Vamos al Mercado!   Wednesday, April 02, 2014





I wanted my photos to be colorful this week, after all the drab ones last week. At first I thought of doing a wildflower drive, but decided it's still a week or two too early for the pastures and meadows to be in full bloom. So I decided on a visit downtown to El Mercado.

I remember as a child living on the border, we would visit the market in Matamoros, across the river from  Brownsville, a couple of times year. I loved it, the crowds, the hustle-bustle, the smell of leather and wood, the narrow aisles crowded on either side with interesting things, chess sets and hats and little wooden games, and bullwhips - couldn't go home without one. And all the Mexican people patting my blond head for good luck.

Also I have a personal family history with the San Antonio Mercado. Begun as a shopping district in the early 1820's, it grew into a daily fresh produce market which served households throughout the much smaller city as it developed into the early 20th century. My mother remembered coming to the market when she was a very small child with her father, a produce buyer who would fill his truck with fresh fruit and vegetables from further south and bring it to El Mercado to sell, making a number of trips each season.

I don't visit the market often except to eat at one or the other of the two restaurants (both owned by the same family), Mi Tierra, for more traditions Mexican food, especially breakfast, and La Margarita for more upscale and expensive dinners. Both good for the atmosphere. Mi Tierra has the best pan dulce selection in the city, beyond that, just for the food, I can take you a dozen better places to eat Mexican.

My anthology this week (another of the 50% off buys a couple of weeks ago) is Holocaust Poetry published by St. Martin's Griffin in 1995. Kind of a mismatch to the colorful photos, it is a collection of excellent poems and more than usually interesting poets.

My stuff,  of course, old and new,  some pretty good, some not-so.


Here the whole  shebang (another old word I like).



Me
riding the new-day tide

Stephen Spender 
Memento

Tadeusz Rozewics
Leave Us

Primo Levi
Reveille

Me
a little bitty woman

Randall Jarrell
In the Camp There Was One Alive

Me
a mystery to me

Peter Huchel
Roads

Me
expert  testimony

Bertolt Brecht
The Burning of the Books

Me
lust

Martin Niemoller
First They Came for the Jews

Me
fantastic news

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Babii Yar    

Me
well, I do declare

Jerzy Ficowski  
A Girl of Six from the Ghetto Begging in Smolna Street in 1942    

Me
juiced

Thom Gunn
Innocence

Me
how I wish

Czeslew Milosz
 A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto

Me
Mexican ash

Lili Brett
La Pathetique

Me
just being a good friend

Elie Wiesel
Never  Shall I Forget

Me
creation time       

 








                   




Here's my first new poem of the week.















riding the new-day tide

dark morning,
rumors
of showers
and thunderstorms

---

meanwhile
bright light inside
illuminates,
with some measure
of unintentional cruelty,
us early morning
slugs
fallen out of our beds
before the day was ripe,
ripe
through we ourselves
be,
large bellied old fellas
and their large
bottom
wives
and the stylish chap
with a mustache
and herring-bone jacket
and his wife
with brown hair
and quick little eyes

waiting...

it's what we early slugs
do,
wait for the rest of the world
to catch up,
then what? - well, who knows,
satisfied with another day,
whatever comes
with it

---

meanwhile,
Bella waits in the car
for her walk, like the other morning slugs,
ready for he day
and new possibilities, rare or mundane,
satisfied
in her Golden way
with the day yet unseen
as long as I'm in it
with her







First from the week's  anthology, Holocaust Poetry, several short poems.



                           
This poem by Stephen Spender. Spender was born and 1909 and died in 1995. He was an English poet, essayist and novelist who concentrated on themes of social justice.







Memento

Remember the blackness of that flesh
Tarring  he bones with a thin varnish
Belsen Theresienstadt Buchenwald where
Faces were a clenched despair
Knocking at the bird-song-fretted air.

