ISSN 1551-8086
return to home search for a contributing writer

seach for poems by title

archive of previous issues submissions information mailing list online store links to other interesting sites contact us  
   poets list
   Francisco Dominguez & Aire Celeste Norell
   Marie Lecrivain & Angel Uriel Perales
   Sheikha A.
   Steve Abee
   L. Ward Abel
   Carl Abt
   Hannah Adcock
   Elizabeth Addis
   Aderemi Adegbite
   Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya
   Neil Aitken
   M.I Akande
   Shahd Al-Shemmari
   Lynn Albanese
   Alaina Renee Alexander
   Scott Alexander
   Gwyndyn Alexander
   Nicole Alexander
   Inalegwu Omapada Alifa
   Maureen Alsop
   Rafael Alvarado
   Steven Alvarez
   Veronica An
   Zack Anderson
   Kristine Anderson
   G.D. Anderson
   Amy Anderson
   Lori Anderson-Moseman
   Grace Andreacchi
   Renae Andruse
   Arlene Ang
   Roger Angle
   Stephen Anstay
   Azure Antoinette
   Theresa Antonia
   Aurora Antonovic
   Maria A Arana
   Carlye Archibeque
   Joseph Armstead
   Feral Artist
   Baron James Ashanti
   Charlene M. Ashendorf
    Askew
   Gregory Austin
   Shawn Aveningo
   maeghanne ayers
   Goodness Lanre Ayoola
   John-Patrick Ayson
   Jim Babwe
   Sophie Bachard
   Vasile Baghiu
   Bridget Bagne
   song-hue bahk
   Michael Baker
   Prerna Bakshi
   Anna Balint
   David Banuelos
   Jared Barbick
   J. Mae Barizo
   Peter Barlow
   Matthew A. Barraza
   James Barros
   Jeni Bate
   Jonathan Beale
   Richard Beban
   Gary Beck
   Gary Beck
   Lytton Bell
   Hakim Bellamy
   Michele Beller
   Laura Bellotti
   Stefanie Bennett
   Hayley Berariu
   Kevin Berger
   Lawrence Berger
   Mike Berger, Ph.D.
   Tom Berman
   luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal
   Craig Berry
   Nick Bertelson
    Besskepp
   Mary Rose Betten
   Cheryl Beychok
   Gwendolyn Beyer
   François Biajoux
   Jarvis Black
   Heitham Black
   Beau Blue
   Rose Mary Boehm
   Bonnie Bolling
   Julie Bolt
   Lek Borja
   Cristogianni Borsella
   Gerald Bosacker
   Amanda Boschetto
   Wendy Bourke
   Jack G. Bowman
   Jennifer Bradpiece
   Bob Bradshaw
   Marcielle Brandler
   Peter Branson
   Sumiko Braun
   Adam Bresson
   Quiana Briggs
   Jack Bristow
   paulo brito
   Alan Britt
   Michelle Brodeur
   Lynne Bronstein
   Charles Brooks
   Adam Levon Brown
   Leah Brown
   Deborah Edler Brown
   Jason Sanford Brown
   zoey brown
   Bob Browning
   Sir Mark Bruback
   MC Bruce
   Jeffrey Bryant
   Kate Buckley
   Robin M. Buehler
   Ron Burch
   Graham Burchell
   Maria Rose Burgio
   Betsy Burke
   Matt Burns
   Richard Burrill
   Tony Bush
   Zachary C. Bush
   Elissa Calvin
   Joseph Camhi
   Dana Campbell
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Velene Campbell
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Neil Campbell
   Luis Campos
   Janine Canan
   Lyn Cannaday
   Pasquale Capacosa
   Joey Capone
   Hélène Cardona
   Britton Laine Carducci
   D.J. Carlile
   Julia Carlson
   Alicia Carpenter
   Jonathan Carr
   Patricia Carragon
   Oscar Carrasco
   Jared Carter
   Michael Aaron Casares
   John Casey
   Lisa Castro
   Rachael Kelechi Caulker
   Nika Cavat
