Destroyed Ohel Yaaqov Synagogue. באישור בעל האוסף / by permission from the collection owner under CC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“The beast in man had lifted its mask and the time of euphemistic niceties and rationalizations was over.”  Annette Dumbach, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose



Tonight is the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, a pogrom against Jews “throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians The German authorities looked on without intervening.The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues were smashed.” Wikipedia.

Ninety-one Jews were murdered and it is estimated that 30,000 men were separated from their homes and their children and transported to concentration camps.

Kristallnacht was the turning point in Nazi scapegoating and oppressing Jews, moving policy from excluding Jews from political and social engagement to the destruction of property owned by Jews, the murder of Jews, and the importation of Jews to concentration camps.

We would do well to remember. Yesterday it was them. Today it’s someone else. Tomorrow it might be you or me.  No one is safe until everyone is safe.

 

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” Martin Niemöeller, Then They Came for Me: Martin Niemöller, The Pastor Who Defied the Nazis, Matthew D. Hockenos.


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman

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Jamal Khashoggi,Saudi journalist, Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel. Photo: Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED’s “Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look”. March 21, 2018, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Washington, DC. / Courtesy of April Brady / POMED – Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look under CC BY 2.0 license

It was painful for me several years ago when several friends were arrested. I said nothing. I didn’t want to lose my job or my freedom. I worried about my family. I have made a different choice now. I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison.”  Jamal Khashoggi



PEN America nonprofit logo under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pen America announced last Friday that more than 100 writers, journalists, artists, and activists are calling on the United Nations to initiate an independent investigation into the disappearance and apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Marking a month since his disappearance and on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the writers and artists issued an open letter demanding that those responsible be brought to justice.

Literary and artistic luminaries and leading journalists, including J.K. Rowling, Bob Woodward, Meryl Streep, Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Arundhati Roy, Patrick Stewart, Chimamanda Adichie, Tom Stoppard, and Mario Vargas Llosa, have signed a letter calling on António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to launch a thorough and independent investigation into the disappearance and apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in order to uncover the truth and lay the groundwork for those responsible to be held accountable.

The letter reads: “The violent murder of a prominent journalist and commentator on foreign soil is a grave violation of human rights and a disturbing escalation of the crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia, whose government in recent years has jailed numerous writers, journalists, human rights advocates, and lawyers in a sweeping assault on free expression and association. It is also yet another data point in a global trend that has seen an increasing number of journalists imprisoned and murdered for their work. As writers and journalists ourselves, we fear the potential chilling effect of this trend, at a moment when the work of all those who would speak and expose the truth has never been more important.”

The letter also cites the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, endorsed in 2012, which states that attacks on journalists “[deprive] society as a whole of their journalistic contribution and [result] in a wider impact on press freedom where a climate of intimidation and violence leads to self censorship.”

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was intended not just to silence one man, but to intimidate and suppress voices of dissent across borders,” said Summer Lopez, Senior Director of Free Expression Programs. “As such, it poses a threat not just to journalists, and not just to critics of the Saudi government, but to all those who would stand up for human rights and for the truth. China and Russia have already demonstrated a willingness to engage in extra-territorial and extra-judicial attacks on their critics; with Saudi Arabia joining that list, the threat to free expression globally is grave. In the face of such a vile and dangerous act, it is critical that the international community respond with fortitude and clarity in defense of journalists, and in defense of freedom of expression as a whole. The United Nations must lead that charge.”

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance, the Turkish government has repeatedly claimed to have evidence he was tortured, murdered, and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Although Saudi authorities denied any knowledge of his whereabouts for two weeks after his disappearance, they subsequently admitted he had been killed inside the consulate, but offered an implausible explanation, suggesting that an attempt to detain Khashoggi went awry. Turkey and Saudi Arabia both claim to be investigating the case.

Jamal Khashoggi began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Saudi Gazette newspaper. Although once close to the inner circles of the Saudi royal family, he was gradually subjected to rigorous censorship by Saudi authorities. Concerned about his safety in Saudi Arabia following a crackdown on free expression that began in 2016 under the new Crown Prince, he went into self-imposed exile and moved to the United States in 2017. That September, he began reporting for the Washington Post as a columnist, where he continued to do so until his disappearance. On September 28, Khashoggi made his first trip to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in order to inquire about the acquisition of documents needed for his second marriage. He disappeared on October 2, after returning to the building based on instructions provided to him.

PEN America Washington Director Thomas O. Melia spoke at a memorial service for Jamal Khashoggi in Washington, D. C. on Friday, November 2. More information is available here.