Their eyes sunk jellied in their holes
Were held up to the sun like begging bowls
Their hands like rakes with finger-nails of rust
Scratched for a little kindness from the dust.
To man, in its beak, no dove brought answer





                             
The next one is by Tadeusz Rozewicz. It was translated by Adam Czerniawski. Born in 1921, Rozewicz is a Polish poet and dramatist, one of the first generation of Polish writers born after Poland received it's independence in 1918.









Leave Us

Forget us
forget out generation
live like humans
forget us

we envied
plants and stones
we envied dogs

I'd rather be a rat
I told her then

I'd rather not be
I'd rather sleep
and wake when war is over
she said her eyes shut

forget us
don't inquire about our youth
leave us




And the last of this three is by Primo Levi. It was translated by Ruth Feldman & Brian Swann.

Born in 1919, Levi was an Italian Jewish poet and writer. He was arrested as part of the anti-Fascist resistance during World War II and was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. He died in 1987.








Reveille

In the brutal nights we used to dram
Dense violent dreams,
Dreamed with soul and body:
To return; to eat; to tell the story.
Until the dawn command
Sounded brief, low:
    'Wstawac':
And another heart cracked in the breast.

Now we have found our homes again,
Our bellies are full,
We're through telling the story.
It's time. Soon we'll hear again
The strange command:
    'Wstawac'.








                             





This poem from early 2008, an observational from a place where I was doing a little work at the time.













a little bitty woman

a little bitty woman,
short
and trim
gray hair,
sky blue eyes
magnified
by round rimless glasses

she walks the halls
with a loose
sliding gait that reminds me
of a 50s hipster
to cool to actual put foot
to floor, a little bit of float
and glide, and she cocks
her head to the side
when she talks to you
reminding me
of a sparrow
eyeing a particularly
fat and tasty
looking
worm

with a little hint of hunger
in those sky
blue eyes
watching
as you speak








                                       


The next poem from this week's anthology is by Randall Jarrell.

Born in 1914, Jarrell died in 1965.  A poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist and novelist,  he was the 11 poet to hold the position later to be titled Poet Laureate.










In the Camp There Was One Alive

(This is a concentration camp burned by its guards,
deserted by it prisoners, and not yet occupied by the Allies.)

Flakes pour to the black dead
At Lasen, by the wire.
The child, in his charred cave,
Watches the shaking fire

Struggle to him in torment
Till, stumbling, the shades sink back
Into his helplessness; his shaking
Limbs shrink to nothing, crack

Under the beams that pin him.
He hears, beneath the hiss
Of snow, a step on snow, the vague
Murmur of many voices.

They have come; and he calls to them
In gladness - it is the dead.
They speak softly, he understands
Nothing, and inches his head

Back over to them; but he sees
Nothing, he hears nothing.He moans
in his last loneliness - and the voices
Ring in his ears,  the stones

Are flung from the hammering feet
Of the dead who cry
The child's name over  and over.
He laughs out in joy

And wrenches with all his strength
Against the timbers, cries:
'I'm coming.' The voices are fainter,
The footsteps die as he dies.








                         





Next, here's another new poem from last week.













a mystery to me

I never could get my head
in the minds
of old guys until I  was one

and even now
that I am one and even though
they must have a history
not all that different in the most important
ways than my own and even though
I know that like me they must
now spend most of their lives in the past,
reliving that history, and even though
I know that old face I don't know
is just a mask for the young face I remember,
even though, all that, and I still feel
like an undocumented alien, a river-swimming
fence-jumper in their world, an old
and creaky room where I see no chair
for me to sit...

I'm pleased that I get along pretty well
with young people even though I don't understand
most of what they say to me, nor do they understand
my stories - I think  they just humor me,
a non-threatening relic like an old oak dinner table
or china closet that they figure they paid too much for
but bought anyway, because, well in a world
of plastic and aluminum and insubstantial electronic bits,
a little old-fashioned wood is good to knock on,
for luck, like we used to say, seeking a
little hope from the past to face a future they have a hard time
believing in,
a weakness of faith I share, for I see, I fear, the end of my life
soon to coincide, happenstance only, I take no blame or credit
for  it, with the end of a human future, my son
and his generations, replaced by plastic and aluminum and dancing
electronic  bits as the old wood rots...

this is why, I think, I don't fit in so well  with the old guys,
lost in the past, a temptation strong for me as well, not caring,
in the selfishness of the old, for what comes next...

or maybe they feel this future dread just as I do, only,  unlike me,
content not to think about it or talk about  it so much...

because, as I said in the beginning, these old guys, despite all we lived
through together, really are a mystery to me

as, born alone, I become more  alone with day
that passes








Next from  this  week's anthology, I have a poem by Peter Huchel.