   Michael Caylo-Baradi
   Steve Ceniceros
   Michael Ceraolo
    Cerise
   Robert Cesaretti
   Cheryl Chambers
   Lita-Luise Chappell
   Shibani Chattopadhyay
   Lisa Cheby
   Beth Cheng
   Ralph-Michael Chiaia
   Juhi Chowdhury
   David Christensen
   Phil Clark
   Terry Clark
   Darice Clark
   Terry Clark
   Charles Claymore
   Jeanette Clough
   Kim Cochran
   Ed Coet
   Tobi Cogswell
   Megan Coker
   Bruce Colbert
   Merrill Cole
   Karen E. Cole
   Christopher Coleman
   Larry Colker
   Beverly M. Collins
   David Concepcion
   Christiane Conésa-Bostock
   Brendan Connell
   Alice Constantine
   Jack Cooper
   Flavia Cosma
   Rachel Coventry
   R. Paul Craig
   David Cravens
   William Crawford
   Natalie Crick
   Rosemarie Crisafi
   Carla Criscuolo
   Chris Crittenden
   Benjamin Crowley
   Susan Culver
   Joe Cyr
   Jim D Babwe
   Morgaine d'Abney
   Karen Corcoran Dabkowski
   Daniel Daian
    Dalton
   Catherine Daly
   Iris Dan
   Marie Lecrivain & Daniel Gallik
   Dan Danila
   Michelle Daugherty
   Piper Davenport
   Kathrine David
   Gareth Davies
   Holly Day
   Frank De Canio
   Gregory De Feo
   Steve De France
   J de Salvo
   J. de Salvo
   kumari de Silva
   Pijush Kanti Deb
   Shalla DeGuzman
   JD DeHart
   Diane Dehler
   Aurelius Demarco
   Darren C Demaree
   Gloria Derge
   Chris Derrico
   Lea Deschenes
   Maurice Devitt
   Theo Diamantis
   Mike Dias
   Martin Dickinson
   Edward J DiMaio
   Mark Dixon
   Peggy Dobreer
   Rosemarie Dombrowski
   Francisco J. Dominguez
   Linsly Donnelly
   Lisa Helene Donovan
   Kevin Doran
   Marvin Louis Dorsey
   John Dorsey
   Marvin Dorsey
   Laura A. Lionello & Douglas Richardson
   Doug Draime
   Donelle Dreese
   Dale Duke
   Jawanza Dumisani
   Henri Dumolet
   Max Dunbar
   t. joseph dunn
   Robin Wyatt Dunn
   Tyler Dupuis
    Durenda
   Walter Durk
   Douglas Dvorkin
   Ron Dvorkin
   Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
   Alfie Ebojo aka alfie numeric
   Elisabeth Adwin Edwards
   Sabrina Edwards
   Patricia J. Edwards
   Miguel Eichelberger
   John Elison
   Julian Ellis
   Neil Ellman
   K. Eltinaé
   R.M. Engelhardt
   Margarita Engle
   Jon Epstein
   Sufi Erter
   Eli Eshaghian
   Michael Estabrook
   Alexis Rhone Fancher
   Richard Fein
   John Feins
   Emily Fernandez
   Melissa Fischer
   W.S. Fisher
   Jamie Asae FitzGerald
   Amelia Fleetwood
   Jake Fleshner
   John Jay Flicker
   David Flynn
   Arthur Charles Ford
   Liz Fortini
   Sesshu Foster
   Heather Fowler
   Clint Frakes
   Sarah Francois
   Amélie Frank
   Alex M. Frankel
   Allie Frazier
   E.L. Freifeld
   M. Frias Frias-May
   Suzanne Frost
   Delia J. Fry
   Elliott Gabay
   Steven Gabriel
   Timothy Gager
   Daniel Gallik
   J Gamble
   Ishmael Garay
   Jerry Garcia
   Daniel Garcia-Black
   Vince Garofalo
   Gabriella Garofalo
   Yvonne Garrett
   Nelson Gary
   Donna Gebron
   Ulrike Gerbig
   Janice Gero
   Ursula T. Gibson
   Rebecca Gimblett
   Tony Gloeggler
   Steve Goldman
   Vesna Goldsworthy
   Melanie Gonzalez
   Jeffrey Graessley
   Allison Grayhurst
   Jeff Green
   Timothy Green
   Jeanie Greensfelder
   Rhoda Greenstone
   Amos Greig
   John Greiner
