet apart they boarded the train
spotlighted amidst the cattle trucked bewildered mob
by our nostalgia and horror
we the survivors
watched them depart
eyes fixed on the monstrous closing doors
five years later, fifty, five hundred
praying that no ash of time would ever
erase their uniqueness, their fragile joys

Lisa Helene Donovan

Bio (auto)

Helene Donovan lives in Hollywood, CA, just one block from the neighborhood block party the rest of the world calls the Oscars She has worked in entertainment and special education (remarkably similar endeavors) Currently, she’s finishing a chapbook and a novel

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Lisa Helene Donovan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Century of Sacrifices

nine million for their faith
nine hundred thousand for their culture
ninety thousand for their imagination
nine thousand for their humility
nine hundred for their courage
ninety for their opinions
nine for their truths

Even one person killed
for who they are
can not be ignored or forgotten Doesn’t everyone know this?
Or do we prefer our fear?

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,,, and 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 website and her literary soap opera on  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 2005, 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 © 2005, and owned by Margaret Brown-Bailey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler’s Remorse From Hell

Hate Crimes!!!
Crimes of Hate!!!!
Who am I to hate someone for their origin or race?
I am nothing .but a Big Disgrace!
Millions of people died from the these hands of mine,
While for their families they pined,
Yet, they still talk about me in history,
I was nothing but a murderer,
Not worthy to be remembered any further,
Forget me and my evil travesties!
Remember the lives that were shortened by my hate,
I was the one who subjected them to a cruel fate,
I don’t know why I harbored such cruel animosity,
For these crimes God has punished me,
Now I must accept my fate,
I am dwelling in eternal humility,
While surrounded by fiery atrocities.

Michael Brownstein

Bio (auto)

Michael H Brownstein has been featured on the Poetry Super Highway website before He has been widely published and he has performed in a number of venues around Chicagoland His latest chapbook, A PERIOD OF TREES, was recently released by Snark Publications Presently he teaches science to upper grade students in Chicago’s inner city.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The script for the tree has not been written,
nor the shredded hemp by the puddle The torn yarmeke is near the spittle
and the spittle is on a piece of chewed leather Yet the sky is perfect and beautiful,
its door open to machinery and prayer,
the breeze not a pause between strangers,
but a companion, a helpmate and a friend We stand because we can and we pray because
we want to and even in the brightness of this day
we refuse to bow to the hat on the pole,
that ugly hat, and we help each other when we bleed,
and know the script for faith in us we will not be forgotten and we will thrive
and we will always be remembered.

Mike Scheidemann

Bio (auto)

Mike Scheidemann is the President of ‘Voices’, the Israel English Poetry Association.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Mike Scheidemann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Iconoclasm of All Our Lives

What right have I to share the blight
Of a myriad lost lives?
Does the stain of Cain darken my temples too?
When inheritance shakes free from dark vestiges,
Can it bear proudly, the beards of our forefathers;
Those forebears draped in shawls of Abraham and Jacob?
Does our heritage sell cheap as Esau’s birthright?
Is our past only a coat of many colours, frayed,
Soiled, bloodied, torn and abandoned by our brothers?
Adam, Able Joseph, Job, Isaac, Saul, David, Absalom;
And with countless others, we bear the consequences
And wrath of G-d until that day that screamed to heaven!
When cartage trucks on rails chugged to those neat rows
Death’s barracks barbed wire and rancid smells of ovens Will nature’s balance ever be restored,
On smoldering mass of graves that reeked to the clouds?
Will spring spray again her perfect bouquet of flowers,
From ruby wounds, dumb mouths, the shots, the silence
And from the eyes that stare, blank as unmarked graves?
May they stampede the stars to exhort G-d’s answer Only the twitching forest folks’ stare acknowledges them Only a lone breeze rustling through tall grasses, stir
Buchenwald and Birkenau from their pastorality Most is lost to history Perhaps the biting Polish winter;
The searing cold Ukraine will pay homage, a while longer
To those multitudes who died a dozen times;- Whatever!
The night in Northern Europe and to Eastwards
Lingers forever over those that do remain Our history must move on and embrace a new scenario The world we know was born from this barren vista yet
From it, enlightened people spread across the earth There never was an Eden long enough for anyone
But the real tragedy lies in everyone;
That each of us was never granted time enough
As the mortal merry-go-round spins ever more
Never to pause long enough, to let us comprehend
That in the end we are left with only words
To shore up our lives, to stave off the ruins So we make fine phrases as a blessing and a balm
For the battered ugliness of our brief span We must atone
Our mutual guilt or lose our dignity, our sense of tragedy Others may possess our souls if we abandon our humanity.

