Echoes from the Pages of History


Josef Lesser


If you listen surrounded by stillness

you can hear the black rose growing

the stretch of stem flow of life’s liquid.

You can hear the grass murmuring before blades

rotating full throttle produce the perfect lawn

even the song of the dead wren floats in silence

where voices in the crossword subways of history

survive way past their use by date,

voices orchestrated by foreign tongues with funny sounding names,

malka moshe dorka chaim shloime, laughing crying cajoling talking loud soft whispering sad songs, tosia to efroimicyk’ to zofia fruma to ‘zyg

leszek whistles to malka silent as waves collapsing on clouds passing over

the crib at belzec treblinka auschwitz at kulmhof lublin and sobibor.

Inside the subway of history

echoes ride over the crib of pompeii

over the killing fields over my lai and kosovo

wounded knee and darfur, listen to voices

with suspicious sounding names, sitting bull

big foot ng ngo and nguyen abdel tuyen suong

funny names, dodo is a funny name for a bird

extinct, but you can hear the grass murmur

amina rusonga rugova attilius corelia ampliatus.

Listen tosia hums a sad tune to efroim, a strange sound

like sharks behind glass with eyes the exit of release,

mouths opening and closing.


Of Why of Why


(holocaust violins

always cry)


Mother of pearl

ivory and bone

bone of my Mother


silver and gold

handle of steel

of rust of tears

of why of why

blade of rust

stalagmite of sighs

blade of stone

of bone

bone of my Mother

my Mother of pearl

drowning in rust

razor of gold

rummage for ruby

silver in bones

of good-by of good-by

of why of why

scream rising high in the beak

of the hawk ----- then the still

then the cry of violins chiselled

for tone slice through the hair

through the middle of pearl

of bone

of silver and gold

dying in rust

eyes final wave

through windows of wire

stalagmites sigh

of good-by of good-by

blind ovens run dry

as deaf violins cry

Of why of why?

Of why of why?




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© 2007 Women in Judaism, Inc.

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