   John Grey
   Summer Griffiths
   Danielle Grilli
   Brian Grillo
   John Grochalski
   Wendy Grosskopf
   Andrew Grossman
   Ro Gunetilleke
   Kenneth Gurney
   John R. Guthrie
   Debashish Haar
   Erik Haber
   Hedy Habra
   Tresha Faye Haefner
   Matthias Hagedorn
   James Hall
   Tom Hamilton
   David Harrington
   William Harris
   Matt Harris
   Dawnell Harrison
   J. Alana Hauenschild
   Kari J. Hayes
   KJ Hays
   Ann L. Healey
   Eloise Klein Healy
   Jessica Healy
   Jim Heavily
   Dan Hedges
   Paul Hellweg
   Samantha Henderson
   Jack Henry
   David Herrle
   JD Heskin
   Kenneth Hickey
   Jerry Hicks
   Marvin R Hiemstra
   Ed Higgins
   Carlos Hiraldo
   Sherri Hoffman
   Guy Hogan
   Ali Hosseiny
   Dave Houston
   David Howard
   Eric Howard
   Nate Howard
   Bryon D. Howell
   A J Huffman
   Hunter Lee Hughes
   Roger Humes
   Trista Hurley-Waxali
   Elizabeth Iannaci
   Thea Iberall
   Armine Iknadossian
   Gedda Ilves
   Alegria Imperial
   Victor D. Infante
   Victor Infante
   Augustus Invictus
   Susan Irvine
   Alexandra Isacson
   Natalie Itzhaki
   Amber Jacob
   Scott Jacobson
   Larry Jaffe
   Sonika Jaggi
   Emmanuel Jakpa
   Matthew James
   Andrea Janov
   T.A. Jennings
   Ivan Jenson
   Dani Jimenez
   Alex Johnson
   Michael Lee Johnson
   Lois P. Jones
   Strider Marcus Jones
   Tao Jones
   Georgia Jones-Davis
   Jasmin Jordan
   Quentin Josephy
   Liu Jue
   Ruth Juris
   Gene Justice
   Gary Justice
   Pete Justus
   Mikel K
   Scott C. Kaestner
   Sheema Kalbasi
   Peycho Kanev
   Rachel Kann
   Jay Kantor
   Paula Sfier Kattan
   Russ Kazmierczak
   James Keane
   Gretchen Keer
   Aaron Keller
   Collin Kelley
   Kamuran Kelly
   Raud Kennedy
   Bernard Kennedy
   Kathleen Kenny
   Stephen Kerr
   Hari Bhajan Khalsa
   Just Kibbe
   Jerome Kiel
   lalo kikiriki
   Ashley King
   Robert S King
   Franklin Lafayette King
   Sofia Kioroglou
   Rusty Kjarvik
   Kenny Klein
   LeAnne Kline
   Deborah P Kolodji
   Tracy Koretsky
   Edith Kornfeld
   George Korolog
   Dimitris P. Kraniotis
   Mark Krewatch
   Chris Krueger
   Amanda Krut
   Thomas Krämer
   Gerard Kuc
   Christopher Kuhn
   Donna Kuhn
   Len Kuntz
   Craig Kurtz
   Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
   Daniel Lambert
   Anthony Langford
   Donald Langosy
   Ray Lanthier
   Phillip Larrea
   Phillip Larrea
   Kasandra Larsen
   Wolf Larsen
   Ethan Latham
   Lisa LaTourette
   Marie Lecrivain & Laura A. Lionello
   Marianne LaValle-Vincent
   Kevin Lavey
   Judith A. Lawrence
   Eric Lawson
   Richard Leach
   Marie Lecrivain
   Anne Lecrivain
   Noah Lederman
   Pete Lee
   Emma Lee
   Kevin Patrick Lee
   N.M. Leepsa
   Alexandra Leggat
   Laura LeHew
   Gary Lehmann
   Sharmagne Leland-St. John
   Kevin LeMaster
   Michal Lemberger
   Kim Leng
   Roland Lesterin
   Tiffany Lettieri
   P.A. Levy
   Martin Lewis
   Cheyenne Lewis
   Anthony Liccione
   Cynthia Linville
   Laura Lionello
   Zachary Locklin
   Jessica Lopez
   Harold Lorin
   Tess. Lotta
   B.D. Love
   Adam Lowis
   Ron Lucas
   Andrew Lundwall
   Rick Lupert
   Suzan Lustig
   Radomir Luza
   Stosh Machek
   John MacKenna
   Sarah Maclay
