May 12-18, 2003: Our fifth annual Yom Hashoah issue

week of May 12-18, 2003

Our fifth annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue

Erika Abbott
Lisa Beatman
Jim Bennett
F.J Bergmann
Tom Berman
Charles Bernstein
Bengt O Bjorklund
Roland Francis Bravo
Lynne Bronstein
Michael Burch
Tony Bush
Howard Camner
Ruth Daigon
T.J Daniels
Susie Davidson
Cliff Fyman
Peter Shayne Griffin
Arthur Isaacson
Larry Jaffe
Stephen M James
Kristin Johnson
Tammy Kaiser
Peter Kenny
Judy Z Kronenfeld

here for submission guidelines

Erika Abbott

Bio (auto)

Erika Abbott lives in Valley Glen, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Erika Abbott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Baking, Burning
dreams gone up in flames
souls cry out: ” let people know what happened!”
Cries for help ignored Ovens keep people warm.

Lisa Beatman

Bio (auto)

My work has most recently been published in Lilith Magazine, the Hawaii Pacific Review, and the Abiko Quarterly Some of my work will be forthcoming in Lonely Planet, and Rhino My collection, “Ladies’ Night at the Blue Hill Spa”, was published by Bear House Publishing I live in (well, next to) a cemetary in Boston

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lisa Beatman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Taut Over Bones

Defined by light
Skin lampshades
What marrow we have
What tallow unburnt.

Jim Bennett

Bio (auto)

Visit Jim on the web in the following spots:

POETRY KIT-Voted Poetry Super-Highway best resource 2001

PK On-line Poetry Workshop

JIM BENNETT-Publisher’s site

Some songs

An interview


The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

where did all the people go?

deaf to the crying
blind to the plumes of smoke
when the stench of burning
and the ash fell like snow
did no one ever ask
where did all the people go?

with the smell from the camp
and the sounds of gunfire
punctuating every day
did no one know?
did no one ever ask
where did all the people go?

F.J Bergmann

Bio (auto)

F.J Bergmann is living in Madison, Wisconsin for the fourth or fifth time She studied psychology, biochemistry, and fine arts at the University of Wisconsin, and is currently a web designer and illustrator Previously, she spent twenty-five years working with horses She is working on projects involving digital art, hypertext, and Flash poetry She maintains, a public service website for poetry in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as her own site, She reads at spoken word venues and has been published in Margie The American Journal of Poetry, Wind, Pavement Saw, RealPoetik, in the anthology Connected: Poetry on Life In The Age Of Computers, and at the 2002 Electronic Literature Symposium She won the 2003 Mary Roberts Rinehart National Poetry Award and her manuscript Sauce Robert won the 2002 Pavement Saw chapbook competition She received awards from the Atlanta Review poetry competition in 2000, 2001, and 2002, and a partial scholarship to the 2002 Catskill Writers Workshop Her favorite authors all write science fiction.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by F.J Bergmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Dès le moment
que j’ai su que tout ce qui mène au sommet
d’aujourd’hui peut se voir seulement
comme un effet
de cette lumière affreuse, dorée,
étincellante et jaune, étoilée,
qui comme un souffle de catafalque nous arrive
des hiers lointains à travers les peaux juives,
émane des milliards de crânes vides
jetés dans la fosse commune monstre du passé,
j’ai fait serment
On ne finira jamais cette guerre;
reculant en arrière, suivant les traces des dégats,
aucun ne saura pourquoi
ces choses atroces ont été faites De ce qui est rapellé, je n’en reviens pas
et je n’en reviendra jamais
de ce pays lumineux d’aprés-midi, des champs de blé
tachés de pavots comme les blessures
qui apparaissent dans une foule mitraillée Dans les brumes grises du dernier siècle
le bruit grondant des vielles injures reverbre
entre le grésillement infini des larmes oubliées;
les cendres des morts coulent dans la pluie brûlante
Je me hisserai de cette boue infâme
par les langues mortes de mes souliers Je verrai dans mes rêves la poussière
des cadavres pourris, un demain ébloui,
se réunir avec leurs âmes vivantes
à neuf sur la terre.


At the moment
when I knew that all that has brought us
to the apex of the present can be seen solely
as an effect of that appalling golden light,
glittering yellow, starry,
that like the exhalation from a catacomb
reaches us from distant yesterdays
through lampshade skins
or emanates from the millions of empty skulls
discarded in the monstrous common grave of the past,
I made a vow
War never ends:
looking backward, following the traces of destruction,
no one will ever know why those atrocities took place Of what is remembered, I cannot bring myself to understand,
and I will never come back from that luminous afternoon
landscape of deceptive peace, the wheatfields
speckled with poppies like bloody wounds
sprayed across a machine-gunned crowd In the dark clouds of the last century
the rumble of ancient injustices reverberates
amid the endless spatter of forgotten tears;
the ashes of the dead dissolve in the burning rain
I will lift myself out of that fouled mud
by the dead tongues of my shoes I will summon a shining tomorrow
where the dust of decayed cadavers
will unite in glory with their living souls
to renew the earth.

Tom Berman

Bio (auto)

Tom Berman has been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for almost 50 years, on and off He is a scientist, specializing in aquatic microbiology Much of his research has been focused on Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) but occasionally he has also worked on various real seas and oceans
He 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.A, at Rutgers University and M.I.T He is married with one wife, three daughters, five granddaughters and a grandson Most of his publications to date have been scientific but now and again he has had some poems appear in press His first collection, Shards a Handful of Verse, is available from the vaults of Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc Recently he has been elected Editor in Chief of the “Voices Israel ” Anthology.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tom Berman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Leather Suitcase

They don’t
make suitcases
like that
any more
Time was,
when voyage meant
train, steamship
distances unbridgeable
waiting for a thinning mail
weeks, then months,
then nothing

Time was,
when this case
was made
solid, leather,
heavy stitching
with protective edges
at the corners
Children’s train,
across the Reich
and starts again
a lighted gangplank,
night ferry to gray-misted
sea-gulled Harwich
again the rails
reaching flat across
East Anglia,
to London

There’s the suitcase
in my bedroom,
a silent witness
with two labels

“Masaryk Station, Praha”
“Royal Scot, London-Glasgow”

Leather suitcase
from a far-off country,

containing all the love
parents could pack
for a five year old
off on a journey
for life.

Charles Bernstein

Bio (auto)

Charles Bernstein’s poetry has been published in several journals, including: Lucid Moon, Flipside, Tomorrow Magazine, Sex In Public, Churches, Children & Daddies, Blindman’s Rainbow, Oyez Review, Grey Lodge Pub and Magnetic Poetry: Book of Poetry (Workman Press) From 1986 to 1991, he published the poetry fanzine, Cops Hate Poetry In 1999, Charles was a national Poetry Slam finalist He has been featured on National Public Radio and has performed throughout the United States He published the poetry chapbook Shortness Of Breath (PROTEST-1997), was featured on the CD & cassette compilations respectively, Tripped Back Up (Niteskool Productions-1998) & Drum Poems (Wymbs Productions-1997) and released the CD, Errorwrist: Nine Muses Of Error In Underconstructualism (PROTEST-2002) This summer, he will be publishing the poetry book, Ordering A Pizza In The Middle Of The Revolution (The Printer Inc)
Charles Bernstein resides in Evanston, Illinois Charles Bernstein is related to Charles Bernstein.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Charles Bernstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stinkpatch 321456

His blue eyes saved him
From wilting in the ovens
The brown eyes
Black eyes
Green eyes
Oh how they fried, fried in ovens like bird
Carved on the plate for dinner
And he cries for the tattoo on his ass
Cries for those who have fucked him, laughed
Cries for the rabbis
Who asked him to pull down his pants
Cries in his vodka, cries on his desk
Cries in my hands
In my hands like a baby with a tattoo in its ass
Smells the smell of burning feathers
It’s no wonder why he has asthma

Bengt O Bjorklund

Bio (auto)

I am a 54 year old artist, poet, journalist, photographer and thinker born in Stockholm I have spent almost twenty years outside my country, five years in a Turkish jail, where I met William Hayes (I was portrayed as Eric in the movie Midnight Express) since then I have played in various unsuccessful bands, published a few books of poetry, in Swedish, had art exhibitions in both in Sweden and Denmark, worked as a journalist/lay out man/photographer for a few years etc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Bengt O Bjorklund and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Crystal nights have lost
their historic impact
as Palestinian youths
adapt lethal opposition
The undocumented
and very personal
everyday reality of
either one of the historic

Compounds of cruelty
does not give
a free ticket to a social
and supreme view
Whoever needs our
immediate span of attention
should not be there,
not now, nor ever.

