For Pavel and Six Million

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

Photo by Pixabay on

For Pavel and Six Million

He saw the last, one butterfly,
a flutter of gold, gone
like hope. Here it died, and blue sky
was a tale—once upon,
the end.

Yet still, his soul demanded write–
witness, record despair,
the whys
and soul-sighs, but also brief light
a flash in ash-filled air–

For dVerse, a very difficult form called the memento. You can read about it here. Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I felt I needed to mark it, especially now as authoritarian regimes are rising–and there are people in the US government who support them. There is a famous poem “The Butterfly” written by Pavel Friedman in Terezin. He was a young man born in Prague, January 7, 1921, and murdered in Auschwitz on September 29, 1944.

All my grandparents immigrated to the US from Belarus and Ukraine before WWI…

View original post 26 more words

Mark #HolocaustMemorialDay This day I will feature your draft or published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks. Please include a short third person bio.

It is inspired by a painting. Aschenblume [1983-97] is a painting by the artist Anselm Kiefer.

A Stolperstein, literally meaning “stumbling stone” in German is a concrete cube bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi persecution. The stones are placed at the place where the person lived and to date, they have been laid in 22 countries.

Both poems by Jackie Gorman


Porajmos is the Roma word for holocaust and its meaning is The Devouring.

by Frances Reilly

barely breathing
the sound of his boots
over her hiding place

huge pile of shoes . . .
their last steps
in Auschwitz-Birkenau

entering the showers . . .
leaving through the chimneys

by Kimberly Kuchar

Bios and Links

Jackie Gorman’s

debut collection “The Wounded Stork” was published in 2019 by the Onslaught Press and was described by Martin Dyar as “an engrossing and ecologically attuned debut.


Kimberly Kuchar

In 2022, Kimberly Kuchar jumped deeper into short-form poetry and waded into collaborative poetry and haibun. Her work has appeared in multiple journals, including Prune Juice Journal, Wales Haiku Journal, Poetry Pea Journal, and Suspect Device. Kimberly lives near Austin with her husband, son, and pet cockatiel.

Twitter handle: @BlueIris5432

Frances Roberts Reilly

has an international profile as a Romani poet and writer. True to the spirit of the Romani diaspora her poems have been published internationally in well regarded anthologies in Canada, U.S., U.K., Wales, Hungary and Germany. She was born on the Welsh border and grew up in England. She’s of mixed-heritage Welsh Gypsy-English, a direct descendant of Abram Wood, the notable family of musicians and storytellers. After making award-winning documentaries on human rights, she earned an Honours degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto.

Her book is Parramisha: A Romani Poetry Collection is published by Cinnamon Press in Wales (2020).

“Created Responses To This Day” Louise Longson responds to Day 295 of my This Day images. I would love to feature your responses too.

How rich it is

How each grain is ground
to finest silt and soil,
compact, sufficient in itself,
locked into a mass.

How we fight for it, die,
live, clothe and feed,
sleep in its eternal waking.

How it moves, the earth
beneath stars, skies, feet,
blades of iron and grass,
heaving with expectancy.

Louise Longson

Bios and Links

Louise Longson

Since starting writing poetry ‘properly’ in 2020, she has been widely published both in print and online. She is the author of the chapbooks Hanging Fire (Dreich Publications, 2021) and Songs from the Witch Bottle (Alien Buddha Press, 2022).  She works from her home in a small rural village on the fringes of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire offering a listening service to people whose physical and emotional distress is caused by loneliness and historic trauma. Her poems are inspired by bringing together her personal and work experiences, often seen through the twin prisms of myth and nature.

Twitter @LouisePoetical

Special Launch Feature – Helen Laycock

Patricia M Osborne

Please join me in congratulating poet, Helen Laycock, on the launch of her brand new poetry collection, Rapture. Helen shares snippets from her collection.