The open letter is available here.

*****

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its stated mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. pen.org


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman

Breadline

Breadline

“Rich Lazarus! richer in those gems, thy tears,
Than Dives in the robes he wears:
He scorns them now, but oh they’ll suit full well
With the purple he must wear in hell”
Richard Crenshaw (c.1613-1649), English cleric, teacher, metaphysical poet, Steps to the Temple. Sacred Poems, Delights of the Muses (1646)



the unconscionable dance in the canyons of power,
lined with megalithic buildings, the edifice complex
of the spin-meister’s lie, that the demigods can do
anything – anything – walking this asphalt valley

a parade, flailing lemmings trussed and trusting their
die-cut dreams to the pitiless whim of the military/
industrial/medical alliance, whose war-cries are of
greed and arrogance, believing they’ll live forever,
today’s sovereignty, tomorrow’s guarantee. But it’s

all delusion – cultures die and the hope-crushing
architects of cuts and austerity measures are like
the rich man in the Lazarus story, there’ll be
some kind of backlash, some kind of hell to pay …

© Jamie Dedes

 © 2010, Jamie Dedes; photo credit,1930 breadine sculpture at the FDR memorial courtesy of Peter Griffin, Public Domain Pictures.net

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Theme: Austerity Measures

The phrase “austerity measure” isn’t used as much now as it was when I wrote this poem, but that injustice by other name or unnamed is still an injustice and it’s one that is happening all over the world.

Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them.

All poems on theme are published on the following Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, November 12 by 8 p.m. Pacific.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman


“Falling in love is very real, but I used to shake my head when people talked about soul mates, poor deluded individuals grasping at some supernatural ideal not intended for mortals but sounded pretty in a poetry book. Then, we met, and everything changed, the cynic has become the converted, the sceptic, an ardent zealot.” E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly


These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, the bride wore yellow, October 31, 2018 give us a peek into perspectives, ideals, joys, challenges, complexities, and disappointments in weddings, marriage and relationships. Well done and much thanks to Billy Antonio, Gary W. Bowers, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Jen E. Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Special thanks to Irma and Anjum for including artwork.  Bravo!

In addition to their words, I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


aged wine…
the couple renew
their vows

© 2018, Billy Antonio
Laoac, Pangasinan, Philippines


veil required

the groom-to-be
would just not be
dissuaded:
he had to have
a bride who had
a veil.

and thus and sewn
a veil was grown;
it shaded
his beauty’s face
her Wordless Grace
so pale.

all words were said.
she raised her head
he lifted
the nylon net
revealing
radiant
joy.
their loops arrived,
and, uncontrived
and gifted,
that mellow Kiss–
that This–
was Girl
and
Boy.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image and Text)


Marriage Bound – A Cascade Poem

We signed this paper

We are legally bound

The hard work begins

We climbed the steps and waited in line

On our lunch hour

We signed this paper

That night we fought

You slept on the couch

We are legally bound

Morning came

You made me coffee

The hard work begins

Another cascade poem about a relationship, this one responding to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday prompt to write about weddings or marriage. She states, “As with all human institutions and traditions, weddings and marriages can be very mixed things.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Weddings are often fraught with family drama – it’s like all major holiday dinners with two entire families who are staying in one small house all rolled into one day.

After the wedding, marriage itself is a mixed bag of highs and lows. Some couples do call it quits when the lows seem too much but for other couples, those marriage vows, that piece of paper, is permanently binding. Barring any type of abuse, these couples put in the hard work to maintain their commitment.

Relationships are mentally, emotionally and physically demanding. Sometimes love is enough to get us through. Sometimes we need a little more – from our partner, family, friends, from ourselves. But in the end, we all still hope to say, “It was worth it.”

©️ 2018, poem, commentary and photograph,  Irma Do (I Do Run)


At Sea

He’d be my anchor
to hold me steady
He’d be my rudder
when I was ready
to be steered
and grasped
for journey’s maps

it sounded safer
to have such care
for when in life
I had been scared
of life, of me
looking past
the shorelines vast

but years stretched
the anchor weighed
life down and rudder
circled / stayed
in place, close in
to that land
of crystal sand

the winds were strong
to fuel the past
I cut the rope
on sail at last
no longer held
by ancient dreams
new horizons gleam

I can never know
what would have been
or even now will be
but let it in
my own accord
a path ahead
explore unled

Night is coming
undenied
and I am crossed
to the other side
through opened door
my skiff and me
unmoored and free.