   Stefanie Maclin
    Magdalena
   Gary Maggio
   Holly Magill
   Anthony Magistrale
   Marieta Maglas
   Suvi Mahonen
   Donal Mahoney
   Robert Maiolo
   Kelly Ann Malone
   Michael Malota
   Shahé Mankerian
   Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
   Chris Mansell
   H.E. Mantel
   April-May March
   Rick Marlatt
   John Marshall
   Agnes Marton
   Francis Masat
   Anthony Mason
   Lee Mason
   Hyatt Mason
   Johnny Masuda
   Mira N. Mataric
   Ellyn Maybe
   Michelle Mazzetti
   Mary L. Mazzocco
   Ted Mc Carthy
   Austin McCarron
   Terry McCarty
   Paul McConnell
   Brendan McCormack
   Deborah McCreath-Akbar
   Catfish McDaris
   Bray McDonald
   Karen J McDonnell
   Matt McGee
   Allen McGill
   Afric McGlinchey
   Terance James McGunigle
   Cat Angelique McIntire
   David McIntire
   david mclean
   Isobel McQueen
   Fernando Meisenhaulter
    Mephistopheles
   Corey Mesler
   Melissa Michaels
    Mike the Poet
   Scott Miller
   Richard Lee Miller
   Robert John Miller
   Hany Haggag Abdl Mobdy
   Richard Modiano
   William Mohr
   Sonnet Mondal
   Jason Monios
   Leslie Monsour
   Amanda Montei
   Patrick Mooney
   Carl Moore
   Greggory Moore
    Albert Lee Moran
   A.J. Morelli
   Christopher Mulrooney
   Frank Mundo
   Barbara-Marie Mundt
   Augusto Munoz
   Mark Murphy
   Craig Murray
   Kristine Ong Muslim
   JL Nathan
   Nimah Nawwab
   Leslie Maryann Neal
   Jason Neese
   Raghab Nepal
   Robbi Nester
   Mindy Nettifee
   Martina Reisz Newberry
   Beth Escott Newcomer
   Peter Nezafati
   Scott Nichols
   keith niles
   Dave Nordling
   Aire Celeste Norell
   Steve Norwood
   Laura Nye
   Toti O'Brien
   Charlotte O'Brien
   Suzanne O'Connell
   Katie O'Loughlin
   Peter O'Niell
   Tom O'Reilly
   Akor Emmanuel Oche
   A.J. Odasso
   Rita Odeh
   Kirsten Ogden
   Daniel Olivas
   Maurice Oliver
   Marc Olmstead
   Philip ONeil
   Nzingah Oniwosan
   Chika Onyenezi
   Nina Orlovskaya
   Sergio Ortiz
   David Ishaya Osu
   Scott Thomas Outlar
   Holly Painter
   Lizbeth Palma
   Heather Palmer
   Greg Patrick
   Miss Natalie Patterson
   David E. Patton
   Tim Peeler
   Steve Pelcman
   Angel Perales
   Alice Pero
   Angela J. Perry
   Helen Peterson
   Brenda Petrakos
   Adam Phillips
   James G Piatt
   Rebecca Pierce
   Gareth Pike
   James Pinkerton
   Rob Plath
   Kushal Poddar
   Contributors to poeticdiversity
   Meg Pokrass
   Traian Pop Traian
   Bethany W Pope
   Wayne E. Popelka
   Elisha Porot
   Adrian Potter
   Ren Powell
   Frank Praeger
   Luke Prater
   Kristena Prater
   Shannon Prince
   Stephany Prodromides
   Hattie Quinn
   Octavio Quintanilla
   Beverly J. Raffaele
    Raindog
   Catherine Rajca
   Steve Ramirez
   Mauricio Alejandro Ramos
   Vishnu Rao
   Ingrid Rattay
   James Rauff
   Kasey Ray
   Bili Redd
   Brian Redfern
   Marie Rennard
   Luivette Resto
   E.W. Richardson
   John Richmond
   Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
   Kevin Ridgeway
   Lillian Ridgeway
   Dee Rimbaud
   Elijiah Rios
   Cat Risinger
   Ariel Robello
   Ebi Robert
   John D Robinson
   Paula Rodriguez
   Nydia Rojas
   Daniel Romo
   Rina Rose
   Emily Rose
   Diana Rosen
