Fear is not an option

Originally posted on 20 November 2015 in response to the Paris attacks and in light of the recent verbal assault of Donald Trump in a Country where more than 300,000 die in gun related deaths each year I have chosen to reblog this post. France is proud to be a safe country where the purchasing and owning of guns is strictly controlled. We are also proud that our children can go to school without the fear of dying.

“When adults tell me, ‘I have the right to own a gun,’ all I can hear is, ‘My right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live.’ All I hear is mine, mine mine, mine.”  – Emma Gonzales Survivor Parkland Shooting 

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will and always so when it violates the rights of individuals.”                                                                                                  – Thomas Jefferson

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” – Victor Hugo

I say I am stronger than fear.” – Malala Yousafzai

fear is not an option

le journal

the internet

telematin

France 24

the word floods

all forms of media

as the body count

rises in Paris

islamic states of hate

(i refuse to capitalize hatred)

declared war on France

i set down the paper

address my laptop

john lennon’s haunting strains

filling my head

nous ne nous rendrons pas

our media is not stuck in

shock and awe mode

nous sommes unis

on with life

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

unlike terrorist

skulking about the city

hiding behind masks,

headcoverings, disguises

nous ne nous cachons pas

we take to the streets

le café

le theatré

all life is calling

VIVA LA PARIS

et

VIVA LA FRANCE

bisous,

léa

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…To the left

Despite the fact that I first published this here over three years ago, it seems imperative to reblog it now given current events in Virginia and elsewhere. 

“This is the biggest cemetery for Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti. It must tell us that we have to come back here again and again. We must keep the memory of the worst crime in human history alive for those who were born later.”   –  Horst Koehler, Germany President

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”    –  Martin Niemöller 

This post is dedicated to the memories of Claire Magnani (who wanted it read but couldn’t hear it anymore), Manya and Meyer Korenblit, Chaim Nagelstein and too many others.

*

…To the left

Naked they cling to each other

Husband and wife parent to child

Lovers embrace

O mother, with infant at your breast

You must be cleansed

To the side of the large stone building

Lay the belongings

Of those who are to be cleansed

You who wear a yellow star

You shall be cleansed

Soldiers rummage through mounds of clothing

Items are catalogued

By the hundreds

They line up for the showers

Men, women, children

With paralyzing fear

They are herded through large doors

A small boy of five

With piercing brown eyes

Clutches his mother’s arm

As the gas permeates the room

Amid the screams

Comes the cry

“Hush mien kindelein hashem is with us”

And they are cleansed

And Germany is cleansed

And the ovens are cleansed

Made ready for those who will follow

Skeletal remnants of men

Must remove the remains

Of their brothers and sisters

Must pry the gold from their mouths

Must fill German coffers

Must kindle the fires with the bones

Of those they love

Germany must be

Cleansed

Purify

Pile another corpse into the ovens

Those hollow cheeks the vacant stares

Fire will purify

Cold grey ashes will not tell

Of what has been done

Thick black smoke fills the nostrils

With deaths stench

And violates the skies of Europe

Rich German soil harbors mass graves

And Germany will not be cleansed

*

NEVER AGAIN!

Bisous,

Léa

Love – can break your heart

 

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”   –  Kahil Gibran

“Love is composed  of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”   –  Aristotle

“Where there is love there is life.”   –   Mahatma Gandhi

 

                                         

*

Love- can break your heart

As our choir sang

Pour les maisons de la retrait

I bore witness

From the corner of

My eye

His devotion

Spills from

Pale blue eyes

Rarely leaving her side

Reading, anticipating

His efforts to

Reassure her

Albeit briefly

Respirations syncopate

As though

One heart beats

Pour tous les deux

I can feel fragile tissues

Weakening

The tenuous hold

On this life

Sa crainte

She could cross over

Without him

 Son coeur se briserait

*

Bisous,

Léa

Garde de la porte

“Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.”   –  Jean Cocteau

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”   –  George Eliot

*

Garde de la porte

Her long thin fingers

Barely grasp the pen

She keeps the ledger

Faithfully

Un stylo noir

Ink blood red

Leaves its mark

On cool vellum sheets

All capital letters

She spells out each

Name clearly

No margin for error

Mother, brother, child

Eventually she writes us

All in

Sans jugement

Ou passion

She never tires

Fille de

La mort

*

Bisous,

Lèa

And the rain fell

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall
see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your
delight.”
~Kahlil Gibran

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the
hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly
sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud
only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a
drawer… and everything collapses.”
~Colette

“Breathe.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.”
~Nicholas Evans

For my daughter Jacqueline (1974-1976)

And the rain fell

And the rain fell

Scattering precious droplets

That would cling

To your long dark lashes

And your down-like curls

The laughter in your eyes

So evident in your outburst

As you thrust back your wee head

Straining to catch each particle of moisture

Within your grasp

And the rain fell

*

And I marveled in your delight

Each time as if it were the first

The magic ignited

In your ebony-brown eyes

As you tried with clenched fists

To capture the minute drops

As if to possess them – forever

And the rain fell

*

We come to realize

That each of us

Like those drops of rain

Must abandon the boundaries of earth

To embark on the uncharted journey

Seizing memories as our companion

And the rain fell

*

It soaked my clothes

It dampened the virgin wood that encased you

And my body trembled

As the deep pain clawed at my heart

The freshly upturned soil

That waited to embrace you

And the rain fell

*

The skies above seemed to match my tears

Falling softly

The icy wind

Seemed to mock the last kiss

We shared

The frigid wax of your lips

The eyes that no longer met mine

My arms long to caress you one more time

…And the rain fell

Bisous,

Léa

Winter Ritual

“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

– Proverb

“Looking up, she showed him quite a young face, but one whose bloom and promise were all swept away, as if the haggard winter should unnaturally kill the spring.”

-Charles Dickens

Winter Ritual

In the bowery

The patrol vans

Crawl

Ever so slowly

At first light

Looking

Left then right

Scouring each

Alley

Never knowing

Where the next one

Will be found

Easily identified

The blue color

Of lips

The rigid form

The cold

Of each

Who escaped

Their pain

Freezing quietly

Into the night

Zipped in for eternity

Body bags

Not a fashion statement

Potter’s field

Not a destination

3000 miles away

I saw my father’s eyes

Closed

Bisous,

Léa

Une amie est mort

‘When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran
“He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Une amie est mort  (in memory of Louisette Fabre)

The shaft of the evergreen towers above me

Against a grey sky

Its head bent and broken

At its crown – two blackbirds lament

Bisous,

Léa