A flirtation with love between the covers

Helen Laycock

Love has long been a subject for poets. In fact, the oldest love poem is said to be The Love Song for Shu-Sin, written in 2000 BC for use in the sacred rites of fertility.

I never really thought of myself as a writer of love poetry, but, bit by bit, inspired by pictures, prompts and evocative places, I began to gather it, like stray flowers, until I had something that resembled a bouquet, and that became the collection ‘RAPTURE’, which is still smouldering off the press!

Love is a powerful emotion, and one most of us will have experienced in some way. Even the degree of grief suffered by a bereaved partner correlates…

View original post 283 more words

Guest Feature – Damien Posterino

Patricia M Osborne

I’mdelighted to welcome, Melbourne born poet, Damien Posterino, to Patricia’s Pen. Damien is here to blog about his collection Show Me the way into Exile published by Alien Buddha Press. Without further ado, it’s over to Damien.

Show me the way into Exile

Damien Posterino

I would like to firstly express my gratitude to Patricia who recently invited me to be a guest poet on her blog. The blog reflects her passion for poetry and writing and it’s an honour to be a part of it.

My first collection of 40 poems Show Me the way into Exile was written over eighteen months from 2021/22, but on reflection it had been sitting inside me for years. The theme of exile has always been in my life and always captivated me.

I left Australia and moved to London from Melbourne twenty years ago. My mum often uses…

View original post 393 more words

#TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormsChallenge. It is weekly. Nineteen form is a Spanish form an #Endecha. I will post the challenge to create a first draft of a poetic form by the following late Sunday. Please email your first draft to me, including an updated short, third person bio and a short prose piece about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Except when I’m working at the supermarket I am always ready to help those that get stuck. I will blog my progress throughout the week. Hopefully it may help the stumped. Also below please find links to helpful websites.


The endecha is a 16th-century Spanish poetic form with the following guidelines:

Quatrain (or four-line) poem (or stanzas).Rhyme scheme: abcb
Seven syllables per line for lines one, two, and three.
Line four has 11 syllables.

In Edward Hirsch’s A Poet’s Glossary, he refers to the form above as an “endecha real” (or “royal lament”). In his guide, the endecha is a lament or dirge that has four lines of six- or seven-syllable lines.

Thankyou to Writet’s Digest for the summary above

Useful Links,one%2C%20two%2C%20and%20three.



Special Launch Feature – Suzi Bamblett

Patricia M Osborne

Please join me in congratulating my very dear friend, Suzi Bamblett, on today’s publication of her latest novel Prescient Spirit. Read what inspired Suzi to write this new book and find out how to order your copy.

Prescient Spirit

Suzi Bamblett

I’ve always loved a spooky story set in an old, gothic house – Rebecca, The Woman in White, Northanger Abbey, The Turn of the Screw. When I was a child, I lived for a few years in a haunted farmhouse. Perhaps this is why I relate so much to these fantastic classics.

The setting for Prescient Spirit was inspired by yoga lessons I attended in an old gothic house near Cross in Hand, Holy Cross Priory. The house was steeped in atmosphere and history, and I was fascinated by its many chimneys, towers and gargoyles. I couldn’t wait to set one of my own…

View original post 315 more words


Jane Dougherty Writes

This was the form Paul Brookes chose last week. The structure of the trimeric is simple, three of the four lines of the first stanza repeated in a cascade, heading each successive stanza. Trimeric poems tend to be short and imagist (as in my first poem), but there’s no reason why they can’t be denser (second poem). I enjoyed this form and will probably use it again.

January, early morning

Night is over,
light frozen at grey dawn,
a stopped clock,
its mechanism rusted.

Light frozen at grey dawn
hangs in mist wreaths
over frozen puddles,

a stopped clock
in a silent room, where
ash fills the hearth.

Its mechanism rusted,
this year grinds on,
drenched in fog.

Turn of the year

The world grinds on its hinges
with the rusty creak of rainswept trees,
black and dripping with winter,
and birds sing to ward against the cold.

With the…

View original post 45 more words