Roland Francis Bravo

Bio (auto)

My name is Roland Francis Bravo, of the group BODO I live and work in South Florida and in my native Caribbean, (I am Cuban) I am a poet and a singer-songwriter having written and produced several musical theatrical productions in Miami and in New York Currently I am promoting my new CD “Evil People” through my webpage business:

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Roland Francis Bravo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


In the beginnning I was in shock I recall feeling that
strange sensation,
the irresistible one that you feel travelling
through your body,
you know, like when you actually feel
your blood rushing through your veins and arteries,
exchanging gases through millions of capillaries It’s an awful feeling that makes you think
that any minnute you are going to
just collapse,
or fall,
die In the beginning yes, I visited memorials,
surounded by beautiful reflective pools
that surround mausoleums of solitude,
temples built to memories,
to death,
to the attempt to wipe out
a race of
and innocent
people I was stunned, then as I thought,
and meditated, prayed and calculated,
dreamed and asked for counsel,
walked through ancient books
and borrowed other people’s
strange reactions,
I realised that G-d does not
act like a child,
lashing out,
seeking anhilation but I’ve also thought that children do
act like the better know the love of G-d
when they
seek not
understanding When they look up
and say

Lynne Bronstein

Bio (auto)

Lynne Bronstein has published three books of poetry Her work has appeared in publications such as Caffeine, On Target, California Poetry Calendar, and on the web sites Poetry and Muse Apprentice She is preparing a new book of more recent poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lynne Bronstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bones and Ashes

I am descended
From a long line of rabbis A genetic memory
Of the captive audience
Tells me I must speak,
Must always speak
To whatever congregation
Is huddled before me
In Lublin town, great grandfather
So they tell me, kept a school,
Not a cheder but a high school
For Jews of promising intellect His name appeared as the author
Of books on theology The books and school
And all that told of their existence
Burned with the bodies
Of my relatives still in Lublin
After the cold invasion

Swirling in that bitter breeze
Ashes carried the intoning
Of my great-grandfather
And of the bright youths bending an ear
To lessons of the world
Through a shroud of deafness
And almost forty years I hear them:
Late but heeded messages
From Treblinka,
From Mae Donnick
(Some say the Holocaust never occurred Of course The Holocaust
Like many Jewish memories
Is a memory of nothing A history of nothingness,
Daily upon more nothingness
And to be without a past
Is surely to be without a future)
No, this line begins again
With what my dreams and memories tell me:
A son escaped Lublin and came to America
To sing the liturgy on the East Side New York
With a wife, four daughters,
And a son who was my father And I resume the liturgy
In a different language
For a different audience
But the intent’s the same I must speak against every image
Of wind blowing ashes,
Of congregations silenced,
Of words, ignored, unheard,
Locked up, smashed,
Burned, gassed,
Put in a desk drawer and forgotten,
Stamped with the disapproval
Of a court I never elected,
Cut off for lack of funds,
Laughed down, interrupted All invasions of the temple
I shall stare down with an implacable wrath
And keyn eyn hora against the evil eye May my poems and stories be the living echo
Of that lonely hiss relict of the Polish nights,
The whispering of the Bronstein line
To its congregation of bones.


Lublin-city in Poland, formerly the home of the largest
Jewish population in Poland outside of Warsaw
Cheder-religious school where students are instructed
in the Torah (five books of Moses)
Treblinka, Mae Donnick-concentration camps My relatives
in Lublin died in these camps
Keyn Eyn Hora-a saying “to ward off the evil eye.”

Michael Burch

Bio (auto)

Michael R Burch is the poetry editor of The HyperTexts He has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in over ninety literary journals in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and India, including: Poetry Magazine, Verse, Unlikely Stories, Light Quarterly, Numbat, Poet Lore, The Eclectic Muse, The Aurorean, The Lyric, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Black Bear Review, Icon, ByLine, Writer’s Journal, Penumbra, and Nebo.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pfennig Postcard, Wrong Address

We saw their pictures:
tortured out of our imaginations
like golems
We could not believe
in their frail extremities
or their gaunt faces:

pallid as our disbelief They are not
with us now
We have:
huddled them
into the backroomsofconscience
We have:
consigned them
to the ovensofsilence
We have:
buried them in the mass graves
of circumstancesbeyondourcontrol
We have
so little left

to remind us:
how painfully unsightful they were.

Tony Bush

Bio (auto)

Aged early forties now, still living half way up a mountain in South Wales UK and still banging out verse Book published recently-“26 Images Spoken” (see or for further details) so check it out if you’re interested Also writing rock, pop, country songs with my compadre Rob Deaves, so the music world better look out I’m on my way And hell will follow with me Maybe. 

Oh, any bars or cafes wanting someone to read poetry for free, I’m you’re man Just check out my stuff and let me know There’s nothing more I like than inflicting myself on the general public Probably why I’m mostly prevented from doing so by the powers that be
Finally, history has one great value for current and future generations and it lies in this single true fact: “they who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it ” I sincerely believe that those souls who were murdered beneath the foul and disgusting auspices of The Holocaust deserve in the very least that we never forget-and in so doing learn the lessons that history teaches us.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tony Bush and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

This Song

This song I wrote for you to tell you how I feel,
To make you see my world in complex black and white,
This song I wrote for you, so that I am real,
So much more than dreams forged in the dead of night
This song I wrote for you in tortured words of proof,
To change your little mind, to turn your head around,
This song I wrote for you, a testament of truth,
To rip your rules to shreds and sink them in the ground

This song I wrote for you, each syllable drips fear,
To make you feel a hint of when every grave was mass,
This song I wrote for you, to make the visions clear,
The scalpels and the needles, the ovens and the gas
This song I wrote for you, in charcoal forest glades,
The wastelands of a heart, in fields down by the sea,
This song I wrote for you with blood and razor blades,
This song I wrote for you, so you could gather me.

Howard Camner

Bio (auto)

Howard Camner is the author of fifteen books of poetry His works are included in major literary collections worldwide, including ten historical archives and six royal libraries He represents the United States in the Poet 2000 Sculpted Library, an international exhibition of the works of contemporary poets He resides in Miami with his wife and children.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Howard Camner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


These tattooed numbers
unlike life
are about all that is left of me

I, who ask God every day
where He was
while His children were getting slaughtered

I, who wish on Him every day
nothing less than eternal life
That He might live forever
and never
What could be more punishment than that?

Ruth Daigon

Bio (auto)

Ruth Daigon was founder and editor of Poets On: for twenty years until it ceased publication Her poems have been widely published in E mags , print mags, antholgies and collections She was  Poet-Of-The-Month on The University of Chile’s Pares Cum Paribus (an “E” chapbook in English and Spanish) (Her  chapbooks appear in WEBDELSOL, the ALSOP REVIEW, FORPOETRY, POETRYMAGAZINE, THREE CANDLE REVIEW, KOTA’S POETRY ANTHOLOGY both in hard cover and on the web Some of her earlier poetry collections are “Between One Future And The Next” (Papier-Mache Press) 1995, “About A Year” (Small Poetry Press)  1996  Daigon’s  poetry awards include   “The Ann Stanford Poetry Prize”, 1997 (University of Southern California Anthology, 1998) and The Greensboro Poetry Award (Greensboro Arts Council, 2000) Her poetry collections continue with “The Moon Inside” (Gravity/Newton’s Baby December ,1999) She is part of  Pudding House Publications Poetry Chapbook Series “Ruth Daigon’s Greatest Hits 1970-2000”  “Payday At The Triangle” (Small Poetry Press Select Poets  Series) based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, 1911 was published in 2001and one of many readings was performed  in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan, the area where the fire occurred Her latest poetry book is “Handfuls of Time” (Small Poetry Press, Select Poets Series) in 2002 Her poetry was published by the State Department in their literary exchange with Thailand and their translation program has just issued the first book of American poets in English and Thai in which she appears Her poetry also appeared on the Garrison Keillor show.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ruth Daigon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Before The Blaze

Under the hammered sky
we move in narrow sandals
where something lies half-buried

and the everyday happens
a suitcase,  a parcel
and a man loses both his legs
Armies arrange to grow imaginary
planes trace unknown paths
their engines droning sorrow
The earth’s in constant motion
and the dark hurtles toward us
at the speed of light

We walk time on a leash
in this smoldering landscape
with rocks enough to carve
tombstones for all the dead

Words lean against each other Skin peels from thoughts
We’re searching for the fullness
before  the blaze of bone and wing

Branches rattle obituaries
The past spreads like a stain
and we grow small with distance
measuring robes of earth.