Miriam N Kotzin

Bio (auto)

Miriam N Kotzin teaches literature and creative writing at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA where she directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing  She has published poetry and fiction widely in print and on the web She also writes fiction collaboratively with Bill Turner In 2004 two of her poems were nominated for the Pushcart Prize City:  Philadelphia, PA and

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Miriam N Kotzin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Alliance Cemetery,
.Norma New Jersey

Row after row
markers Names,
B’Ivrit, in English,
alternating rows
of  men
of  women
ultimate Mehitzah Later, husband lies
side by side with wife
and, look,  families gather
close to a common
marker  Someone mows
and weeds  The rain
and washes the stones

like Psalms
of the Chevra Kadisha
who washed
and watched so many
remembered here  But


the bodies fell
forward, pitched
over the edge,
one on the other
toppled, tumbled
down, sprawled,
piled, stacked,
bulldozed, dying,
dead, the near
dead digging
their own graves
who did not
fall but rose
in smoke Dignity Some graves here
are marked,  Bar Bat…but under
ground, no wood,
flesh, bone, worm These dead were
murdered there Survivors
here gave
them their


where we come
all of us
in fact
to say
for these
and, yes,
for those



Renee Summers

Bio (auto)

Currently a pension counselor at the Gerontology Institute, UMA Boston Have been published in local literary reviews (Ibbetson St Press) and newspapers and anthologies Self published a chapbook entitled “Once Upon a Wall ” Currently trying to get a book published of Collected poems A member of the Sea Glass Poets of South of Boston suburbia

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Renee Summers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


“We are fed this inert
.This lying phrase
.Like comfort food
.As another Palestinian boy
.In trainers jeans and a white t-shirt
.Is gunned down by the Zionist SS
.Whose initials we should-but we
.Don’t-dumb goys
.Clock in that weasel word
-Caught in the Crossfire”
.Thomas Paulson

Ulsterman poet, Tom Paulsen, your feelings
rise in my craw as nauseous reflux;
you use SS, call yourself a dumb goy
you are truly that,
too young to remember
what we do not want to forget Nazi Schutzstaffel
the “Defense Corps”
in belt, buckle, shoulder strap,
in black boots wielding babies
on bayonets, pushing old men
to the ground to clean sidewalks
befouled by SS spit and snot
not ‘spit and polish’
throwing books into fires
Kristallnacht, the dead, the wounded,
the Warsaw ghetto
the camps, crematoria,
the living dead reaching Israel
a land promised by
advanced by a British Mandate How dare you compare Zionists
to a denigrating animal
that was the dirt of Germany’s army?
Check the past carefully,
your trilogy may flee like Arabs
ordered to push the Jews into the Sea.

Rochelle Ratner

Bio (auto)

“Vilna in Tel Aviv” is from Rochelle Ratner’s forthcoming poetry collection, Beggars At the Wall, which will be published by Ikon Press in late 2005 Her previous books include two novels: Bobby’s Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion’s Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and fourteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003), Practicing to Be a Woman: New and Selected Poems (Scarecrow Press, 1982), Someday Songs (BkMk Press/Univ of Missouri Kansas City, 1992), and Zodiac Arrest (Ridgeway Press, 1995) An anthology she edited, Bearing Life: Women’s Writings on Childlessness, was published in January 2000 by The Feminist Press Four recent poetry books are available online: Leah ( and three e-chapbooks, (Newsreal 2003, Lady Pinball and Tellings) from ), Hide & Seek, an original poem-photo series based on the limited-edition poetry volume, is posted on the Light and Dust website She lives in New York City, where she is Executive Editor of American Book Review and reviews regularly for Library Journal More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage:

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Rochelle Ratner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Vilna In Tel Aviv: The Museum of the Diaspora


A father didn’t want his son
to fight anymore

the boy had a quick temper

he was big for fifteen,
he was proud and refused
to give in

three times he’d been arrested

so the father said
that’s it, we’re going to Israel —
thinking at last a fabled land
where Jews can live in peace

except the thrill
of seeing a man knocked down
was in the boy’s blood and hard
to walk away from 2 In his sixties now,
this boy/man sits beside me
as we watch the newsreel

Vilna 1939 —
Come and Visit This Great City
of Jewish Culture

he says yes
that’s the way it looked
but even then there was hatred,
he had premonitions

by 1943 it was all destroyed

In the dark cubicle
we sit and watch the film
over and over

my grandmother’s parents
carried their Vilna to England
years before she was born

by 1939
she was safe in America,
yet still I point her out to him
running down the street, in the center.


