#HolocaustMemorialDay is today. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks. Please include a short third person bio.

Photo by Paul Brookes – A Holocaust Candle

Light a Candle Again

Light a candle–
six million, if you can,
resplendent glow,
for those who say they didn’t know,

for those who didn’t, do not see
what once was, what could be,
who overlooked the ash-filled air,
who still ignore the pleading cries
and do not hear the ghostly sighs
that float over the walls of hate,

light a candle
for those who suffered then—
and now

and when
the hate-filled cries ignite the night
don’t pretend you led a fight,

or that you were righteous and true,
or even had a clue

as you embrace soundbite and meme
to boost your fragile self-esteem,

but see? The ghost numbers grow everyday–
and they never go away.

-Merril D. Smith

Pest control

pest control
the hiss of gas
in reasonable words

-John Hawkhead (from Bones Journal No18, November 2019)

One Day

I look forward to seeing all my friends
We will play and sing songs
Our words will not need to be measured
Like steps to safety

One day, one day
My family said one day

I yearn to dance with my grandfather
But he’s gone away
I don’t know where to I’m starting
To forget little things

One day, one day
My mama says one day

Hiding in the walls with my aunt
My parents are both gone
A long holiday they said
Fear in their eyes as they spoke

One day, one day
We will come home, one day

Separate from everyone I lived
Like the rat they said I was
Everyone is gone and still
I tell myself the same thing daily

One day, one day
We can go home, one day.

We will burn the yellow stars
Sing songs for the ancestors
Eat and be joyful
Hold one another as I leave earth

One day, one day
When we are home, one day.

-©Ailsa Cawley 2022

Holocaust

It is understood
We are in danger of being burned again
This is harsh, for we were treated cruelly
And no one stood there for us
Though we had given birth to
Their children in our berths
And silence met our deaths
As their sirens screamed overhead
And we felt their thankless scorn
As they absolved themselves from guilt.

-Elizabeth Cusack

Small Boy Walking past Belsen Corpses

(from the war photographs of George Rodger)

They’re stretched on the verges,
ribs like the teeth of combs,
skull plates pushing through
the shrunken layers of skin.

So many. So many.

The boy is thinking of a game of marbles,
his pockets full of them.

Marbles.

Like so many glazed eyes.

-Gill McEvoy (She says: This poem is from my collection “Are You Listening?” (Hedgehog Poetry).)

Another Anne

Kirsten! I’ve caught the chicken,
come kill it. Bring the knife and bucket for the feathers.
She bustles like a duck across the yard,
crosses the very spot. It was so long ago,
such times, in November 1944.
We watched our guest-girl grow
pale inside the tiny room.
At eight, parents taken, her eyes the saddest brown.
If soldiers passed she hid behind the shower,
the one, my cousin said, “you never use”.
He never thought we were the type,
it made me smile. Safer that way.
A moonlight night and footsteps came.
I went to see: Van Kreusen, overfed,
squint-eyed, smiling. Tingles in my fngernails.
I shot him with my rabbit-gun,
to my surprise he bled. I buried him
right there, in the farmyard
the very spot.

-Dave Garbutt (He says: It was published in ’New Worlds’ The 1992 Berkshire Literature Festival Anthology collection.  ISBN 1851631976.

It is based around a true story told to me by a Dutch friend about his Uncle.)

Bios And Links

-Ailsa Cawley

has been writing stories, poems and verses since she was a child.
It’s not always what is considered poetry by some, as she isn’t a lover of sweet, schmaltzy rhymes!
She is currently writing her first novel. A psychological thriller with a paranormal element, and she hopes to bring out a poetry collection one day!
She lives on the Isle of Skye. While some of her poetry is written from personal experience, others are written from her slightly dark and twisted  imagination.

-John Hawkhead

is a writer and illustrator whose short-form poetry has been published all over the world and has won many competitions. His book of haiku and senryu ‘Small Shadows’ is available directly from him or Alba Publishing.

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom.

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

-Gill McEvoy.

Won the 2015 Michael Marks award for The First Telling (Happenstance Press). Collections from Cinnamon Press. Most recent collection “Are You Listening?”  is from Hedgehog Press. Hedgehog will publish a ‘Selected’ of my work in 2022.

-Elizabeth Cusack

is a performer and published poet.
She may be found tweeting as “Poetry on the Rocks” and reading poems at “Poetry on the Rocks for Lonely Hearts” on You Tube.

-Merril D. Smith

writes from southern New Jersey. Her poetry has been published recently in Black Bough Poetry, Sledgehammer, Dead Skunk, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others. She’s working on a collection of poetry.

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