T.J. Daniels

Bio (auto)

I wrote these words, but millions of innocent lives were taken I’ve only written about what happened to them, they were the ones that suffered, not I T J Daniels lives in Wisconsin.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by T.J Daniels and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

And None Escaped

Some people said that it never happened
Those same people said that it could never happen
because other Nations would never allow it to
But six million people
were slaughtered
They were all of the same faith
the same heritage

Because one nation
or should I say
the ruler of that nation
did not like
for whatever reason
their religous beliefs
or their heritage
When I was a very young boy
I saw some of the news reels
of the atrosities
that were shown at movie theaters
I saw trucks
that were left running
and had a hose attached to the tail pipe
and the other end went into long metal buildings
I know that there were people inside each of those buildings
and there were many buildings
side by side
Many innocent people willing entered those buildings
because they were told that there were showers inside
But once inside, instead of water,
they heard the hiss of the killing exhaust gas
from the trucks parked outside
And each building had heavy metal doors
that were locked from the outside
And none escaped
I hope that it’s never allowed to happen again.

Susie Davidson

Bio (auto)

Susie Davidson, aka Susie D ( is a Boston-area poet and a weekly correspondent for the Jewish Advocate (, The Cambridge Chronicle, The Cambridge Tab and the Brookline Tab (all at She has over 150 poetry publications, won the 2002 Cambridge Poetry Awards’ Best Political Poem Award (for “Viva La Causa, Viva Chavez”) and was nominated for the Best Political Poem Award for 2003

Her poems appear monthly in Massachusetts Mensa’s The Beacon as “Susie D’s Poetry Corner ” She has written articles for local newspapers and music magazines including The Beat! and Boston Rock and is the afternoon receptionist at Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre She fronts a postpunk poetry band, Sound the Word and moderates the internet discussion group
Susie has authored the poetry volumes It’s Only Life ñ Rhythmic Forays into Politics and Human Nature (1992), After Gary (1996) and Selected Poetry of Susie D (2002) She began and managed JP’s World Stage and Cambridge’s Small Circle of Friends coffeehouses, hosted the poetry show “The Spoken Scene” on WZBC-FM and has performed at First Night Boston, the Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, CBGB’s in NYC and other locales She reads poetry at various Boston/Cambridge poetry venues Her first book, I Refused To Die, due this summer on Somerville, Massachusetts-based Ibbetson Street Press.will chronicle the stories of approximately 16 Boston-area Holocaust survivors and World War II liberating soldiers and will also include poetry, photos and essays by local contributors
Susie is an active member of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action and The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Her late father, Bernard Davidson, wrote the official Massachusetts Patriotic State Song, “Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)” She owned and operated My Type, Inc , a Harvard Square typesetting and graphics company, from 1984-92.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Susie Davidson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Six Million Souls

Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
we of the blessed, born after the call
the ugly black cloud of that perilous time
swaying nations and governments into the crime
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
the darkest of ages, humanity’s fall Children and innocents tortured and killed,
Six million visions and dreams unfulfilled
Herded like cattle, stripped of all worth,
hungry and sick in the dregs of the earth,
parents and siblings shot down in full sight,
boxcars of bodies transported at night
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
now etched in stone of memorial hall Our own hallowed nation ignoring the pain,
Eleanore Roosevelt speaking in vain
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
frozen in bigotry, backs to the wall,
victims of genocide, subhuman plan,
centuries of prejudice in one vile man
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all Survivors and progeny, rise up, stand tall
So horrors and holocausts will finally end
Never to manifest-NEVER AGAIN.

Clif Fyman

Bio (auto)

I live in New York City and attend readings at The Poetry Project.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Cliff Fyman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Birches are a Melancholy Tree

I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with a persecution
.and wept
Others go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with bystander guilt
.and weep
We’ll go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with each other
.and weep

She went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with her SS father’s
.suicide in her hair
She reads her father’s loving suicide note
.to his dear daughter
.in the barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau
.and borrows a blade from a shadowy hand
.to cut her father’s suicide from her hair
She’ll go on reading her father’s loving note
.in the barracks
.in cold rain and failing light and colorful
.ribbons but she’ll never cut
.her father’s suicide from her hair

A Warsaw Jew said, says, and will say,
“Poland is not a cemetary”
“Poland is not a cemetary”
“Poland is not a cemetary”

I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with Germans to find out
.what they feel
Germans go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with me to find out
.if I’ll listen
None of us’ll say much at first at Auschwitz-Birkenau
.because first we all must cry

They went to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
We go to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
You may be going to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
.so you ought to listen

A Zen Buddhist went to Auschwitz-Birkenau to sit
.and listen
We’re siting by him by the railroad tracks
.and listening
It’ll be quiet sitting by him by the railroad tracks
.and listening
.for birds
.that will not return to Auschwitz-Birkenau

A rabbi sang Kaddish by a melancholy tree
A rabbi sings Kaddish by a melancholy tree
A rabbi will sing Kaddish by a melancholy tree

Birkenau was named after birches
.because the Nazi’s liked nature
Birkenau is named after birches
.because the Nazi’s like nature
Birkenau will be named after birches
.because the Nazi’s will like nature

Birches are a melancholy tree

Peter Shayne Griffin

Bio (auto)

Peter Shayne Griffin was introduced to the consequences of war at the tender age of four His oldest brother was killed in action in Korea in March 1951 Another brother participated in the first test detonations of atomic bombs used in close support of ground troops When he was 17, Peter joined the Army and became a paratrooper, following in the footsteps of these two older brothers
He was among the first Screaming Eagles to arrive in Viet Nam, in July of 1965 Twenty-nine years later, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at the Battle of Dak To (Operation Hawthorne) in June 1966 He also served in the 82nd Airborne Division
He has written numerous military poems spanning WW II, Korea and Viet Nam He is the official poet of the 101st Airborne Division Association’s Fort Campbell, Kentucky Monument Committee He has a regular column in Airborne Quarterly He is a regular contributor to The First Screaming Eagles in Viet Nam, a periodical of and about soldiers of the first brigade (separate), 101st Airborne Division His poetry has appeared in several newspapers, and military magazines including The Screaming EagleThe Rakkasan Shimbun (the voice of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team) and the Static Line
He and his wife, Brenda, have been married thirty sir years and reside in Madison, North Carolina They have two children and three granddaughters.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Peter Shayne Griffin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Thousand Yard Stare

If I live to be a thousand ,
I will never understand The odyssey of a soldier’s life,
Fighting for one’s homeland
To see men die in battle,
A terrible thing indeed To see the wounded suffer,
All crying out in need !

From shot and shell,
Man’s earthly hell One prays to God,
The battles to quell
As bad as this,  there’s worse to see,
The poor bastards in captivity Men,  women,  children,  all the same,
All subjected to unspeakable pain
To enter the camp,  to set them free,
One can’t believe their agony The smell of death,  all over the place,
The looks of horror on their face
Imprisoned in wire,  spirits broken,
Sadistic guards,  crematory fires Infestation,  humiliation,
Machine gun towers,  humanity soured
Hatred persists,  tattoos above wrists,
Privacy gone, striped uniforms Stars of David become despised labels,
Starvation reigns,  dignity chained
Jews,  Russians,  Poles,  and the French,
Starved to death,  thrown in the trench Bodies in heaps,  pulled golden teeth,
Desperation thrived,  tortured lives
Chained to bunks,  stagnant air stunk,
Lying in waste,  dying in place Maggots and flies,  children’s cries,
Polluted water,  missing daughters !

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand To be a paratrooper,
To enter no man’s land
To depict such an evil setting,
Still sets my stomach retching To see such evil,  men have done,
To see the skeletons,  one by one !

