“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”
–Primo Levi (1986)
Light a candle–
six million, if you can,
for those who say they didn’t know,
for those who didn’t, do not see
what once was, what could be,
who overlooked the ash-filled air,
who still ignore the pleading cries
and do not hear the ghostly sighs
that float over the walls of hate,
light a candle
for those who suffered then—
the hate-filled cries ignite the night
don’t pretend you led a fight,
or that you were righteous and true,
or even had a clue
as you embrace soundbite and meme
to boost your fragile self-esteem,
but see? The ghost numbers grow everyday–
and they never ever go away.
Today, January 27, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I revised a poem I wrote a few years ago and re-posted last year. Authoritarianism and anti-semitism are both rising. Last year, followers of the former president tried to overthrow our government. There is so much ignorance–and hate–and people who embrace crackpot theories. We are living in a very scary time.
Reblogged this on NEW BLOG HERE >> https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.
Thank you as well for the remembrance! xx Michael
Thanks for the reminder, and sharing the wonderful poem. xx Michael
Thank you very much, Michael. 💙
Thank you as well, Merill! Have a nice weekend! xx Michael
What a beautiful tribute to honor those lost💖
Thank you very much.
A hope and faith
Beautifully written and very poignant. For me, your theme captured me early, which helped me appreciate your thoughts. Well done … and thanks for this.
Thank you very much, Frank, for your kind words.
This poem speaks to both past and present atrocities.
Thank you. My point exactly.
No they don’t. Thanks for the reminder. Sadly, we seem to need it over and over and over again. (K)
Thank you. Yes, sadly, you’re right.
Powerful. I am reading out loud books with my son that tell these stories, that lift these voices, so he doesn’t go out into the world ignorant of the truth that our schools are being legislated away from teaching.
Thank you so much, Liesl.
Yes, I just saw Maus was banned by a Tennessee school board. UGH.
I am linking to your poem in an upcoming post today. Should I include your full name? Merril D. Smith – or how would you like to be credited?
Thank you! Yes, Merril D. Smith.
I am including a link to your poem in an upcoming post. How would you like me to credit you – with your full name or the name of your blog? What works best for you?
I guess if you’re linking to the poem, they’ll see my blog, so I’d prefer they see my name.
You got it. Thanks.
Sadly, an apt, equally excellent, update
Thank you very much, Derrick.
I agree, Derrick.
You’re welcome, Derrick.
Beautiful and powerful. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
This is certainly worth re-posting, Merril. Lovely tribute.
Thank you, Jill.
outstanding work & a valuable lesson, Merril. Thanks. I posted an Oldie today, too, on the same subject. https://rlavalette.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/whither-thou-goest-2/
Thank you, Ron. Yes, I updated the old one.
I will look at yours now.
Powerful, Merril, your verses burn bright! 👏👏
Thank you, Tricia.
Thank you Merril, very powerfully told. We will never forget. I agree these are scary times. We have to be vigilant at all times – and be ever aware of man’s capability of(ongoing) inhumanity to man.
Thank you very much, Susan. Yes, unfortunately. I think people choose not to learn.
Beautiful and powerful poem, Merril. And yes, it seems some have forgotten, as proven by actions taken in the last few years…
Thanks so much, Dale. Yes, you’re certainly and unfortunately right.
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This is a compelling reminder of that.
Yes, unfortunately. Thank you, Ken.
Such a powerful poem…You are right…We must be candles of love, one to another. Love is much more powerful than hate. We must also pray without ceasing; God hears our every prayer. He loves all of His children. We must carry the torch of love wherever we go. We do make a difference…the power of one is sometimes underestimated. The spark of love is a spark beyond measure…
Thank you so much, Linda. 💙
I’m not a believer, but good thoughts and deeds work no matter how they’re expressed. And yes, sometimes one person is all it takes to at least start things.
