Gather at my knee, all ye
neighbourhood kids & heed these
words to the wise: use Sisyphus’ tissues
if you’re wiping weeping eyes.

Audacity of hope, Barack? More like
jolly-hockeystick-in-your-throat, I’m-alright-
Jack barefaced cheek when baby boys & girls
are the pearls we hurl before this Swine of a Life.

Why every day a little more hope dies!
Somewhere some schmuck’s last hope just died,
& they hope they might soon die.

‘Where there’s life, there’s hope’:
fool’s hope on which you’ll choke
the day you find vital signs might be ‘Thunderbirds Go!’,
but your zest is as dead as a d-d-d-d-
pterodactyl, d'oh!
Ditto.
D'oh?
Ditto.
D'oh?
Ditto.

Paul Celan & Primo Levi
made it out of Auschwitz alive,
but both topped themselves
decades after the Lager,
knew treacherous Hope, not Fear,
queued up for disaster.

But you gotta laugh aintcha, like a supervillain
- mwah-ha-ha-hah!
Or a supervillageidiot
- yurk yuk yuk yurk!

Why every day a little more hope dies!
Somewhere some schmoe’s last hope just died,
& they hope they might soon die.

'Where there’s life, there’s hope’,
fool’s hope on which you’ll choke
the day you find vital signs are all ‘Thunderbirds Go!’,
but your zest is as dead as a d-d-d-d-
archeopteryx, d'oh!
Ditto.
D'oh!
Ditto.
D'oh!
Ditto.

Hope springs eternal,
like self-harming haemophiliac's on draught cuts.
Hope stings infernal,
like Satan’s futon of massed wasps’ butts.

Doctor, doctor, dearie me doc,
my get up ‘n’ go has fucked off.
Since life is a bitch,
Hope must be the bitch support machine.

Why every day a little more hope dies!
Somewhere some schlub’s last hope just died,
& they hope they might soon die.

On Saturday,
November 21, 2017,
The Day after the Inauguration of President of Donald Trump,
I heard a firm knock on my door at 7:00 A.M.
"This is the F.B.I., Mr. Moskowitz," they said.
"Open up this door now."
"We're gonna' take you away."
When I opened the door,
I asked the F.B.I. agents,
"Officers, I haven't broken any Federal Law, have I?"
They responded,
"This ain't got nothin' to do with the Law, Jewboy!"
"The problem is your goddamn Big Mouth."
"Put on these handcuffs."
"You're comin' with us!"
So, I went downstairs from my condo unit
And got into the F.B.I. Jeep.
We drove east out of Denver,
Through Aurora
And out onto the Plains.
The Jeep got off the Freeway
And began going on remote, Country Roads.
Finally,
We reached this remote complex,
Surrounded by Barbed Wire.
I asked the Officers,
"Where am I?"
"What is this Place?"
"Where have you taken me?"
The lead officer responded gruffly.
"This is Auschwitz II, Jewboy."
"This is where we take Loudmouth Dissenters like you!"
Then, the second officer.....the little guy piped in.
"Don't worry."
"We ain't gonna' waterboard you like them Muslims."
"We just gonna' fry you up like Hitler did."
"Ain't no reason to fret, Jewboy."
"It will be quick."
I became really alarmed with what these F.B.I. agents were saying.
They really were going to incinerate me alive
Because of all the remarks I made in support
Of the Demonstrators at Standing Rock, North Dakota on Facebook.
I knew that was why they wanted to kill me.
I became hysterical.
"What about my wife, officers?"
"What about her feelings.......her grief?"
The big F.B.I. agent responded calmly.
"Don't worry, Jewboy."
"After you're incinerated,"
"We'll send your ashes back to your wife,"
"And she'll be able to spread them on the flowers"
"At Denver Botanic Gardens"
"To ease her feelings of grief."

Nick Lipman Jun 2016

I am standing in the spot where my family almost died
Here, in this land
All of life turned gray
Not the temporary gray of a rainy day
Not the gray of a fading photograph
No
The gray like ash
Or the ashes of the fallen
Gray like the plumes of smoke
Billowing out from the gas chambers
Standing in this spot
I feel connected
A pull
A throwback to my roots

I feel so… somber
Like I can see that day
January 27th 1945
My family members
Or what was left
Some of the 6,000 that were left
Staring and wondering
Is this real?
Or
Is this just another delusion brought on by hunger
Or are we free?
They told us we were free back in the day
But no
We walked for 40 years into the hands of a new oppression
Into a stereotype
Into the butt of a joke
Into the law offices and bank teller of the world

Go back a little further
Back into Poland
Before 1945
Think 1944
I know what a needle and ink on skin feels like
But I cannot imagine it by force
Forced away from the laws of my religion
A name, reduced to a number
24601
No
More like A-98288 on a forearm
No
I can feel the burn
In my eyes and in my lungs
Not from the gas and the filth
But from the pain of generations of jews and others labeled as different
As not pure