Difficult to tell,  the horrors I’ve seen,
People reduced to pitiful beings Enslaved,  starved,  and murdered,
To please the God damned Fuehrer !

Piles of bodies,  lie everywhere,
Survivors in filth, stench fills the air Pitiful beings,  I cringed at their touch,
How in the hell,  could they suffer so much !

Men and women,  living in fear,
All possessed “The Thousand Yard Stare” !
Empty eyes,  staring in space,
Praying to God,  to spare their race !

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand What it was to be a child,
To live in no man’s land !

Horror was their way of life,
Terror was their daily strife Made to watch their parents die,
All they could do,  was scream and cry !

The children,  the poor children,
How they suffered so Life became their nightmare,
Never to outgrow
Unable to stop the madness,
Limited in what I could do I can’t erase the image,
The hell that they went through !

The way their lives were ended,
Leaves mankind most offended Horrors endured together,
Tossed in pits,  interred forever !

In a way,  the dead are lucky,
For they are quiet now God’s embrace has stopped their pain,
Heavenly peace is their domain
Time heals all wounds,  so they say,
But they weren’t there,  to share that day Time stands still when hatred reigns,
Scars so deep,  can’t stop the pain !

The evil that some men can do,
Haunts other men,  their whole lives through If I live a thousand years,
I will always possess,  “THE THOUSAND YARD STARE” !

True story through the eyes of Trooper Mickey Cohen,
Division Headquarters, 101st Airborne, WW II, Landsberg,
Lager #5, Germany.

Arthur Isaacson

Bio (auto)

I am 65, married, retired Writing poetry for about six years Born and raised in NYC, I now live in Clinton, Connecticut I’m published regularly in the New York print magazine “Skyline.”

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Arthur Isaacson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Museum

It was a long walk, quiet chilling, eyes
cast down and throat held tight to fight the rise
of hot revulsion welling up inside,
fearful of each corridor’s surprise
Steel and glass immaculately divide
each horrendous view as it collides
with next unspeakable depiction shown
and will could not my painful feelings hide
I cried and did not stay where glass and stone
walled in the voices of survivors known
who told of truths the world refused to see
‘til liberation found their skin and bone
I crossed a sunny bridge that eerily
became the tomb of all activity
one town had borne until to hell they went
to leave no trace they lived in actuality
And raced to freedom where my breath could vent
the suffocating evil that fermented
in my gut, which will not leave me still All must go to know the evil and extent

that ate the souls of those who lived, for thrill,
Inhuman as our brother’s blood they spilled In grief I went to see their story told
to find a soaring faith they had not killed
I shall tell their story till I’m old
In awe of courage more than I control,
and if I cease to feel that dreadful pain
I shall return, to not forget, ever again.

Larry Jaffe

Bio (auto)

Jaffe is the International Readings Coordinator for the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry undertaking, Co-Founder of Poets for Peace/United Poets Coalition and is the Poet-in-Residence/Director of Writer’s Voice for the Los Angeles Ketchum Downtown YMCA He has been featured at numerous readings and poetry festivals throughout the United States and abroad Jaffe’s work can be found in a variety of publications and anthologies He has 5 books:  Jewish Soulfood, Unprotected Poetry CD and book, Greatest Hits, Lying Half-Naked in the Doorway and L A Rhapsody.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Larry Jaffe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Making Lampshades

Picture Nazi lamp makers,
divine artistes keeping lights
on for the Nazi Republic
–carefully laying out skins
scored of Jewish flesh…

Magnifying lenses wave  
from cadaverous skulls
meticulously searching
for flaws and scars
Hands caress skins,
sorting perfect backs
sans freckle and blemish
for perfect lamps
shining bright into
the darkness
Nazi craftsmen drink beer,
smoke cigarettes, joke as their
ash spills on skins…

— only making lampshades
not burning bodies…

They dismiss thoughts of
carcass stripped bare
of hide as filigree gold
melts from teeth
to make… lamps
—  religious eloquence, and human touch

Nazi artisans follow detailed
Instructions on the assembly
of lampshades manufactured
of fine Jewish leather
Courteous Nazi craftsmen
draw upon resources
concentrate on technique
quietly immortalize six million
Jews in light.

Stephen M James

Bio (auto)

Stephen M James is from a small town with one stoplight named Burkesville, KY and is pursueing a Media Communications degree at a small liberals college He enjoys writing for his poetry site, as he has for over four years Cheese is good, and so is God.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Stephen M James and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bathing, October 8, 1944

I couldn’t wait for the station when I saw the train smoke,
A nice cushion to sit on–I had only been on a train once
–but I had loved it
Yellow stars under a yellow sun
it’s not my color, but it was my mother’s,
said it was too bright for a tradesmen’s wife–
on the Sabbath Dark bodies shuffling past the light beams
between large cracks in the overused cattle car,
What did they do with all that beef?


Shoes, clothing, watches and jewelry piled–
I add,
didn’t even glance
another girl inspected and stripped as
families separate and lines form
At last, a shower after days on the train!
No steam rose from the building ahead Oh no, cold showers–I hate cold showers It is cold and there is no soap a cough from the shivering elderly man to my right.

Kristin Johnson

Bio (auto)

Kristin Johnson is an award-winning acclaimed poet and published author Johnson owns and operates Poems For You, a personalized poem service that recognizes the healing powers of romance and gentility that are essential yet often lacking in modern life A graduate of the University of Southern California Master of Professional Writing Program, Johnson has been writing and presenting for nine years She is extremely active in organizations such as Women in Film and the National League of American Pen Women Her most recent publications include Butterfly Wings: A Love Story (2000, iUniverse), and Christmas Cookies are for Giving (available September 2003, Tyr Publishing, PublishAmerica has accepted the MS she co-wrote with two-time Nobel Prize nominee Sir Rupert A L Perrin, M.D , entitled “Ordinary Miracles: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic, and Scientific Journey,” which is in press She won the Blue Mountain Arts Tri-Annual Poetry Contest and the 1999 Edward Moses Award for her short story “Sinatra’s Dogs ” Her plays, “Greetings and Salutations,” and “No Women Allowed,” were produced in November 2002 in Palm Springs.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kristin Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Book of Names

Winter trees cast their frozen life limbs
across the book of names
each name now perfectly preserved
as the sap and dormant leaves
inside the book
itself once a tree
that stood in winter like the guard towers
just a fact of life, like the frost
the tree
like the guard towers at Treblinka, Dachau
Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz
now transformed
into a memorial
a reminder
that those now frozen by history’s hate
will never know sunshine
nor blooming
and yet
the gentle sun cuts across the shadows
like students’ trembling voices
each name
each soul
that now knows
eternal summer

Tammy Kaiser

Bio (auto)

Tammy Kaiser is a mother of two She teaches Jewish Studies and Holocaust Education in the Seattle Area Tammy is the author of Making Love in the War Zone and Memorials, Poetry for Performance She has recently returned from a trip to Poland where she participated in the March of the Living and recreated the Death March of the persecuted from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tammy Kaiser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


It was called Canada,
A pile of refuse in courtyard number two
composed of objects that had once
belonged to the deportees with
such little material value to the SS
that the ober commanded it all burned
Food, documents, diplomas,
military decorations, passports,
marriage certificates
And the pictures Thousands of pictures Young married couples, 
elderly groups,
pretty girls,
young men in military uniforms
And the holy objects Bibles, prayer beads,
prayer books with carefully
inked notations recording dates
of important events-births, 
marriages, deaths Sometimes, flowers culled from
the graves of beloved parents
and grandparents in all the
Jewish cemeteries from the
four corners of Europe were pressed
between the pages of the books
and piously preserved
Canada, a benign place
of smoldering memories
centered between the gates of hell
and number two crematorium,
reduced to a pile of silvery ash.

Peter Kenny

Bio (auto)

Peter Kenny lives in London, edits and has had numerous poems published This poem is about trying to understand the relationship between German philosopher Heidegger, and the poet Paul Celan.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Peter Kenny and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Heidegger in the forest

Always the same questions The forest —
That astonishing phenomenon —
Is about to remember itself But why are these yellow celandine
Woven into the hedgerows like stars?
Why is there spring and not spring?