   Poet-broker Rosenthal
   Alison Ross
   James Robert Rudolph
   Walter Ruhlmann
   Gina MarySol Ruiz
   Cody Rukasin
   Cody Rukasin
   Ashley Rumery
   David W. Rushing
   Maryann Russo
   Sonya Sabanac
   Howard Sage
   Russell Salamon
   April Salzano
   Bryan Sanders
   Lisa Marie Sandoval
   Cecile Sarruf
    Sasparella
   Ethan Sassouni
   John Saunders
   Lorraine Sautner
   Rati Saxena
   Iftekhar Sayeed
   Frances Schiavina
   Kim Schroeder
   Carol Schwalberg
   Peter Schwartz
   Ken Scott
   Sondra L. Scott
   David Scriven
   Justin Scupine
   LB Sedlacek
   Lisa Segal
   Anthony Seidman
   Anthony Seidman
   Oleg Semonov
   John W Sexton
   Jack Allen Shafer
   Dahn Shaulis
   Tom Sheehan
   Jake Sheff
   Steve Shickman
   Nancy Shiffrin
   June Shiitake
   Ferrari Silverpowder
   Rishan Singh
   Durlabh Singh
   Kalpna Singh-Chitnis
   Apryl Skies
   Knute Skinner
   Sam Skow
   Ratpack Slim
   Lee Sloca
   Carol Smallwood
   Clinton Smith
   Danielle Smith
    smzang
   Kate Soto
   Ghetto Speare
   Jeanne Marie Spicuzza
   Richard Spuler
   Matina Stamatakis
   Jan Steckel
   Julia Stein
   Eric Steineger
   Carl Stillwell
   Bruce Stirling
   Alex Stolis
   Karr Stratynberg
   Kevin Stricke-9
   Keith Stump
   Daniel Suffian
   Annette Sugden
   J. C. Sullivan
   Dee Sunshine
   Mani Suri
   John Duncan Talbird
   Sister Taxi Hopscotch
   Mark Taylor
   Barbara A. Taylor
   Jonathan Taylor
   Allen Taylor
   Paul Kareem Tayyar
   Alene Terzian
    The Unarmed Man
   A. Thiagarajan
   G. Murray Thomas
   Lynne Thompson
   David Thornbrugh
   Kari Thune
   Sarah Thursday
   Ilona Timoszuk
   Tim Tipton
    TJungle
   Chrys Tobey
    tolbert
   Imani Tolliver
   A. TOMIC
   Anthony Torchia
   Mary Torregrossa
   Evan Traiger
   Davide Trame
   Tri Tran
   Ryan Tranquilla
   Alain Marcel Treadaway
   Pedro Trevino-Ramirez
   Ben Trigg
   Paul Tristram
   Maja Trochimczyk
    Troy
   The TruthHearse
   Tatiana Tulskaya
   Yelena and Roman Tunkel
   John Turi
   Danny Uebbing
   Amy Upham
   Amy Uyematsu
   Philomena van Rijswijk
   Gene van Troyer
   Wanda Vanhoy Smith
   Brenda Varda
   Luis Rubio Vargas
   Carmen Vega
   Ms. Veronica
   Papa Vic
   Clee Villasor
   Ajise Vincent
   Curran D. Vinson
   Jason Visconti
   Anca Vlasopolos
   Daniela Voicu
   Claire Walker
   toren wallace
   r.k. wallace
   Evan Walsh
   Sharieff Walters
   John Wariner
   Deborah L Warner
   Christopher Watkins
   Brian Watson
   Lafayette Wattles
   Charlie Weber
   Ellen Webre
   Justin Weiler
   Viola Weinberg
   Florence Weinberger
   Desmond Weindorf
   Cindy Weinstein
   Denise R. Weuve
   Rev. Dave Wheeler
   Leigh White
   Megwynn White
   Kelley White
   J.T. Whitehead
   Claire Williams
   John Sibley Williams
   Patrick Williamson
   Martin Willitts, Jr
   Robert D. Wilson
   Jessica Wilson
   Amye Wilson
   Alicia Winski
   Tyler Joseph Wiseman
   Joseph Wistren
   Wayne Wolfson
   Terry Wolverton
   Nina Womack
   Seth Woolf
   Kirby Wright
   Gianna Wurzl
   Abigail Wyatt
   John Yamrus
   Müesser Yeniay
   Julie Yi
   Gregory T. Young
   Britney Young
   Omar ZahZah
   Mariano Zaro
   Michael Zeltser
    