Huchel was a German poet born in Berlin in 1903. During the second world war, he served as a soldier in the German army until captured by the Russians. Following most of the rest of the life in East Germany, working in literature and radio. After the building of the Berlin Wall he came under attack by the East German authorities. From 1962 until he was allowed to leave the country in 1971, he lived in isolation. He died ten years later in 1981.

His poem was translated by Michael Hamburger.








Roads

Choked sunset glow
of crashing time.
Roads. Roads.
Intersections of flight.
Cart tracks across the ploughed field
that with the eyes
of killed horses
saw the sky in flames.

Nights with lungs full of smoke,
with the hard breath of the fleeing
when shots
struck the dusk.
Out of the broken gate
ash and wind came without a sound
a fire
that sullenly chewed the darkness.

Corpses,
flung over the rail tracks,
their stifled cry
like a stone on the palate.
A lack
humming cloth of flies
closed over the wounds.







                                





An old poem from 2008, remembering days in years past and lessons learned.













expert testimony

I used to be
an expert...

newspaper reporters
would come
with their thirty-five cent
spiral notepads
and tv reporters
with their cameraman
even radio reporters
with their little
pocket-sized
cassette recorders

and they'd all ask
questions
and I'd talk to them
until I figured out
what story
they wanted to write
that day
and give it to them...

they liked to talk to me
because as one of them said
I "gave good quote"
and that was important
because  the editors'
general rule  was
two  local quotes for every story
and I was a reliable  source
who understood the demands
of their  profession
and was ready to help them out -
as long as  they were around
and ready to help  me out
when there was  a particular story
I wanted to see run...

the thing is
it really surprised me
at first
but people believed me
even though I made up
most of it
off the top of my head

a reinforcing dynamic
began to develop -
the more questions they ask
the more expert I became
and as I became more expert
more people began
to believe me
and the more people
believed  me
the more they came to me
with questions
etcetera
and
etcetera
and so forth
for several years
until it got a little scary
and I began to feel like
Chauncey Gardner
in that Peter Sellers movie
"Being There"

and that made me
think
maybe I ought to
really know
what
I was talking about
which led to complexity
and more elaborate and extended
explanation and extrapolation
which screwed up my "good quote"
reputation and pretty soon the media faded away
and found someone else to be the
public expert
until  now days
nobody asks me questions
and I don't know
hardly
anything at  all







                                         



Bertolt Brecht is next from the anthology.

His poem was translated by John Willet.










The Burning of the Books

When the Regime commanded that books with harmful
    knowledge
Should be publicly burned on all sides
Oxen were forced to drag cart loads of books
To the bonfires, a banished
Writer, one of  the best, scanning the list of the
Burned, was shocked to find that his
Books had been passed over. He rushed to his desk
On wings of wrath, and wrote a letter to those in power.
Burn me! he wrote with flying pen, burn me. Haven't my
    books
Always reported the truth? And here you are
Treating me like a liar! I command you:
Burn me!








                                   



Me and Jimmy Carter, lusty fellows both.