And here there is always this presence,
Of that Juden poet who knows me;
Who came to sign my visitors’ book
With the black ink of the unmentioned;
Who bears my shamanic language
Like a token sewn close to his star
I consider this fact in a clearing:
His family were fed to the flames
But the fire that dwells in his sorrow
Cannot unblock my frozen mouth He has dogged my solitary tracks,
And I? I went once to his readings
This mental picture torments me:
The poet and his risen mother I see his mother’s hair, he kisses it
He lets it stream through his fingers
Like it was the strands of his people
Still unshorn from the head of Being
Why is there Auschwitz and not Auschwitz?
Thoughts like sleepers shifting on the shelves;
Always the same questions Was is das — die Philosophie?
Was is das?

Judy Z Kronenfeld

Bio (auto)

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of a book of poems, Shadow of Wings (Bellflower Press, 1991) and of a chapbook, Disappeared Down Deep Wells and Still Falling (The Inevitable Press, 2000), as well as of a critical study, KING LEAR and the Naked Truth (Duke University Press, 1998) She has had poems, stories, and essays published in numerous magazines Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Full Circle, The Evansville Review, Hubbub, The Montserrat Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry International, Pearl, Potpourri, Free Lunch, ONTHEBUS, The Sow&Mac226;s Ear, Under the Sun, and So Luminous the Wildflowers (Tebot Bach, 2003)–an anthology of California poets–among others She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California–Riversid

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Judy Z Kronenfeld and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Long and Short of Memory

My father greets me at his new assisted
living facility, as if I were the long-awaited
Messiah: one hand on each treasured cheek
and a soulful look through the eyes,
clear to the back of my skull I earned the same last week
.He looks like someone
has stolen his luggage, ripped off the labels,
wrapped one change of clothes in brown paper and string,
and deported him to this life Yesterday, midnight, he called “home”–
my home–and asked for me by my dead mother’s name
.But his clock resets: it’s the Sunday visit plus dinner
out Now a resident’s face in the hall,
as we lock his door, is somehow stirring;
now he can’t stop talking A name comes back to him,
like a message that made the trip in a bottle
at sea, Hedwig Schlüsser! who lived
on their floor, in Germany–where only his sister’s family
made the mistake of staying–60-odd years before He’s so
delighted, decanting the name, like a fine wine,
Hedwig Schlüsser! while I stare again
at the decoupage “memory-box” near his door
with “U.S ” squeezed in before “MILITARY,”
thankfully effaced Dad
didn’t digest that first “personal”
project patched by the well-meaning
staff from his biographical shreds But I’d
gasped I’d marched to the reception desk–
anger fed by warring sadness and relief
that he hadn’t even noticed what looked to me
like pride in the S.S
* * *

Now, in the balmy, unencumbered present,
when my tricky van door won’t open
as I’m about to hand him in, Dad’s
thrilled to solve the problem; he palms me aside
like a traffic cop, bungs and bangs the door
with his fist But it takes rear-ending–which I do,
bump, bump, bump with my butt, until
it engages Then open it does, and Dad, clambering in
and showing me his, smiles his joke:
“I guess it takes the tuchis to do that right “

And after dinner, after the silences
between repeats of Hedwig Schlüsser!
after the happiness of a glass of wine,
when I am driving home alone,
I savor that childhood word that passed
between us, its vibrating nucleus of meaning
surrounded by whizzing electron rings of meaning–

tuchis, with its vaguely repellent
familiarity, its smack
of suppers eaten one haunch
on the kitchen table, uncle’s pinches,
grandma’s kissing praise
of baby fat, its lingering tang of
mother coming with you
to the doctor’s, loud remarks on failed diets
and broad-beamed spinsters 
in desperate knits, its patrimony 
of fourth floor walkups–
siblings crushed four to a bed–

this word we still own,
marked with our identification tags,
our return addresses

Originally published in SHIRIM, A JEWISH POETRY JOURNAL
(Vol XIX, Number 1, 2000)

Michael Levy

Bio (auto)

In 1998 Michael established Point of Life, Inc , as a vehicle to project his philosophy and spiritual understanding The website and the associated newsletter (Point Of Life Global Newsletter) are visited and read by thousands of people around the world every month Michael is a frequent speaker on radio, television and at seminars where he shares and discusses his views about the purpose of life, finding peace and enjoyment and leading a healthy, stress-free life In 2002 Michael was invited to become a member of the prestigious Templeton Speaker’s Bureau
Michael has recently established the Point of Life Foundation, a National Heritage Foundation dedicated to bridging the gap between science and religion and to bringing a clear, unbiased message to the general public to help them lead a meaningful, sharing and enjoyable existence Starting in 2003 the Point of Life Foundation will present seminars and conferences bringing together opinion leaders from the fields of science, religion, medicine, philosophy and nutrition to help find common guidelines for leading a purposeful life
Michael Levy is the author four books “What is the Point? ISBN 0966806905”, “Minds of Blue Souls of Gold”ISBN 0966806913 , “Enjoy Yourself-It’s Later Than You Think”ISBN “0966806921 and “Invest with a Genius”ISBN “0966806948 His poetry and essays now grace many web sites, Journals and Magazines throughout the world
Web Sites : and

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Levy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


As the beautiful lady left the room
escorted by two jack boot Nazi’s
an aroma of extinction marched in
there was no more music
she had just finished composing
a masterpiece Ironic .she called it ‘Eclipse’
she never did come out of the camp
now; the gorgeous form has gone
it is fifty-five years since she disappeared
they are playing her composition tonight
in the illustrious concert hall
nobody there has ever met her
Ah! But; the remembrance will always live on!

Scott Malby

Bio (auto)

Scott Malby lives along the central Oregon coast just outside of Coos Bay A thought provoking interview can be found with him at the Tin Lustre Mobile site.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Scott Malby and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What Remembrance is this?

“Traveler, beware: keep
a curious eye on the glooms of the highway,
the mysterious crowding the walls “

.Pablo Neruda

a Traveler,
what remembrance
Is this?
The hurried warning The trains, the smoke,
The whips

Who are these brides
dressed in numberless
yards of mourning Where are the grooms
with their grinning skulls
dancing a puppet’s dance Rising out of ash

And what of history
with its gaunt smile
like an orphan
waking from its bed
of euphemisms,
crawling forward
at the knees, spilling
cups of blood
that out of love
and the sins
of our fathers we
might in remembrance

There’s no use hiding it,
man is a drawer of water A hewer of wood He builds
concentration camps
and drowns babies When his Gods perish
and he forgets his past,
the world turns inside out
like a transforming negative;
black where it should be
light where
man becomes a wasp
filling his belly
with venom before
he strikes

b Swallowing the pain
of existence;
of promises and desires
we are bound to walk
barefoot over broken glass
through this valley
of numbered days,
the grief of remembrance
branding our flesh

Know that the battle
waged in each of us
is for all of us and like
a Tibetan prayer
song or Mandela of satin
and bone
our passage
is a trail of blood
giving back to the gloom
its dues

c History breathe deep Be encompassing Speak of the terrible
terrors we would escape
as we sleep;
that in our running
away we don’t run toward
what in ourselves
we fear the most

Heave with the sweat
of the personal
that we may wrestle
that metaphysical bull
in ourselves
to the ground
and like a fallen angel
choking with dust,
dragged to our knees
suck up the honesty
of our own grieving
juices purloined
from its throat

In speaking
for yourself speak
for us all
at the moment of
our seduction
into that labyrinth,
that gloom of highway,
of good and bad,
of past, future,
and present tense,
toward the unknowable
we are bound
there to confront
the glowing red eye
of the bull, the violence
in ourselves Our own destruction.