   home
   poems
   archive
   submissions
   events
   calendar
   message board
   store
   links
   contact
   
Dee Sunshine
November 2014
   

 

A Burnt Offering

27th January 1995:

The 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.



1.


You covered up the mirrors,
not wanting to see the radiance dissipating:
The sexless city sucking you in,
erasing your face.

Without reflection
we clutched at each other:
clinging together like little children.

We clung together
till gravity pulled us apart.

* * *

Junked out on television
we watched the world disintegrating
in raptures of violent dreams:
each dreamer being so much less
than the sum of the parts;
each dream, a fragment
deconstructed from the whole.

* * *

The sirens and screams
that shredded the night’s silence
were a forewarning
of the worst that would come.

We could sense the beast’s breath
bubbling under the skin of the earth.

* * *

Fucking to the hot dark rhythms of the night
we allowed ourselves the luxury of entropy,
the muted ecstasy of mutual extinction:
it wasn’t love, but its fire kept us warm.

* * *

In sleep we would lose ourselves,
let loose shadowy spectres -
abominations that slithered
through the ragged gashes
in the veneer of our sanity;
trailing a terrible afterbirth,
foetid and reeking of fear.

Our dreams gave birth to
        walled in ghettoes,
        bloody towers,
        children without eyes,
        animal corpses,
        beggars, mobs,
        freight trains...
        armies of the dead.

* * *

Waking to the lightless morning:
lost to each other, lost to the detritus
of fear filled dreams,
we would shiver, cling together
and fill each other’s ears
with the hot blood
of promised tomorrows.


2.


In holding together and clutching
we imagined ourselves to be whole -
sublimated in a spurious spirituality,
elevated above the chaos of spiky rooftops
and darkly smoking chimneys.

But the sky blew through our every construct,
insinuating a secret hunger, infecting us
with the knowledge of our fragility.

We were held together by mere fragments -
broken pieces that could never be anything more
than broken pieces.


3.


Sometimes, standing skeletal
in the rusted metal wind,
with clouds clearing from frosted skies,
a blur of stars dazzling our eyes,
we would be surprised
by something bigger than love.

Momentarily the futility would fall away
and we’d taste that ineffable no-thing
with an undefined inner sense.

Transcending the linear,
we would cross the border
without passports or maps.


4.


The night before you left
we tore the clothes from each other
and pulled our loins together:
it was a last frantic attempt at connection
before our final separation.

In the deliberate darkness -
        not wanting to see
        what we’d lost in each other -
we thrashed to an angry climax.

You were a Nazi storm trooper
and I, a sub-human Jew.


5.


Last night I sat shivering at my desk
watching the moon track across the sky
listening to screech owls
yammering in the distance,
the wind muttering to the trees,
the silence from my unsleeping bed.

Tonight I cannot pretend I’ll sleep.

In the double-glazed safety of suburbia
I cannot excuse this agitation:
these solid buildings nurse the spirit
to slumbering, willing forgetfulness.

But I cannot forget you:
your post-war, housing scheme passions
assail me from across the great divide,
shaking me to my very foundations.

Your ice blue eyes
are watching me as I squirm -
you torturer, you.

I miss you!

I am at a loss out here,
on the periphery of prosperity
with this job, this house,
this security:
I miss our days and nights
of unemployed reckless penury.

I miss the neon emptiness,
the dirty knickers,
the one bar electric fire,
the stinking fridge,
the anonymous screams
in the death still night,
the nightmares
        and our dreams
        of a greener, cleaner place.


6.


My heart is acrid as this ashtray,
hard as blown glass.

There is no poem to our love:
I remember only
the murmuring of your body against mine
in abstract -
        one sideways blow
        and the image is cracked.
I need your hands
to pull me out
from this stagnant murk:

I need your Teutonic no-nonsense
To wipe away this Semitic self-pity.


7.


Tonight I am alone,
with no hand to guide me.

Under my feet
the world is trembling,

mountains are moving
to Mohammed’s muezzin call.

Soon the infidel,
will be routed out,

cut down:
devoured in ash and flame.


8.


A postcard from Japan,
a picture of gleaming, erect Osaka -
skyscrapers piercing
a Hiroshima red, sunset sky.