Speaking of  ol' Jimbo, I think I'd  like him  better if he didn't seem so sure he had the only key to heaven's gate.













lust

like ol' Jimbo
I lust
in my hear...

for  power and fame, a lottery winning number,
for another day, every day,
for some good chicken and dumplings
like my mother used to make,
for a sweet tasting watermelon like nature
grew in the field beside
the swimming hole when I was a kid,
for a more comfortable pair of
shoes, for a flatter belly and broader
shoulders like in days past,, for hair to return
to the spot its departure left bare
on the top of my head,
for fast cars and, occasionally
loose women...

ol' Jimbo, he got to be President,
so I can't feel sorry for all  his unrequited lust, but
me, I'm going to have to settle today
for a meatloaf sandwich at that little restaurant
in the middle of of tiny Utopia, Texas,
about
fifteen miles down the road from Welfare,
on the way to Comfort where
the old stone building
promise,  at  least, long life
in a place where old people in short pants
and flowery sundresses and
straw hats will come
to visit
and take my picture...

---

but that won't stop me from thinking about
chicken and dumplings and  comfortable
shoes and fast cars and,  especially,
loose women










                       
Here's  something most everyone has heard, but is not so often attributed.

It was written  by Martin Niemoller, an anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. Initially a supporter of Hitler, when he turned against him and the Nazis, he was imprisoned in concentration camps, Sachsenhausen and Dachau from 1937 until 1945. After the war he renounced his earlier nationalist beliefs and became a vocal pacifist and anti-war activist.

Born in 1894, he died in 1989.









First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
They they came from the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.







                            




Another coffeehouse observational, again from early 2008.















fantastic news

the chess master,
a young physician with
and unfortunate resemblance
to Harpo Marx,
enters the room
and a boy,
his pupil,
races across the room,
"I have fantastic
news,"
he says,
prideful, excited
to be telling the master
of his own mastery of something,
but his teacher
sees an acquaintance
and stops to talk
and doesn't notice the boy
who stops
as if suspended in mid-step
before an invisible
barrier,
then turns,
his face  hung  low,
and walks back slowly
to where his father waits

the teacher
finds a table
and lays upon it his board
and chess  pieces
and turns back
to talk to his friend  again

the boy
goes to the table and quietly sits,
aching to tell the news stuck
still
in his throat
waiting
until,finally,  the master joins him

"I have fantastic
news," the boy tries
again...








Next from the anthology, Russian and Soviet poet, novelist, essayist, and dramatist Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Born in 1932, Yevtushenko's peak was during the Khrushchev thaw in Soviet censorship when he became a symbol for new freedoms, both in his own country and around the world, especially in the United States where he toured with near rock star type reception from the poetry types.

The poem is probably his best known, one of five of his poems upon which Shostakovitch based his Thirteenth Symphony. Babii Yar was a ravine in the suburbs of Kiev where Nazi forces murdered 33,000 Soviet Jews. For a long time there was no monument at the site of the atrocity. There was some thought that Soviet authorities preferred no attention be given to the event for  fear some of their own WWII atrocities might also be brought to light. At the time,  they were also not particularly interested in Jews being seen in a less than suspicious light.

The poem was translated by George Reavey.





Babii Yar

No monument stands over Babii Yar.
A drop sheer s  crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
                   Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
                             a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross
and to this day I bear the scars of nails.
I seem to be
                    Dreyfus.
the Philistine
                     is both informer and judge.
I am behind bars.
                             Beset on every side.
Hounded
               spat upon
                               slandered.
Squealing dainty ladies in flounced Brussels lace
stick their parasols into my face.
I seem to be then
                           a young boy in Byelostok.
Blood runs, spilling over the floors.
The barroom rabble-rousers
give off a stench of vodka and onion.
A book kicks me aside, helpless.
In vain I plead with these pogrom  bullies.
While they jeer and shout,
                                          'Beat the Yids. Save Russia!'
Some grain-marketeer beats up my mother
O my Russian people!
                                    I know
                                               you
are international to the core.
But those with unclean hands
have often made a jingle off your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
How vile these anti-Semites -
                                               without a qualm
they pompously called themselves
the Union of the Russian People!
I seem to be
                   Anne Frank
transparent
                   as a branch in April.
And I love.
                   And have no need of phrases.
My need
               is that we gaze into eachotther.
How little we can see
                                    or smell.
We are denied he leaves,
                                         we are denied the sky.
Yet we can do so much -
                                       tenderly
embrace each other in a darkened room.
They're coming here?
                                   But not afraid. those are the boomng
sounds of spring:
                            spring is coming here.
Come then to me.
                            Quick, give me your lips.
Are they smashing down the door?
                                                        No, it's the ice breaking...