Bio (auto)

Born in Chicago, Ryfkah now resides in La Mirada, California with two of her three daughters She is a sixth grade teacher at Los Alisos Middle School in Norwalk She is an avid student of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and of the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov Ryfkah has been published in anthologies including a chapbook collection of her own work, If Venus Had Arms, by the North Orange County Poetry Continuum and various print and on-line magazines, especially extensively in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly She has been featured at poetry venues throughout the Los Angeles/Orange County area She is a member of the poetry performance troupe, WomanSong ( that is anti-abuse and pro the celebration of life.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Ryfkah and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Day To Remember

She lights a yarzheit candle to mourn love

Their small bout of disagreement lost to regret
he left in a bittersweet bubble bursting
black and gray like a summer storm

The woman feels dampness on her face

The soldiers stole him away
Juden he was like some rodent
to exterminate to eradicate

So many years and still her severed heart

All the borough Jews disappeared
like ghosts corkscrewing through our minds
His jade eyes taut and blank

She wants to whisper I’m sorry come back

The train jammed with humanity
heaped as sticks in a hearth
he vanished with the engine whistle

She sits for a day to remember

Shaun Hull

Bio (auto)

My name is Shaun Hull, born August 5, 1957 I currently reside in Cocoa, FL I am Engineering Technician by trade I am also by nature a guitarist/singer/songwriter I do have an 11 song CD “If The Shoe Fits” with several selections online I have also been writing poetry and other off the wall ramblings since grade school I have never been published nor have I ever really tried until now to put some writing out there.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Shaun Hull and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tomorrow Morning

tomorrow morning
i believe i shall
or maybe i shan’t
but if i shall i will share me
with my friend zoë
if i still am able to share
tomorrow morning
i would wish
to write a song to zoë
if my chary digits oblige
broken and torn
how awkward they present
they laugh at my challenge
they cry so when put to
“good use”
tomorrow morning
I should
tend zoë’s hair
if zoë’s hair still lives
on top of her head silly
or perhaps
tomorrow morning
i shall walk
with the smoke of souls
i would take zoë
if zoë is able
if I can find zoë
she may have already
tomorrow morning

Srinjay Chakravarti

Bio (auto)

I am a (male) journalist (editorialist), economist and poet on the editorial staff of an international newspaper based in Salt Lake City at Calcutta, India I was born in Calcutta in 1973 I have graduated with honours in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta I was also enrolled at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics My poetry, prose and translations have been published in Australia, Austria, Bahrain (Arabia), Canada, China (Hong Kong), Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Philippines, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA Apart from several web-based publications, print credits include The TelegraphThe Journal of the Poetry Society (India), The New Miscellany, Dimsum, Voices Israel Anthology and Poetry Salzburg Review (University of Salzburg) My first book of poems *Occam’s Razor* (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) received the SALT literary award from John Kinsella and an Australian literary trust in 1995.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Srinjay Chakravarti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Prisoners of War

They stand
arraigned in rows:
the grey pools of their unseeing eyes
fenced by the striae of barbed wire
and the margins of twilight Exiled out of their worlds,
circumscribed by smoke and shadow,
a curfew for thoughts stalks their faces,
their angst gapes in opened scars
like cracks in hard earth For a few, madness pours its lucid salve
into wounds which scream for sutures They forever stand in waiting,
encaged by machine guns, arc lights,
Dobermans and minefields,
guard towers, grenades, mustard gas;
the terrible quotidian syntax
of battle and dusty death Whispers die deep inside throats,
parched lips thirst for the kisses of words
spoken without the fear of lashes,
of rifle butts in the ribs,
or of cigarette butts in tender flesh Suspicion weaves strange chatoyant friendships:
every man becomes an enemy
and death the only true comrade Till the time comes again
and the wheel turns full circle:
when jailers who were invincible once
find themselves standing in waiting,
their own wrists handcuffed
by the savagery of younger wars.

Thilde Fox

Bio (auto)

THILDE FOX &Mac246; born 1930 Vienna, came to England on the Kindertransport in December 1938, was taken in by a Jewish English family Emigrated to Israel in 1953 Lives in Tel Aviv.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Thilde Fox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I gave you a new world, where yellow stars
light children’s books, trains go on holiday,
and when you raise your face into the shower,
and hold the pink soap, you remember only
the nice boy waiting in your soft clean bed you sing their music and move to their speech One other gift I gave unwillingly you look Jewish.

Tom Berman

Bio (auto)

I have been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for over 50 years I am a scientist and most of my research has been focused on the Sea of Galilee (a.k.a Lake Kinneret) I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland having arrived there aged 5 from Czechoslovakia with the Kindertransport in 1939 University education was in the U.S I am married with one wife, three daughters, five granddaughters and a grandson My poetry has been published here and there, now and again are still trying to dispose of a book of my poems (Shards, a Handful of Verse) Presently, I am Editor in Chief of the annual Voices Israel anthology.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Tom Berman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hronov Homecoming, 1994 

It’s not really a homecoming

Sent to an unknown safety,
I have not lived in this house
for more than half a century

This should be a visit
of coming to terms
with a latent past

black and white photos
of my relatives
on the back verandah
in the summer sunshine

my mother seated in an armchair
looking out of the French windows
to an unimaginable future

But there is no coming to terms,
emotion runs below the surface,
black, deep, cold river
in a black, cold cave

moonlight in my parents room
waiting for ghosts to come
faint, fading images
on a traumatized memory
and the curling black and white snaps
of years ago

the river runs

Hronov is a small town in North Eastern Bohemia

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