© 2018, Deb y Felio


TANDEM: A word that only lovers
understand.
MARRIAGE: A state where tandem
should be true.
DESIRE: A thing that marriage
should but will.
Would that tandem were the way,
And put marriages at bay,
Let Lovers have their say……….

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie


..cypher spoken clear..

passed over by accident, the
thing occurred naturally,
without clerics. without beatitude.

given by friendship, yet
piety slowly eroded.

they come now with learning,
holding large words, a different language.

the charm now gone,
perhaps they did not need it any more.

once again, it is said, that,
they speak latin. made
the word bleed.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.once in france.

he sat on the step in the heat, I, sickly dozed under the damson tree. lizards flicked. while in the village below this hill music played. a wedding.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..spoon..

it is an ancient place,
oswald’s tree, the floor
bends, polished wood.

there was a wedding yesterday,
all kilted, the groom ate pie,
wore proper shoes with segs.

she showed me a cabinet, a spoon,
hand forged, old, beaten for sale.

i was travelling, a pretty
place, not good enough for some.

the bottle is crooked,

we left it
so.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


I Locked My Heart and Let the Key Drift in the River

Urdu and English

وقت  جو گزر گیا  اک  خواب  سا  لگتا ہے
اب یہ  سوچتی ہوں  کہ  حقیقت  کیا  ہے
جب ہر  کام   میں  الله  پر  بھروسہ  کر  لیں
تو پھر  فکر و  پریشانی  کی ضرورت  کیا  ہے
کتنا  جھوٹ  بھرا ہے  آج کے انسانوں میں
سچ  کہاں ہے  اور  صداقت  کیا  ہے
ہر ایک  کو فکر  ہے بس اپنی ذات کی
ہمدردی  کہاں  ہے  انسانیت   کیا  ہے
دکھ درد  سے  بھری  ہے  یہ  دنیا سری
بیکاری  بیماری  کی  یہ  حالت کیا  ہے
اپنے  بھی  پراے  بن  جاتے  ہیں  جب
چاہیں  تو  اپنا لیں  پھر  چاہت  کیا ہے
بکتی  ہیں  بازاروں  می  علم  کی سندیں
محنت  و  لگن  و  ذہانت   پھر  کیا  ہے
دھڑکتے  دل  پے تالا  ہے چابی  دریا میں
گر  چاہت  گناه  ہے  تو پیار و محبت کیا ہے

Time that is past,seems like a dream
now I think about what certitude is

when for everything we trust the Almighty
then for worry and stress, no need is

how full of deception is humanity today
where faith righteousness and truth is

individuality narcissism reigns supreme
then where empathy compassion pity is

the world is replete with pain and grief
what nauseating malady, disease this is

knowledge is sold, in markets hot,openly
what then dedicated effort and vision is

I locked my heart and threw the key adrift
if desire is a sin then what love n affection is

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)
Green and Yellow Weddings, Color or Collar

متعلقہ تصویر                                                 10931594_10153064832645747_809812903100677600_o (1)A Wedding in gold in green and yellow, green soft and yellow bold 
A Time to become the wanted and the unwanted, to feel hot and cold,
Be the, Special One, of the rare species, definitely, surely be in a color
and maybe sooner before you can  say cock robin, be in a collar’.

I  must apologize  for my distraction by nature ,
but being born under the Gemini  Skies I cannot
help being either Castor or Pollux-whichever is me,
I am a Human for I can see hear eat lie and cheat

mock taunt smile sleep grab and command and
write believe me I belong to a humble and honest
uh the Race that has inhabited this greener Planet
for centuries and made a humble  smelly mess of it.

and thus in this  ailing failing binding mending
cunning stunning weeping keeping entertaining
side of life one is selected decorated and collected
along with gold cash furniture house and boarding

yellow yellow all over, in flower bower and cover
in drums and dance in drinks and feast till over
in the loudness of music, drowns the fear n tear
the savage side of possession command n cheer

there reigns more hurt and pain and  complaints
a bondage a commitment a promise of  affection
forgiveness patience courage and  conviction of
of sacrifice support of honor  and appreciation

but an image horrific looms large  and long
unwashed dishes,ants crawling in line
anger  aggression   insults subtle and fine
depression loneliness  forgetfulness of the divine

how soon the green mixing with yellow withers
away, the fragrance  fades and  flowers decay
the joy of togetherness drags and drifts away
and all love ‘soon dies in its own too much’ a day

a wedding is a promise if one makes it then one should keep it

© 2018, photos and poem, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton

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