The wild grasses rustle over Babii Yar.
The trees look ominous,
                                       like judges.
Here all things scream silently,
                                                 and, baring my head,
slowly I feel myself
                                 turning grey.
And I myself
                     am one massive, soundlessw scream
above the thousand thousand buried here.
I am
       each old man
                             here shot dead.
I am
       every child
                          here shot dead.
Nothing in me
                       shall ever forget!
The 'Internationale,' let it
                                       thunder
when the last anti-Semite on earth
is buried for ever.
In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
In their callous rage, all anti-Semites
must hate me now as a  Jew
For that reason
                         I am a true Russian!






    

                                            





I keep pulling for Spring. Spring keeps pushing back.














well, I do declare

I declared it Spring
yesterday,
cut off all my hair
and bought a new Hawaiian
shirt,
red
with bright hibiscuses
all over...

so here I am this morning,
7:07 a.m.
57 degrees,
wet and windy,
in my bald head
and skinny red shirt
freezing my declarations
off







Here's a poem from the anthology by Jerzy Ficowski.

Born in 1924, Ficowski, was a Polish poet, writer, and translator (from Yiddish, Russian, Romani, and Hungarian). He fought with the Polish Resistance during World War II. A member of the Home Army, fighting in the Mokotow Region, he was captured and imprisoned for a period and later participated in the Warsaw uprising of 1944. For two years (1948-1950) he traveled with Polish Gypsies, writing several books centered on the Roma way of life. In the late 1970s all of his work was banned in Poland under the Communists, making its way into publication in the West until the rise of Solidarity brought his books back to Polish bookshelves.

Ficowski died in 2006. His poem was translated by Keith Bosley.






A Girl of Six from the Ghetto Begging in Smolna Street in 1942

she had nothing
but eyes to grow up to
in them quite by chance
two stars of david
perhaps a teardrop would put them out

so she cried

Her speech
was not silver
worth at least
a spit a turning away of the head
her tearful speech
full of hunchbacked words

so she fell silent

Her silence
was not golden
worth at most
3 ha'pence perhaps  carrot or whatever
a very well behaved silence
with a Jewish accent
of hunger

so she died








                           





Some mornings it's just harder than usual.











juiced

just
a little bitty
poem
is what I  need
today
'cause
my battery's
low 
and all  the tables
by electric
plugs
are taken
by med students
who
probably aren't
doing anything
as important as
me
but that's 
life
you know -
oh
what
a pretty girl
just
walked in
dark eyes
big smile
dumb ass
looking
boyfriend
oh well -
but
as I was saying
not  a lot of juice
so gotta
hang kinda
loose
and hope
a poem
appears
pretty
soon before
my battery
and your patience
gives out

uh oh
too
late








The next poem from the anthology Holocaust Poetry is by Thom Gunn.

Gunn was an English poet born in 1929. He was praised for his early work in England and, after moving to the United States, following his move to a looser, free-verse style. After moving to San Francisco, Gunn came out as openly gay and wrote often on gay themes, as well as drug use, sex and other topics related to the Bohemian life style he adopted.

Gunn taught writing at Stanford University and at the University of California, Berkeley, and died in 2004 of acute poly-substance use, including methamphetamine.








Innocence

(to  Tony White)

He ran the course and as he ran he grew,
And smelt his fragrance in the field. already,
running he knew the most he ever knew,
The egotism of a healthy body. 

Ran into manhood, ignorant of the past;
Culture of guild and guilt's vague heritage,
Self-pity and the soul; what he possessed
Was rich, potential, like the bud's tipped rage.

The Corps developed, it was plain to see,
Courage, endurance,  loyalty and skill
To a morale firm as morality.
Hardening him to an instrument, until

The finitude of virtues that were there
Bodied with the swarthy uniform
A compact innocence, child-like and clear.
No doubt could penetrate, no act could harm.