Kelly A Malone

Bio (auto)

I am the mother of three active boys I also have a wonderful husband and a full time job as a Project Analyst in a Cancer Research Department in the health care industry I was born in Southern California in May of 1963 I still live here and I still love it I have been writing since I was around twelve years old My primary poetic influences are Ogden Nash, Edna St Vincent Millay and Dorothy Parker Some of my published credits include York University’s School of Women’s Studies Journal, Cappers Magazine, The Rearview Quarterly, The Penwood Review, The Wesleyan Advocate Magazine, Free-Verse Magazine, The Street Corner magazine, Promise Magazine, Poems, Pulsar Ligden Poetry Society and The New American Review, Albany University’s Press “Offcourse”, Temple University’s Press “Schuylkill”, and Duke University’s “Voices Journal”, to name a few I have written a book of poems that I hope to have published one day as well as a children’s novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kelly A Malone and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz Child

Gentle child, receive this cloak
Wrap warmth around your fear
Look past the sorrow, through the smoke
Until again it’s clear

Look past the horror that you feel
For I’ll retrieve your light
Release the heartache you conceal
Release it to the night

Your sullen eyes hold so much pain
Your hands are stained with grief
I’ll gladly free you from the chain
And offer you relief

This child who is in despair
This child left to die
A life that no adult should bear
A soul for which we cry

Ascend my precious, past the stars
Where comfort waits above
Relinquish life’s oppressive scars
Replace them with my love

Unite again with simple dreams
Let mother brush your hair
Gone, the anguish and the screams
Replaced, the love and care

No more outcries in the night
Or sudden, shrill alarms
Cherished peace in gleaming white
Has wrapped you in its arms

I’ll place you by your fathers’ side
Your siblings gather round’
Again you have a sense of pride
Your family safe and sound

Karen Mandell

Bio (auto)

I’ve been published in a variety of literary magazines and taught writing at the college level in Minnesota and Massachusetts My father was on the last boat out of Danzig, Poland in late August, 1939, and none of his family survived.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Karen Mandell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


They rang the bell when I was at the counter,
one hand grasping the knobbly neck of a summer squash,
the other wielding the knife I was intent on vegetable
decapitation, first the squash and then the potato heads Given a reprieve, they waited while I opened the door
to the young couple I barely noticed the girl, scraped back
hair twisted into a pony tail, round face, but the boy,
the boy in wire glasses gripping a clipboard
wrapped his words around my neck and pulled me
into a world where polar bears, mothers and cubs, awaited
certain death from arctic drilling, where forests would be clear cut,
where roads would extend across national parks like razors slicing through skin Who hadn’t heard all of this before?
You agree with our policies, don&Mac226;t you, he asked
as I reached for my checkbook, and when I said yes
I thought he would throw his arms around my neck
and take me with him and the girl, three resistance fighters
hiding in the woods, using sloughed off birch bark as bowls
for wild raspberries foraged at daybreak, raiding barns before dawn
for pilfered eggs, commandeering trains carrying munitions to the front,
and, when the mission failed, jumping from the train The boy died,
pulled by unyielding forces It wasn’t this boy who died but another,
another boy with wire glasses, my father calling out to him
fifty years later when he too would be pulled, commandeered
by forces he was past fighting.

Daniel McGinn

Bio (auto)

Daniel McGinn who lives in Whittier California, has been a part of the OC/LA/909 poetry scene since 1995 He has co-hosted a weekly reading series, was a member of the 1996 Los Angeles National Slam team, and has been a regular contributor to the OC Weekly and Next Magazine He recently celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary to poet Lori McGinn and the birth of their first grandchild, Emma Grace Saunders.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Daniel McGinn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dreaming of Warsaw

night breaks down into a murder of crows
you talk in your sleep with a polish accent
dark fruit drops from the shadow trees
you ask me for tea with two lumps please

you talk in your sleep with a polish accent
you fidget in sleep with each siren’s pass
you ask me for tea with two lumps please
your breathing is marching like boots in a village

you fidget in sleep with each siren’s pass
dreams rip to shreds like claws on black paper
your breathing is marching like boots in a village
black dogs held back by black leather leashes

dreams rip to shreds like claws on black paper
multiply stench by the shaking of trains
black dogs held back by black leather leashes
walk the banks of the hungry human river

multiply stench by the shaking of trains
explode the hinges and my dream slaps the floor
walk the banks of the hungry human river
naked in my kitchen as they search for children

explode the hinges and my dream slaps the floor
dark fruit drops from the shadow trees
naked in my kitchen as they search for children
my night breaks down into a murder of crows

Stephen Mead

Bio (auto)

Stephen Mead lives in Albany, New York Visit him on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


This chiascuro is only
smoke against glass,
is that flat cloud
pressed to this skylight
or, no, that cloud is fat,
& I, the thin one
pressed, a franc
in a book, the diary
of an attic
yet breathing jet streams
which have nothing to do with
ack ack beyond black outs,
no, nothing to do with this
mole life at the top
of some suburban
underground house,
subversive because
it’s safe enough just
to let shadows imagine light

shafts .past .cracks

Neil Meili

Bio (auto)

Neil Meili lives in Canada, Texas.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Neil Meili and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Child of the survivors

for Iudita

Artists without hands
hold the brush with their feet

Without hands or feet
hold the brush in their teeth

As for me and my friend
we are reduced to navels

And small circles
in the center of
the canvas

Mick Moss

Bio (auto)

Mick Moss lives in Liverpool, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Mick Moss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


It’s not so much the sights
or sounds
I remember
but the smell

adding insult to atrocity
the guards said
it smelled like
roasting pork

I wouldn’t know
to me it smelled like
not fire and brimstone
but the clinging
sickly sweet
of the end of

Leslie Maryann Neal

Bio (auto)

Leslie Maryann Neal lives in Los Angeles where even breathing can be considered performance art.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Leslie Maryann Neal and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

For Anne Frank

I see your sunken face,
eyes deep as wells
but there is no water They are not blue
You at Auschwitz,
crying for the gypsy girls
riding the potholed road
to the crematory Your mother died in the dark
you left behind
when they took you
on the train,
still glowing with hope
You at Belsen
through the winter,
living on air and sand
and your own stubbornness,
long enough to see
one week more of spring
than your sister,
not long enough to see
your sixteenth birthday
In those twenty-five
months on Prinsengracht,
kissing Peter Van Daan
in the moonlight
through the attic window,
his hands in your hair,
did you know theyíd shave
off those pretty curls?

Laurence Overmire

Bio (auto)

Laurence Overmire is an actor/director/writer who has worked on stage, film and television His poetry has been widely published in the U.S and abroad, including “American Muse,” “Kimera,” “Main Street Rag Poetry Journal,” “Red Coral,” “Lynx: Poetry from Bath,” “Samsara Quarterly,” “Jack Magazine,” “Stirring,” “Free Zone Quarterly,” “Pogonip,” “Kookamonga Square” and many others.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Laurence Overmire and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lest We Forget

The movie was about Jews
In some prison camp or something

A long time ago, who knows
And most of them died but this

One survived and that was about it We left as soon as it was over

And went out and got pizza.

Ben Passikoff

Bio (auto)

Ben Passikoff lives in Flushing, New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ben Passikoff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Divide By Zero

Warming old distance
like serious sun, my intense
Celsius caresses decay –

my inner oleander
odoring colon, liver, bronchi,
bongo-beating blood
Among the stars is relevance Here on our only spin
we rhyme our skins awhile,

and sullen snow creams
earth We join
the white majoriy of skeletons
Night stalks me, spreadpaws
pacing cage,
belly hanging, animal
Copious God, your
inventory colors,
balanced by priestly

accountants, murderhanded
initialing the ovens
where Jewbodies bubbled –

between destructions –
your tears fall in water
Again, your nailing eyes
pierce me to last wood,

Norman S Pollack

Bio (auto)

I was born on January 1, 1942 and grew up in New Jersey South Florida has been my home since 1977 I was a high school English in a suburban community in New Jersey (11 years) I have also owned three bookstores,  served as an Executive Director for non-profit organizations for seventeen years and now currently own a software company I am also the co-owner of the poetry writing website, Poem Train.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Norman S Pollack and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Triptych: From the Mountains

(1) From the mountains to a hurricane

From the Pacific mountains
they set them down,
those lofty pines With deliberate chainsaws, 
they shattered the silent nights
while ears could still hear
the buildings rising
The armies marched apace While broken splintered pillars
were loaded like slain ghetto victims,
on to cross country wheels They were less majestic, 
lying prone,
not moved by winds
off distant shores
The flatbed hearses
all in a row,
conveyed their cargo ====
a caravan of progress
down the highway
All milling about,
some stood for hours
for the hurricane to arrive

(2) From the mountains-to a cemetery

From the Tatra mountains of Poland, 
the wind saw them cut down Those lofty pines were
Once supple, and strong
Now like shattered glass, 
the silent nights
can only hear the saplings’ sighs

The armies marched apace
while splintered branches, 
and brittle, mangled twigs, 
were piled onto pushcarts
The cargo loaded, 
=== lying prone ===
unmoved by prayers;
they never heard from
those who were not there

Boxcar hearses
on cross country wheels, 
those caravans of progress
hauled half-dead timber
down groaning tracks
In the shadow of Gerlach, *
those once majestic pines, 
are now a graveyard’s raw material
Milling about, 
they stand for hours
in line for selection, 
soon to be sawdust

* the name of the highest peak of the
Tatra Mountains

(3) From the mountains-to a mountain

From the oldest mountains, 
he was told to cut down
those ancient trees
made strong by prescribed flames Lightning shattered
the silent nights, 
and the water drowned
the saplings’ sighs
They had marched apace, 
two by two, 
to save the world from itself, 
loaded like victims, 
the would-be survivors
The cargo secured, 
they were unable to move
until the storm began;
There was a clap of thunder,
then came the fear of dying
for those who were part
of an unnatural selection,
a floating caravan of One
Time’s shadow passed over
the devastation,  until finally,
two left the graveyard One returned with the branch
of hope

Atop a Turkish mountain, 
millennia away
from the peaceful mountains, 
from the Tatra mountains, 
and further still
from the forest’s necessary surface fires, 
some began to plant
the seeds again.