I sometimes think of your poems as ribbons of hope…streams of ribbons! Yes, there are the deep blue streamers, for life is not perfect, but then there are the ribbons of deep pink, like the dawn of day, and the yellow ribbons that are like sunshine itself. These ribbons set sail and hover for all the world to see…It is a beautiful thing when we celebrate the beautiful, even amidst the clouds of sadness and things that should not be. It helps others ‘see’ that there is more than those clouds. And those bright and beautiful streamers change the world…
Thank you, Linda.
I often see things as colors, too. Though hard to celebrate anything in this remembrance–perhaps it will help someone to see.
Well done, Merril. Have you seen the poem set on Minyan? http://www.minyanmag.com/evaeliav.html
Thank you. I will look at it.
Beautiful Remembrance, thank you for this ❤
Thank you very much!
My pleasure and honor.
I am so sorry I am only coming to your wise words today, Merril, a day late. But we need to remember these things every day: just what evil the human race is capable of, and also how we were made to do so much better.
Thank you, Ingrid! No need to apologize. It’s hard to keep up with all the posts everywhere. Yes, we do need to remember. I’m not sure what it’s like where you are, but according to polls, there’s a shocking lack of knowledge about the Holocaust in the US.
I retweeted it to hopefully raise some awareness. I think the trouble is that now it is out of most people’s living memory, and maybe it isn’t taught enough in schools, people believe myths instead of the truth. And the danger of forgetting is that it could all happen again, and that’s unthinkable. We just need to keep raising our voices against hatred and discrimination!
I agree, Ingrid, and thank you!
In the US, every state has guidelines has on what needs to be taught in public schools, and then each local school districts control their schools. . .You may have seen a school board in Tennessee banned the graphic novel Maus. New Jersey mandates teaching about the Holocaust, but I’m sure it varies. My daughter always did big units with her eighth grade classes.
I learned a lot in high school, watching the World at War documentaries, and also first hand from my Grandma who witnessed it for herself in Latvia.
I didn’t know you had a Latvian grandmother! I wondered about your name. 😀
My maiden name was ‘Stakle’ from my Grandma!
Mine was Schreiber–so maybe there were writers or scribes in my ancestry. 😀
That would not surprise me at all, Merril! 😃
Such a powerful opening Merril and love your poem! 💖
Thank you so much, Cindy!
You’re so welcome!💖👏
Merril, your prose is powerful.
I agree, we live in a scary time.
Canada is such a copy cat of America, that I am worried for us up in the north.
We had a Truckers Protest in our capital city, Ottawa.
My niece calls it Flu Trucks Klan. Ignorance was on display full force. Anti mask, anti vaxx, anti public health… all just me…my rights, my thoughts, my wants, my beliefs… and my rights and wants are the most important, so if I give you Covid or suck up hospital beds that’s my right.
Merril, I’m trying to get some medical tests, but Omicron (spread largely by the unvaxxed) has sidelined my medical needs.
I worry about my hubby, as antisemitism festers.
Thank you, Resa.
Yes, I heard about the truckers’ protest. Awful people–they were taking food from homeless shelters!
I hope you and your husband stay well, and that you’re able to get the tests you need.
Of course every anti-everything person in the region joined the truckers. It’s still going on. They closed the main mall in the city, and many stores. The so called protesters were planning to swarm stores and shop without masks. Fools!
Yes, I’ll call back all the ultrasound places that haven’t called back yet.
I didn’t realize it was still going on. Stay safe!
I hope you can get your ultrasound soon. 💙
I got 1 of 2 appts. so far.
The message of the protest got lost behind nazi symbols, confederate flags, attacks on gays, public defecation and defacing of memorials.
Average IQ 51-70.
I’m glad you got the appointments. As for the rest, I just don’t know. I was going to say I hope they sink into the earth, but that would just pollute.
Hauntingly beautiful poem, Merril. Breaks my heart that there is any need to continually remind people of what happened. If humans were truly made in God’s image, why are so many of them so willfully ignorant? (Pretty sure there’s not an answer for that.)
Thank you so much, Marie.
People just seem to want to hate and believe lies.
Always Remember ❤️
Yes. Thank you. 💙