On the back it reads,
I am alive and well,
if a little shaken
.

My brave, adventuring friend,
but a butterfly’s kiss from Kobe:
she says, don’t worry,
but I do.

Drunk on my father’s brew
of cynicism and anxiety,
I watch the storm clouds gathering,
drawing near
and I’m filled full
of wretched fear.

These islands, he once mused,
are but wretched specks
in a vast wilderness;
and these oceans,
just a dribble of sweat
rolling down the buttock cleft
of an indifferent deity
.

My father knew
the heart of his father God
even before his bar mitzvah day:
he was but ten
when the news filtered through
from Poland and Germany.


9.


The struggle of people against power
Is the struggle of memory against forgetting
. - Milan Kundera

Sleepless,
these flickering images of newsreel
strobe blue in the late night corners
of this hallucinated, tangled room:
random, uncollated images
of collateral damage;
names colliding
in a jangling discordant poetry –

Angola, Sarajevo, Eritrea,
East Timor, Cambodia,
Haiti, Soweto, Kuwait...


an endless litany of forgotten places
like the dispassionate whisper
of a distant, voiceless God.

Here, great Jehovah,
are the bits of a child
who stood on a land mine.

Here is the skull
of a prisoner
who had nothing to confess.

Here are the bodies
of women and children
who were queuing
at the well for water.

Here, there and everywhere
uncountable numbers,
unfathomable numbers:
I would tattoo them
on your loving arms,
Dear God.


10.


My great aunt - my grandmother’s elder sister -
is over fifty years dead:
no exact record exists,
but somewhere in Hamburg or Hanover
her skin still shades the harsh light of a naked bulb.

Perhaps, that is all that remains of her.

The books that were bound
by the glue made from her pulverised bones
have long since been read and discarded;
and the soap made from her body fat
was used up
scrubbing clean
the blackened faces
of Aryan coal miners.


11.


I learned the necessity of lies early on:
picking up a penny in the playground
there was a momentary flush of joy,
but it was soured by classmates
who gathered round, taunting me,
calling me - a fucking Jew.

The half-Jewish blood
in my veins
boiled in shame.


12.


Twenty-five years ago, this very night,
I sat by the muttering gas fire,
in the blue light of the television
and the shadow of my father’s chair.

It was then that I hardened my heart,
for I was tormented by his weeping.


13.


Weep not,
for the dead are but dead
and the past is always passing
further and further over
the ever-receding horizon.


14.


Under the eiderdown I twist
like a colony of maggots
eating the last scant remains
of a corpse.

I am cocooned against
the January frost,
waiting for the watery dawn,
wishing this knot of cloth
was a chrysalis -
that I’d burst forth
from these dark dregs
into a wondrous and kindly light.

The clock on the mantle shelf
savages the last vestiges
of the night’s silence,
ticking its fascist beat,
dragging me ever onwards.

Malign,
its number fragmented face mocks:
its tic-toc like the rocking of railway carriages
and the tarnished laughter of Polish permafrost;
its hollow echo like the passing of freight wagons
through war torn, crumbling factory towns.

This clock,
with its bland, smug face,
measures the pulse
with the clinical precision of Mengele.


15.


The same sea in us all,
but waves breaking
on different shorelines.

Drunken footfalls
on the stair head
mark the passing
from night to dawn:
the clock laughing,
its hollow pedantry
as celebration reaches
inevitable anti-climax.

I wait for the door to open,
the return of the revellers,
my sisters and brothers:
one flesh,
but waves breaking
on different shores.

Belatedly, the feast
has been consumed.
Dry mouths have slaked their thirst
with dry waters;

and now the tongues are loose
with burnt offerings
to a dead poet.


16.


Hark, the heroes are returned!
Drunken and clamouring,
their voices raised and roused:
glorious, victorious
and, by the way,
totally fucking stocious.

The Saltire flies high,
blowing in the wind
of nationalist pride.
The Sassenachs
are once again routed:
slain by the true might
of Burns and Bruce.

With haggis and neeps in the belly
and the power of whisky
on their tongues, they ask
wha’s like us?
These true blue pure-blooded
xenophobic Scots.

Has the bagpipe’s wail
deafened their ears?
For none among them can hear
the same sea
which moves within us all.


17.


It's not as many miles as you imagine
from Nuremberg to Hampden:
the cross is easily crooked.