Vera Rich

Bio (auto)

Vera Rich lives wherever at the moment she hangs her handbag but has a home-base in London She has been a professional writer since the age of 15; and a full-time (and selfsupporting) writer and literary translator since leaving university in 1961 Apart from her own poetry and translations from Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Spanish and Icelandic, her published work includes a monograph ‘The Image of the Jew in Belarusian Literature-the Post-Stalin period’ (KTAV, New York, 1984) In 1997 she was awarded the Ivan Franko prize for services to Ukrainian literature She is founder and editor of MANIFOLD-magazine of new poetry and founder of the ‘Manifold Voices’ live poetry troupe.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Vera Rich and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Monument-Rehovot

At first the mind leaps at the balanced scrolls,
Thinking: ‘How is it managed, where the mid-line,
The counter-weight, the pivot, holding skew
These twenty tonnes of solid metal?’
Comes fascination of the well-wrought image:
The heart torn from the Torah, tattooed numbers
And the fountain of everlasting tears; it seems
Almost too skillful, as if intellect
Not grief inspired it Later, only later,
Soul is aware of pain that dare not know
Itself for what it is, seeking relief
In a plethora of interwoven symbols -And seeking vainly .


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 She has been featured at poetry venues throughout the Los Angeles area She is currently a member of WomanSong, a troupe of women poets who speak out against abuse and for the celebration of life

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ryfkah and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ashes to Ashes

Ashes slough off as water drips from nozzle
Fire devours hill after hill Panicked horses shriek
Coyotes wail in the moonless night
Sparks spew on rooftop Garden hose plays god

Our dog Phoenix ran when the sky moltened
He hightailed through the cypress grove
down the canyon away from the blaze
A cougar’s ruby eyes flicker in the dust

The Magic Flute sings in the living room
Bird people float through smoky yellow
Bull horn announcements repeat
.Evacuate .Evacuate Now

Grandpa Leibowitz built this house himself
his family perished in holocaust flames
so we take these trickling hoses
sprinkle our home for redemption

Gabriella Salas

Bio (auto)

Gabriella Salas lives in Texas She is the board owner of a community of artists and writers with diverse, eclectic and beat style called Literary with a Kick! Poetic Haven Her works have been published at MiPo, Salty Dreams, Locust Magazine, Poetic Reflections, Skyline Publications and Adagio Verse Quarterly
She is the Producer and Sr Editor for two ezines: 2Avant Quarterly and DaNaHo Muse (multicultural art & poetry underground review).

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Gabriella Salas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hush Sweet Anne

Walking toward the stars
lighting a frail-boned path,
art spills agony stones
lined collectively for freedom
as a nation remembers
A high price paid for prejudicial
hatred torn into yellow sand Mourning tears and fears
of Jewish children echoing
across the shore
waving innocent flags
of their unconditional acceptance
Hitler and the Gestapo crows
with swastikas engraved
in historical sorrow, uplifts
a collective pain marked
by a generation tattooed
like the numbers they were assigned
Wind blows an uncommon sound,
piercing bites of terror ridden into humanity Huddled in mass unmarked graves
stockpiled onto the next
era to grieve
Wailing sounds upon a photographic
wall of agony,
it blows against my face Wiping countless moisture
from my eyes shed
in pensive reflection
as the images
retell their plight
All I can do is listen to skeletons
that walked, talked and breathed
infusions of their past
that held out in determination
against Adolf, Goebbel and Dachau
Rattling in the concentration breeze
it freeze frames Auschwitz’s painful tale
into the museum exhibit,
where life blood
of the next generations
must remember, learn and overcome.

Jeff Schweers

Bio (auto)

My name is Jeff Schweers, I was born on Long Island, NY, but have lived in Florida most of my adult life I currently ive in Bradenton, Florida (south of Tampa on the Gulf) and I’m a newspaper editor I’ve been writing poetry since high school.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jeff Schweers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

To the remembered:

We passed through fire on our way to heaven
Burned off the impurities that weigh down our souls:
Gold fillings, eyeglass frames and bone
All that remains of our mortal remains
Scattered in the dust
Sift it through your fingers
But never find a trace of who we were
Not there, not ever, not again.

Diane Siegel

Bio (auto)

Diane Siegel lives in Northridge, CA Poetry is two years new as a serious pursuit She has been published in the San Gabriel Valley Review of Poetry, Dufus, the online journal, and on the Poetry Super Highway as a poet of the week in the 9-11 commemoration in September of 2002 She is looking forward to the upcoming publication of Bold Ink, the second anthology of the teen girls and their mentors of the Los Angeles organization WriteGirl Diane says visit their website and send them your support.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Diane Siegel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Think I Will Watch the Holocaust on TV

In respect of the dead there will be no commercials
No sales pitches for cat food or deodorant
In respect for the dead there will be no interruptions
Just this night
Just this premiere evening
We will forsake commerce for tears

You can watch her falling deeper
falling deeper into darkness and hate
You can sit there on your couch
and cry for her in this latest version
Cry for Anne, this time standing
behind barbed wire on the movie set
made just for your viewing

It is what happened we are telling you
The final chapter of mud
The part of the shrinking
The part of the sleeping, the dying
This is the version for our time

What we notice bears witness to our time
Hate those crass ads, hate them really
But when we watched in the sixties
did we notice the theme music for breaks
the blaring alarm calling owners to feed their cats
this brand
Did we notice or just welcome the break point
The five minutes when we didn’t have to cry
Didn’t have to worry about the footsteps in the apartment
above the shop
Didn’t have to worry about treachery and betrayal

Not for the five minute commercial
that was when we ate
went to the bathroom,
lived outside the ghetto
the camp
the trains

Maybe life is like a commercial
A break in years between dying
between hatred and killing
A break to do business
Before killing
Before lining up the victims

Can’t keep it up all the time
Thank God for commercials
I can’t take watching her die one more time

If you look at it all together
Edit it into one reel
Pick them for impact and variety
Even let the Twilight Zone
pull the escaped Nazi into a painting
Eternal suffering on an oil paint cross
If you take out the commercials
You will be standing next to the
cupboard at two AM
Crying until you wish your mother
dead and gone would hold
you until the sobbing stopped
A break,
a break
a noncommercial break
To breathe again

Anne Silver

Bio (auto)

Anne Silver is the author of “Bare Root” Terrapin Press, 2002.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Anne Silver and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Look! A penny!
Walking home in the smog-smudged sunshine
on the first of many crappy days in my new school,
walking with Joanne Sonnhalter, my new friend next door
who liked me even though I had a Detroit doo-whop do
and she had a straight blond curtain of hair “Look! A penny!, as if she didn’t hear me the first time I squatted, had my fingertip on Lincoln’s face
when she yelled
Don’t touch that You’ll be a Jew The eggshell air shattered, the white chips rained,
my spirit-dust on the ground My grandmother told me
Polish kids had beat her
when she was my age and
because half of my family
had been fuel in Germany’s campaign
to rid the world of us just eighteen years before,
I felt my luck was suddenly as worthless
as that penny
and left it on the asphalt
as I would so many other pennies
that would be hurled at me in Arcadia, California
The only thing I said on that long walk home was
I already am a Jew, Joanne And she said I was just looking out for you.

