week's theme: The Holocause: the sequel.
for Issue #55 theme: The Holocaust, were just too voluminous to
include all the many good works, too important to waste. You poets
are totally awesome, and I thank each who submitted. I still don't
have the space to print all submissions. For possible poem placement
related to this theme, check out the "Nazi Hunter" website
in "Cool Web Sites section VI.
#59 - Ars Poetica: Poetry about Poetry
#60 - What are you doing New Year's Eve?
#61 - New Years Resolutions: Honey, I promise to change my lowdown
#62 - Cartwheel-Challenged Poets (All submissions eligible for
anthology: "Why I Wasn't A Dallas Cheerleader or It's Hard to
Write When Spinning")
now, on to the featured poetry.
The first poem is by Jeramiah Frick, of Houston. Jer's father was
among the American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald.
"Unspoken Dreams Recalled:
Fields of Buchenwald".
Papa Edward, the gentlist man
the tender age of five,
remember the first time.
horrific night screams
me from innocent slumber.
would comfort me and say,
Papa has had a bad dream,
are here for you, we will always be
young boy, I didn't really know much
my father, in his crisp military uniform.
knew he stayed at our side when the
& Whooping cough wracked my tissues.
knew he was fun when he took us
the yard and spun us around airplane style.
always provided the sense
he would be there for us.
when I became a man, and still heard
night screams & fearful muffled mutterings,
I understand Patton's Mission for him;
verify a Nazi's hidden atrocity...
His MASH unit was sent...
the horror of war enthralled
unspoken dreams recalled
had harvested the Fields of Buchenwald.
And from Alan Kaufman, of San Francisco - and PLEASE see Alan's
letter in the announcements section.
go like a stranger
discover why at night
lay alone as a child
for the front door
slam, my father gone
my mother, Marie, to enter,
to sleep, and tell me
pursued by those
as she spoke,
to enter the room,
men in leather coats
ordered me to pack
descend to a waiting truck,
I am still going to Auschwitz
a grown man in 1998
am still boarding the freight,
against numbed, frightened
and Gypsies and Russian
frontiers to be gassed
am her, in my heart,
I am six feet two
two hundred and ten pounds
have played college football
served as a soldier
have scars from fights
knives and jagged
smashed on bars
am still her, little girl,
in chicken coops
forests, asleep on dynamite
am still her, brushing teeth
the ruins of nations
am still her brown eyes
black hair of persecution
scraps of thistle soup,
to my shirt
am still my mother
day in the streets
New York or San Francisco,
chimney skies glow and swirl
soot like night above
crematorium, or the Bronx
chute where I
out trash in a brick
am still her in the streets
Berkeley, walking among
in stud leather, Blacks,
am still her rounded up
poets and thieves
the Mission and the Haight,
Village, the Lower
Side, or anywhere the weird
every day in this age
a mental ghetto
by the homeless,
pass the dying
the loud ring of my boots,
to think that perhaps
heels are the last thing
day I am a
of AIDS and poverty
day I sit in cafes
tattoos turn to numbers
I grow angry
want America back
want America to be
home I never had
you, who are you
you hear my voice?
are you, stranger
you read these words?
these times of darkness?
are we, condemned to die,
do not know ourselves
From Jerry Shepperd of Austin
SEEING PICTURES OF AUSCHWITZ
posts curve elegantly skyward,
to unspoken sounds of suffering.
need to pluck or strum these strings: The groan
unending time forces its tune from
of hollow, empty bodies.
walk among the buildings. Where are the
children, the sounds of play? No cries
pain, rage, frustration identify
as living, breathing humans.
are changed into something less,
invoking the final solution.
From Ian Reed of West Yorks, England
for Primo Levi
years and language separate me from history; his story.
had no words for the damage done to a whole people, only to
invented a new terminology in Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Belzek, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno, Majdanek, Buna and Dachau,
new way to chronicle the abomination of desolation,
darkness foretold in the scriptures and realised for successive
wonder at, to study in school, to say never again. Until the next
separation aside, his writing still has the capacity to move me, stay
bring me to a tear filled halt;
foreign sounding words, now so frighteningly familiar, cry out with
Kapo, Wstavac, Prominenz, Häftling, Selection, Shoa.
for concepts in cruelty,
in violent aberration,
in mass hysteria,
this survivor could only paint a word picture of.
terrible, gentle, cruel, reflected image of what men become
they cease to be men and become instead, numbers. Six figure