When he stood near the Russian partisan
Being burned alive, he therefore could behold
The ribs wear gently through the darkening skin
and sicken only at the Northern cold.

Could watch the fat burn with violet flame
And feel disgusted only at the smell,
And judge that all pain finishes the same
As melting quietly by his boots it fell.








                                           





 A highway encounter from two weeks ago.














how I wish

passed
a 1957/1958 (hard to tell the difference)
Chrysler Imperial hardtop on my way downtown
this morning, from the rear, looking
like Kirk's  Enterprise, and from the front,
like one of Ming the  Merciless' killer
spaceships...

some designer,
I suspect, won the office pool
on who could design the strangest looking car,
his design, by accident,  sent on
to the engineers who,
knowing no better,
built it...

an adolescent' science-fiction nerd's
bored Latin class doodle, transformed
into a vision of steel and rubber and glass,
rolling down the highway, even now,
American hubris on four white-walled wheels,
the ugliest, most ridiculous,
most awe-inspiringly beautiful automotive creation
ever set free to roam the great American
highway,, and how I wish
I had
one









                                               

Next from the anthology, a poem by Czeslew Milosz, poet, diplomat, prose writer, translator and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature. Born in 1911, in Lithuania, Milosz died in 2004.









A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto

Bees build around red liver,
Ants build around black bone.
It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,
It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood,  copper nickel, silver
    foam
Of gypsum, iron sheets violin strings, trumpets, leaves, balls,
    crystals.
Poof! Phosphorescent fire from yellow walls
Engulfs animal and human hair.

Bees build around the honeycomb of lungs,
Ants build around white bone.
Torn is paper, rubber,linen, leather, flax,
Fibre, fabrics,  cellulose, snakeskin, wire.
The roof and the walls collpse in flame and heat seizes the
    foundations.
Now there is only the earth, sandy, trodden down,
With one leafless tree.

Slowly, boring a tunnel, a guardian mole makes his way,
With a small red lamp fastened to his forehead.
He touches buried bodies, counts them, pushes on,
He distinguishes  human ashes by the luminous vapour,
The aches of each man by a different part of the spectrum.
Bees build around a red trace.
Ants build around the place left by my body.

I am so afraid, so afraid of the guardian mole.
He has swollen eyelids, like a  Patriarch
Who has sat much in the light of candles
Reading the great book of the species.

What will I tell him, I, a Jew  of the New Testament,
Waiting two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus?
My broken body will deliver me to his sight
and he will count me among he healpers of death:
The uncircumcised.

Warsaw, 1943

- After the Jewish uprising, the Warsaw Ghetto was destroyed on 15th May, 1934.
The German officer commanding, Brigadier Stroop,proudly informed Berlin. 'The
Warsaw Ghetto is no more.'








                                   




The wind has to be right so it doesn't happen every year, but some years when fields are being burned in Mexico, we get the fallout here.













Mexican ash

orange clouds flaring
raining
mud-drops
leaving a coat
of grey
Mexican
polka
dots

everywhere


a scent
of Mexico burning








                                                    
Lily Brett, a German-born Australian novelist, essayist and poet currently living in New York City, wrote  the next poem from the anthology. Her parents, survivors of both the Lodz Ghettos in Poland and Auschwitz concentration camp, Brett was born in 1946 in a displace persons camp in Germany. She was two years old when she and her parents were able to leave Germany and emigrate to Australia where she grew up.








La Pathetique

I put on La Pathetique
the sound invades my skin
enlarges my heart

the notes drop
into channels
of sadness

piercing
puncturing
pain

Beethoven
must have been
brokenhearted
when he wrote this sonata

I hum
I nod my head
I conduct the performance
from my car

this listening
to music
is new to me

for years
I required silence

I was listening
for murderers

I was expecting
menace

I was prepared
for peril

I was waiting
for disaster

and
couldn't be disturbed. 