When the soul is bled dry
there is nothing left
but the braying of empty minds.


18.


Four fifteen, a forest
of broken crucifixes,
flags, effigies,
the reek of stale beer
in half drunk cans:
I fix a coffee
in the crematorial kitchen,
resigning myself
to lack of sleep.

The celebrations are over
and darkened rooms
are littered with snoring:
making my solitude,
my sleeplessness,
all the more poignant.

In the broken wind
I hear black Lilith laughing:
Schottland Schottland
über alles.
Ich bin unbeweglich
.

Four fifteen and I cannot sleep.
How can I sleep
when you are not asleep beside me?


19.


Back in those halcyon days
when her nest floated upon a calm sea
my mother would lull me to sleep, singing
Silent night, holy night,
All is still, all is quiet
.

Back then, I believed
in the perfection of peace.


20.


Finally, I am arisen, like a phoenix
from the ashes of the night:
I wipe the sleeplessness from my eyes
and discard my bleached out, striped pyjamas
in a ragged, loveless heap,
like so much worn out Jew-flesh.

Out the window, the snow has turned to rain
and a thin line of watery daylight
has lain itself across the horizon.

Sat at my desk, I scrape my pen
across the stiff white parchment
of my leather-bound writing book
and cannot suppress the image
of Jewish skin -
            it creeps upon me
with a Semitic tenacity,
sending into the penumbra
any Burnsian sentiments
that might be lurking
in the Scottish parts
of my bastard blood.


21.


Is it my bastard blood
which makes me fear
my country’s cry for nationhood?

What is this Scotland?
Is it not just a mass of land,
part of an island,
conquered by robber barons
whose bloodthirsty mouths
declared themselves kings?

Who are these Scots
that claim this nation?

Are they Picts, Celts and Norse?
Britons, Angles and Saxons?
Italians, Irish and Jews?
African, Chinese and Asian?

What line divides
the waves of immigrants
who have settled
on this fragment of island?

Whose hand divines
the right to be?

Who is Scottish, exactly?
Who can call this crag of rock
their homeland...
and for whom will only
arbeit macht frie?


22.


Ich bin, ich bin:
in the loveless dark,
in the icy January rain,
in a silent cold rage;

there is a swastika
where my heart used to be.

My love, my love,
what has become of me?


23.


Weary gunmetal dawn,
a miasma of monochrome:
the wind is stilled
and leaden rain
like dull crystal
softly splinters
on slush stained pavements.


24.


Here I am,
within the soulless framework
of technology,
filled with the rhythm
and hot impulses
of our time.

Herr Goebbels,
your ghost moves
in the salt wind,
whistling through
rusted metal
skeletal cranes,
raw rasping
Teutonic laughter -
Ich höre Sie.

These abandoned docks
bordering the cold wastes
of the northern sea,
my footprints alone
in the grey snow,
but across the waters
and across time,
your voice
following me.

No solace
in the dark sodium light
of this unpeopled hour.

Across the waters,
across time,
your voice is
a thousand broken windows,
a tongue of fire.
smoking chimneys,
a black leather zeitgeist.

From Zyklon B
to bunker suicide -
you see, Herr Goebbels,
tomorrow belongs to no-one.


25.


Among the carnage of yesterday
and the carnage of tomorrow
what hope is there for today?

What hope
for this dismal grey morning?

Without you, my love,
there is no love.

Without you,
there is no God
to oversee this chaos.


26.


These tomorrows, these yesterdays -
if you were here now
they would all be consumed
in the pyre of our passion play.

These flags,
these abstract arbitrary divisions,
would be wiped away.

The slate would be clean:
no scribbled saltire,
no tricolour or union jack
would sully its perfect blackness.

There’d be no star of David
muddying the sky,
no crescent moon.

All would be dissolved
in the fire of our Shiva-Shakti.
All would be undone
in the tender loop of love.

If you were here
I’d be blinded to unbelieving eyes.

No more would I see
this scorched skin,
these skeletons in stained shrouds
of striped cloth.

If you were here
I’d believe in a listening God:
one who heard the trains,
one who tasted the sweat,
the sorrow, the bitter ash
of Auschwitz-Birkenau;
one who could conjure up rainbows
and promise a perfect new tomorrow.


(Previously published in Visions of the Drowning Man copyright 2012)

copyright 2014 Dee Sunshine