I feel the pull
The connection
Severed
My grandmothers 14 siblings reduced to 3
Back to 1945
I feel…
Empty
My existence no longer focused on minute by minute survival
I feel…
A flutter
Of anxiety, of pain, of…
Hope…
Brought on by these men in uniform not seated in hate
Hope that we might live
Hope that the end is here!
But not the end that we have prayed for

Fade into color
I am standing in the spot where history almost erased me
And I remember all the years of oppression
And I can see how it continues
And I can see how it needs to change

I am standing in front of my peers
Asking
No
Begging you to see what I see
I am begging for change
I am begging for peace

Rockie Oct 2015

It's upsetting to think
That several thousand (to mention a few)
Lost their lives
By the blade of rusty sticks
And men who's hearts
Who deserve a place in the pits of hell
And thousands more
Who died of religion and race,
Mental health and where, how they lived
Metre upon metre upon metre
Of hair, shoes,
Suitcases, briefcases,
China and combs,
Death found in every corner,
Nook and cranny,
Where no bird will fly,
Or sing a song,
Insects will never make a peep,
This hauntingly beautiful place,
Reducing us to tears.

For the past four days, I had the opportunity to visit Krakow in Poland for a school GCSE history trip. Last night, we visited Auschwitz 1 & Auschwitz 2 (2 being in Burkenau). As you may know, these were the two main places where the Nazis would send Jews, gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, and any other race deemed not Aryan ("the perfect Germans") enough to be killed. To just see numbers in a textbook compared to physically see the numbers in real life has a frighteningly contrasting effect-many of us ended up not being able to continue in Auschwitz 1 because we were not prepared for the amount of hair, shoes and suitcases (amongst other things) that were piled into the glass rooms. It makes you take an entire new perspective of life and how much we take it for granted. Let's just hope that mass murder on such a large scale like that one will never, ever happen again.
Terry Collett Sep 2015

Strindberg was born here
I said

who is he?
Dalya said

an author who
wrote plays poems
novels etc.
I said

never heard of him
she said

we were in a bar
in Stockholm
sipping our beers
she in her jeans
and tee shirt
and I likewise
(not in her jeans
but my own)

what's the book
you're reading
on the minivan?

Solzhenitsyn's
The Gulag Archipelago
I said

you don't half read
some funny books
she said
what's it about?

Russian labour camps
between 1918 and 1958
where millions perished
I said

sounds a right
bundle of laughs
she said
why do you read
such stuff?

it interests me
how evil humans
can be at times

she lit cigarettes
for us both
and we sat sipping
our beer and smoking

she said
do you know
I had relatives
who died in Auschwitz?

no I didn't know
I said

my parents told me
a few years ago
when I was becoming
an arsehole
and they said
what would great uncle
Franz or Abel say
if they saw
how you behave?
and I said
who the heck are they
and they told me
and I cried
but I'm still
an arsehole at times
she said

sad that
having relatives
killed like that
I said

drink up Benny
we're on holiday
more beer and smokes
and she laughed
and she added
and more sex tonight
if we can get
my tent free
of the other woman
for awhile

and I nodded
and gave her
my Elvis smile.

A BOY AND GIRL IN STOCKHOLM IN 1974.
Navya Pothineni May 2015

Each death, a searing lesion in my soul
I wonder if you are alive, trapped
Among these treacherous walls

Are you starving too?
Desperate for home
Tired of all the spilling tears
And the sight of broken people?

I think I may have seen hell
But if I should pass by heaven
God will need to bawl and beg
For my forgiveness

John F McCullagh Jan 2015

Today three hundred gather recalling to the World its’ shame.
They’ve come once more to Auschwitz on a more comfortable train.
The youngest, in their Seventies, were children at the time,
when Russians overran the camp and exposed the Nazis’ crimes.
If you were gypsy Gay or Jew incarcerated there
They starved and worked you unto death-
Your grave was in the air.
The walks were paved with bits of bone from those who died before.
These lives and deaths were cataloged for the Reich Chancellor.
All who remain now gather for this last and final time,
to testify to their suffering and rebuke those who deny.

* * ** *

On this day in 1945 Russian troops liberated Auschwitz. This anniversary marks the final time that living survivors are expected to attend( the 70 year anniversary), In another ten years few if any could be expected to make the trip.
Life Jan 2015

Would you believe me to be death?
I guess it makes sense
For this reality, truly is hell

But I am a cheater of death
So here I stand;
Amidst the stink of burning corpses,
Dead eyes of starring, children and women,
Alive.
Oh, but how I wish I was dead.

Now, 80 years after,
The smell of burned carcass,
Still clings to everything I touch

"Arbeit macht frei" (German pronunciation: [ˈaɐ̯baɪt ˈmaxt ˈfʁaɪ]) is a German phrase meaning "work makes (you) free". The slogan is known for having been placed over the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including most infamously Auschwitz.
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