Julia Stein

Bio (auto)

Julia Stein has recently published two books of poetry, Walker Woman and Shulamith Both are published by West End Press and distributed by University of New Mexico Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Julia Stein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dark Girl

Ashen haired
dark Jewish girl
mother of the starving ghetto
the burning ghetto
our lady of the bunkers
with her grenade
black hair huge dark eyes
too dark to have passed
outside the ghetto
leading her children through the sewers
to the dark forest

the dark ghetto girl
the last round-up
in the Warsaw ghetto resistance
beret on her head
herded to the death trains
squeezed in a car with eighty others
she pried loose a plank
jumped off the train
ran into the blackness of the woods

how dark
so dark she blends into the night
blends into the forest with the partisans
look for her
with her gun and her grenade
in the darkness of the forest
the starless black sky
you’ll never find her
she still lives.

T.L. Stokes

Bio (auto)

T.L Stokes lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with an English Mastiff named Bogart Previously, her work has appeared in print and online literary journals, some of which include: Ancient Wind Press, the 2River View, Stirring, Ludlow Press, Little Brown Poetry, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, etc Currently at Pierian Springs Upcoming in Comrades Press Print Journal, UK, the Gin Bender Review, and Compassionately Stoneground Books, NY Recently she joined the staff at Little Brown Poetry as one of their poetry editors.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by T.L Stokes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

after we left the ghetto

April 19-May 16, 1943

We forgot it was spring
somewhere in the world,

so busy were we counting minutes,
our steps We tasted each spoon of food
until it was gone
We listened for wings at the door,
boots on the cold street,

my heart was steel
I held my children
breathing in the scent of their
little bodies
My own body was that of a warrior
suddenly, I ran errands
under guns, dropped
pieces of paper,

and always, always
time was like bats against our ears
I could see death
in multiplying shadows,

rising taller, black
was its throat,

slit and bleeding
Sometimes death was a maiden,
stroking the lucky ones
who passed quickly,

without closing their eyes
Hush, hush my children
we will all go together,
our home is gone
swallowed by cloud,

and silence covers
all the rest
We are in a strange place now
Come closer while we stand on the ramp Trains are leaving, they’ve taken
the luggage
Hold tight Here, be quiet!
I slip my heart into your hands,
put it under your Star of David,

shhh don’t tell anyone,
there now, go,

go with the man.

Mike Subritzky

Bio (auto)

Background: Born in Kati Kati, New Zealand, from an old Polish noble family (enobled Poland 1495) Education Saint Joseph’s Convent Waihi, Waihi College Retired professional soldier Captain Served in the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Artillery, Royal New Zealand Air Force, US Navy-Task Force 43 Antarctica, Polish (Independent) Reserve Brigade 13 Tours of Duty, including peacekeeping Operation Agila (Rhodesian war) New Zealand war poet Numerous published papers, documents, articles and poems in a wide variety of media; a dozen books on a variety of subjects and, The Subritzky Legend (Heritage Press, 1990)-Official New Zealand Sesqui Centennial Project, The Vietnam Scrapbook “The Second ANZAC Adventure” (Three Feathers, 1995), History of the Polish Government (in exile) 1939-1990 (Three Feathers, 1996) Nominated for New Zealand Book of the Year Awards 1996; named Book of the Quarter by Texas State University April-June 1998; honoured by the NZ ex-Vietnam Services Association by having a copy of his book The Vietnam Scrapbook “The Second ANZAC Adventure” laid at the Vietnam War Memorial “Wall” in Washington D.C during the 1997 pilgrimage; awarded the American Vietnam Veterans (honorary) Distinguished Service Medal 1997, citation “for his contribution to all veterans of the Asian conflict and immortalising the Vietnam Veterans of New Zealand for all time” US Congressional Cold War Citation 2000 Numerous poetry awards “The Flak Jacket Collection”, an anthology of personal war poems 2001 Assisted with with the official New Zealand Millennium Television Series “Our People-Our Century” TVNZ, 2000 Most recently was selected to have his work published in the Australian war poetry anthology “The Happy Warrior” President IWVPA 20001
Subritzky has written some of the most important New Zealand war poetry of the 20th and 21st century, and is one of the best known New Zealand poets on the international scene

He is regarded as ‘The Kiwi Kipling’

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Mike Subritzky and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Welcome to Auschwitz

“Welcome to Auschwitz ” The survivor said A paradox really, he’s a Christian and his name is Stanislaus
I step down from the bus and blink into the kaleidoscope
of a dappled morning sunlight Nothing has changed!
It is all still there! Just like the photographs taken by the Home Army
No bodies, but the awful presence of death,
enormous death, 10 kilometres of death…
Auschwitz 1-A Slave Labour Camp…
Auschwitz 2-A Death Camp…
Auschwitz 3-A Chemical/Munitions Factory…
Death envelopes me, engulfs me, enters my body
through my eyes, mouth and ears,
whilst in the hedge-grove a song bird warbles…
Perhaps a blackbird or maybe a thrush
I am afraid and the hyper-vigilance of the soldier returns…
I want my rifle, bayonet and combat gear “Jesus protect me ” I whisper

I stand beside Ada Steiner-Auschwitz No 67082,
she is from Haifa and the blue wound on her forearm
is clearly visible…For her this is no visit,
she is returning to the nightmares of her childhood Stanislaus also bears the blue wound,
they nod and greet each other…children who survived One a Jew and one a Christian
“My dear Comrades!
I could not eliminate all lice
And Jews in one year. 
But in the course of time,
And if you help me,
This end will be attained “

So said Hans Frank,
Nazi Governor General of Poland Auschwitz, 10 kilometres of death…
A true monument to German Efficiency!

The gravel crunches beneath my feet
as we walk between the electric wires
and enter the gate, the sign reads
“Work Will Set You Free”
…Another bloody paradox
And all the while Stanislaus calls the numbers
eighty thousand Russians starved here Thirty thousand Poles; gassed mostly Two hundred and fifty thousand gypsies many thousands of political prisoners, mainly German
and 2.5 million Jews…
“Zyklon B” at its very best
January 27, 1945, and Liberation 7000 starving inmates remain, 
836,525 items of women’s clothing, 
348,820 items of men’s clothing, 
43,525 pairs of shoes, 460 artificial limbs, 
7 tons of human hair .and so he continues
I see the mountain of children’s shoes,
and leave the warehouse as the tears begin to flow

In the sunlight once more, I walk down the avenue
past the work-party gallows, towards the gas chamber
and the sole, remaining crematoria I hear the sound of gravel (and bone fragments) crunching underfoot,
and the warble of the songbirds nesting in the hedge-grove I will wash away the taste of death tonight
with a bottle of good Zubrowka vodka, and sing…
But I shall never forget this day, 
or this place, or the murder that happened here NEVER!

Jan Theuninck

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck was born (54.O6.O7) in Zonnebeke (Belgium) where he still lives Also known under the pen name of ORC, a few of his poems became famous e.g “Stalag Zehn B”,”Papirac”,”Yperite”, “Tyne Cot” and “Shoa”, which is an early warning against an ideological hate Native speaker in Dutch, he writes in French, sometimes in English or German His work has been translated in many languages and is given in courses at different universities Jan Theuninck is also an abstract minimalist.  Known works are : “Beyond the limit”, Fagospatose, Homo multiculturalis T , Pantospherose, “3B”, etc .

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stalag Zehn B

the feldwebel became a general
the campdoctor , a professor
and we the jews-it&Mac226;s banal
we stayed jewish-no error .

Paula Villegas

Bio (auto)

Paula Villegas lives in Santa Monica, California She has worked in the mental health and addiction field for 25 years.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Paula Villegas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The lies
They told
We believed
We were fooled
Killed us

We blamed
For so long
For not knowing
The tricks
The traps
The brain
Our minds
Against us
Stripping us
They wanted
We held
Most sacred

We kept
It close
His it
To the end
We died
They died
We rest
In peace
And our children
And their children
And all future

Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga (mv) is a cyber-poet residing in Birmingham, Alabama His poems have appeared on-line & in print.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


No water drips
from a shower head

leaking gas
No birds
are heard around

a cleansing camp

or from the tower
as the clock concentrates

like the wolf’s eyes narrow
After the rain
pellets the brush,
the birds pick up
where they left off.

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