                                    





It's supposed to be Spring this afternoon. In the meantime cold and wet.














just being a good friend

not really rain,
just heavy fog and mist,
so I can't truthfully claim
to walking my dog in the rain,
more like just walking in the
wet which would have made
a really anticlimactic song in the movie
even though there are
puddles through which to

s
                    p
         l
                                     a
               s
  h

and

fr
   ol
       ic
           if
               we
                     wanted...

but I won't because I have my good
shoes
on
and neither will  Bella
because she hates it when water
collects on her snowshoe feet and  between
her big hairy toes
and I can understand that
because
I feel the same about it...

but the point
is I can't claim dog-lover martyrdom
for walking in the wet with her
so I'll have to
settle
for  just being a good friend to a
good friend




If El Mercado is San Antonio's oldest mall, I ended last week with pictures of the fountain tile work at Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio's newest mall. I used very drab pictures that didn't do the tile work justice and said I would bring of a couple pictures that better featured the colors. I'll finish off this week with a last picture from El Mercado, I have this picture and the next one from the fountains.










Last from this week anthology, Holocaust Poetry, here's a poem Ellie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.

Wiesel, a Romanian-born (1928) is a Jewish-American professor and political activist, author of 57 book, some based on his experiences in Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps.








Never Shall  I  Forget

Never shall I forget that night,
the first night at the camp
which has turned my life into one long night,
seven times cursed and seven times sealed.

Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the little faces of the children
whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke
beneath a silent blue sky.

Never shall I forget those flames
which consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence
which deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.

Never shall I forget those moments
which murdered my God and my soul
and turned my dreams to dust.

Never shall I forget these things,
even if I am condemned to live
as long as God Himself.

Never.




Again, from La Cantera.






                                     




Here, the  last poem of the week, a new one from last week.














creation time

the easy ways
come easy
and that's surely no surprise,
but it's the hard way
that pays the dividends...

like I have skipped my before-breakfast
walk with the dog
for a couple of months now,
too wet,
too cold,
too tired, feet hurt,
up too  late, the disappearance of the gray cat
who walked with us disturbing
the cosmic balance
of the experience, excuses come easy
to anyone eager to find them...

but the fact is, excuses aside,
I am finding that the so-early morning commune
with the morning is essential to me, the first birds waking
with their phlegm-filled first
low calls, the new day's fresh breezes pushing
across the footbridge over
Apache Creek, the air, the new air,
not yet stirred by the yellow rising sun,
the quiet, mostly the quiet, broken only by the
the low mutterings of the birds and the soft
chime of patio bells from behind the houses
I pass, the music of the morning...

all this, the quiet time the mind needs to think, to seek
what secrets the fresh day
might offer,
creation time, the universe,  if  created
by God as written by the prophets, done during seven days
of early morning walks,
he, finding, as he strode across the vast empty,
first the night and the stars,
then the day overseen by his bright circling eye,
then life, the culmination of creation...

creation time - poem time,
the sucking in of all the dark and quiet
and finding in it a day's poem, line by line
found with steps taken,
the better poems  I began to lose
when easy excuses
took over
and I shut myself off
from the well of creation I found
in the night's last dim hour,
the day's first rising
minutes...

tomorrow,
I walk
again, seeking the truth of things
before the sun
blinds me
again

breezes...







As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and me.


I mention it every week and it's  still true, I'm Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, eBookPie, and Kobo (and, through Kobo,retail booksellers all across America and abroad)




´╗┐Poetry




Places and Spaces





Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around





Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second






Short Stories



Sonyador - The Dreamer



















3 Comments:
at 9:25 AM Blogger Here and Now said...

thank you, patrick. i enjoy you work as well. you'll see more of it here soon.

at 3:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

my fave poem on these subjects- Paul Celan's- Shulamith and Margarete (what's the title)- it's Todesfuge

good doc on the camps by BBC- (netflix has it)

now must to get - Peter Matthiessen's "In Paradise" (he just died) the book is about the camps

we have a right wing in this country, by the way- i say, resist it

at 4:47 PM Blogger Here and Now said...

thanks, dave, for your comment.

Post a Comment



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