There is a Rose at Auschwitz,
in the briar,
a rose like Sharon’s, lovely as her name.
The world forgot her,
and is not the same.
I love her and would not forget desire,
but keep her memory exalted flame
to justify the thistles and the nettles.
On Auschwitz now the
reddening sunset settles;
they sleep alike–diminutive and tall,
the innocent, the “surgeons.”
Red oxides of her blood, bright crimson petals,
if accidents of coloration, gall
my heart no less.
Amid thick weeds and muck
there grows a rose no man shall ever pluck
till he beds there, and bids the world “Good Luck.”
Walk here among the walking scepters. Learn
inhuman patience. Flesh can only cleave
to bone this tightly if their hearts believe
that G-d is good, and never mind the Urn.
A lentil and a bean might plump their skin
with mothers’ bounteous, soft-dimpled fat
(and call it “health”), might quickly build again
the muscles of dead menfolk. Dream, like that,
and call it courage. Cry, and be deceived,
and so endure. Or burn, made wholly pure.
One’s prayer is answered,
“god” thus unbelieved.
No holy pyre this–death’s hissing chamber.
Two thousand years ago–a starlit manger,
weird Herod’s cries for vengeance on the meek,
the children slaughtered. Fear, when angels speak,
the prophesies of man.
Do what you can,
not what you must, or should.
They call you “good,”
dead eyes devoid of tears; how shall they speak
except in blankness? Fear, then, how they weep.
Escape the gentle clutching stickfolk. Creep
away in shame to retch and flush away
your vomit from their ashes. Learn to pray.
Postcard, Wrong Address
We saw their pictures:
tortured out of our imaginations
We could not believe
in their frail extremities
or their gaunt faces,
pallid as our disbelief.
They are not
with us now . . .
into the backroomsofconscience,
to the ovensofsilence,
buried them in the mass graves
so little left
to remind us ...
“And what rough beast ... slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” – W.
They laugh and do not comprehend, nor ask
which way the wind is blowing, no, nor why
the reeling azure fixture of the sky
grows pale with ash, and whispers “Holocaust.”
They think to seize the ring, life’s tinfoil prize,
and, breathless with endeavor, shriek aloud.
The voice of terror thunders from a cloud
that darkens over children adult-wise,
far less inclined to error, when a step
in any wrong direction is to fall
a JDAM short of heaven. Decoys call,
their voices plangent, honking to be shot . . .
Here, childish dreams and nightmares whirl, collide,
as East and West, on slouching beasts, they ride.
by The Neovictorian/Cochlea
In truth, we do not feel the horror
of the survivors,
but what passes for horror:
a shiver of “empathy.”
We too are “survivors,”
if to survive is to snap back
from the sight of death
like a turtle retracting its neck.
After the Holocaust
–for all those who confronted and confounded evil
with love and courage
can never be
wholly ironic again,
(lacking the conviction to say
that a great, desecrating evil
does not exist in the hearts of men)
of a love everlasting.
There is nothing so terrible
as your “smile” of departure,
as your downturned eyes,
as your strangely upturned frown,
as your hair so unremarkably brown
in which I drown.
Nothing so terrible
as these tears upon your quiescent cheeks
(O!, their intense glistening!).
Nor any sounds so wrenching
as the pistons’ hissings,
the brakes’ maniacal screechings.
Nothing in the universe so pallid at the eyes
of the “conductors” ...
alien, beyond all beseeching.
If only I could foresee your return
negating the prophecies of the bituminous engines,
if only I could imagine
something as lovely as the vision
of your retracted hand
not vanishing forever ...
Copyright © 1999-2007 by Ulita