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Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Holocaust Poem: "On The Slaughter"
by Chaim Nachman Bialik
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Merciful heavens, have pity on me!
If there is a God approachable by men
as yet I have not found him—
Pray for me!

For my heart is dead,
prayers languish upon my tongue;
my right hand has lost its strength
and my hope has wilted, undone.

How long? Oh, when will this nightmare end?
How long? Hangman, traitor,
here’s my neck—
rise up now, rise and slaughter!

Behead me like a dog—your arm controls the axe
and the whole world is a scaffold to me
although we—the chosen few—
were once recipients of the Pacts.

Executioner, my blood’s a paltry prize—
strike my skull and the blood of innocents will rain
drenching your pristine uniform again and again,
staining your raiment forever.

If there is Justice—quick, let her appear!
But after I’ve been blotted out, should she reveal her face,
let her false scales be overturned forever
and the heavens reek with the stench of her disgrace.

You too arrogant men, with your brutal injustice,
suckled on blood, unweaned of violence:
cursed be the warrior who cries "Vengeance!" on a maiden;
such cruelty was never contemplated, even by Satan.

Let innocents’ blood drench the abyss!
Let innocents’ blood seep down into the congealing darkness,
eat it away and undermine
earth's rotting foundations.

Al Hashechita ("On the Slaughter") was written by Chaim Nachman Bialik in response to the ****** Kishniev pogrom of 1903, which was instigated by agents of the Czar who wanted to divert social unrest and political anger from the Czar to the Jewish minority. The Hebrew word schechita (also transliterated shechita, shechitah, shekhitah, shehita) denotes the ritual kosher slaughtering of animals for food. The juxtapositioning of kosher slaughter with the slaughter of Jews makes the poem all the more powerful and ghastly. Such anti-Semitic incidents prompted a massive wave of Eastern European emigration that brought millions of Jews to the West. Unfortunately, there have been many similar slaughters in human history and the poem remains chillingly relevant to the more recent ones in Israel/Palestine, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. Keywords/Tags: Holocaust, poem, Bialik, translation, slaughter, massacre, God, prayer, executioner, hangman, blood, innocents, justice, false, scales, injustice
Sara Kellie Jul 2018
Promise me, my flesh you'll place
'neath a fledgling willow tree.
And as it grows toward blue sky,
It's in its grace you'll hear me cry.
Laden with the heaviest fears,
resembling, reflecting
my darkest years.

A fragile bone was once my arm,
so likened to the willows charm.
It's branches delicate,
could ne'er do harm.
It's soft and fluffy hand like bud,
encased in skin, the willow's wood.

Hold its hand at branches end.
My message, a vibration,
to you I'll send.
Until the death of said willow tree,
reminding you . . . . .
. . . . . . always of me.

Poetry by Kaydee.
The tired and deathly willow tree with stories to tell of debutantes, swinging
before entering hell.
Danial Suhaimi Dec 2017
Dark thoughts lingering around me
Starting to hate my surrounding
If only I can get out of this
I would
My mind is spitting words I should've said
But I didn't
I hated it
That the fact is true
The line from the song
"Somebody save me"
I screamt it
Too bad nobody listened
An oddball of society
Rejected by many
The escape is only
Through a noose
Can I get out of here
Alive and well?

Thank you
Jade Melrose Dec 2016
Little birds often fly to me here
whisper in my ear and tell me
about the sapphire skies, endless fields, and flowing rivers
out there.
Out there, the wind kisses your cheeks
Out there, the music from the trees sings loudly, with harmony,
along with the bees
Out there, there are no walls
no fences
no shackles
nothing from keeping you free
But I wouldn't know any of that
sitting here,
with only a little piece of heaven mocking me. unobtainable.

Believe me, I've tried.
Bruised feet, ****** hands, bleeding back, all gifts I received
And when you are like me, you know when to stop trying
They have strong whips
Yet day after day my little friends make the impossible trip, flying higher and higher
until they can bite the celestial morsel with their beaks
In my dreams I fly with them,
the wind kissing my cheeks
But when I wake up I am greeted by the familiar smell of dirt and concrete

So when they forced me up this morning
clanking with ease
I was relieved
I could feel a gentle breeze as I floated onto the scaffold
I smiled
looked up to the same piece of hope
I hear voices but I can't understand them
my head is already half-way up in the clouds
When the necklace is placed
I see my friends circling above
The next second the ground is far beneath my feet
And I'm flying with them,
the wind kissing my cheeks.
Mysidian Bard Nov 2016
We were once tangled
But all the ties that bind us
Have become a noose
Rafael Melendez Jun 2016
Walking the line, sleeping for two, dreaming of better days. Eyes for you, a hangman's last sight.
He's only got eyes for you.
Giraluna Gil May 2016
I made a loop with a running knot around my neck
A snare, a lasso
A hangman's hassle
I tightened it up
I pushed the chair
Only to blame the only person who actually cared
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