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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

5 poems by David Goldberg

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David Goldberg is an artist, residing in Dublin. He has published in Jewish Literary Review (USA). He wrote many years ago when he was much younger. Most of those poems are now lost. He began writing again about a year or more ago.

 

 

 

 

 

THE YELLOW STAR HOUSE

 

1.

Look at a daffodil bud

Watch it open slowly

And burst into a star

 

The black nights of 1944

Were full of yellow stars

That grew on houses in Buda-Pest

 

Over doorposts and gateways

As harbingers of dwellings

Where daffodil blooms could live.

 

Badges of their tribe

Were sewn on breasts;

Even my daughter’s doll wore one.

 

Stars tattooed like numbers

Pointed to daffodils picked

By the cutting east wind.

 

 

2.

The house I left in the morning

Was not where I lived in the evening,

We were moved to the daffodil fields.

 

We played in the streets,

If we couldn’t get home

We turned our shirts inside out.

 

Graffiti was painted on walls

Imrédy zsidó”.* We assembled

At Szent Istvan Park.

 

At night I read by moonlight,

The skylights broke in the siege

My bed was covered with snow.

 

In the streets there was always

Paprika Potato stew,

Even the devil had to eat.

 

 

3.

The Hagadah¹  tells of the Blood

of Lamb daubed on doorposts

For the angel of death to pass over.

 

Prayer says you were freed

From tyrants and oppressors,

But old prayers do not tell

 

The story of daffodils.

God forgot the history He wrote,

And the Covenant He made.

 

 

4.

After long days and nights

The daffodils bent over

They wept and withered out like stars

 

We were sent to a brick factory

Our bulbs in paper bags

Waiting for the wagons.

 

¹ Hagadah is “The Telling” in Hebrew, and it is the story told at the Passover ceremony held in the home and called “The Seder” which means Order of service.

*Imrédy is a Jew.

Note: This poem refers to the incident during the Autumn of 1944 when the Administrators of Buda Pest decreed that Jews should be moved out of their  houses to different accommodation.  Over the entrance  Doors and Gates of these these new dwelling places, there was placed a Yellow Star.

 

 

 

 

GLOVES

 

I bought a pair of gloves

put them on and wore you,

touched them to my face,

they smelled of your musk.

 

As I put my hand inside

I could feel the fur of your skin.

Remember the rhythm of the rocking sea

The swell and collapse of the rising, falling tide.

 

We could swim through waves

Until the still silence reached the shore

And our skins melted together

When the gloves were one with you and me.

 

 

 

 

 

STAY WITH ME

 

“Will you stay with me” she said

Their bodies entwined

On the leaves of old vines.

 

“I think we fit well together” she said

Looking at their reflection

In the window of the wind.

 

“We will walk through a carpet of blossom,” she said

“Hand in hand, like fitted gloves,

In the groves of plaited vines.”

 

“Stay with me” she said

The Sirens sang Calypso’s song

Luring them to the green trailing leaves.

 

“Stay with me,” she said

Dreaming on their island

In the archipelago of memory.

 

“Stay with me here, now, forever,”

And we will eat grapes from vines

Plaited together like us.

 

 

 

 

WE HELD HANDS

 

1.

We held hands under the covers.

They could never see us in our duvet dark.

 

We dreamed of birds and horses,

And before we awoke

 

Our dreams slipped through our fingers

And vanished liked winged Pegasus.

 

 

2.

Itching, scratching, puffing,

Turning to ease the pain of age,

 

Eyelids heavy with the veil of hazy sleep

On clouds  we are borne away

 

Fingers curl around  words walking through woods

To save them for the light before forgetting.

 

Birds fly up out of trees

Horses whinny in stable yards.

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN WE LAY BY ROCKS

 

 

Remember when we lay by rocks

In long green grass

And dived into the dark blue sea

 

Wallowing in the deep waters

Of your love, coming in and going out,

Like the tide and wind

 

Blowing spume from the tops of waves

Looking up from under the water

At the shape of passing clouds

 

Finding our way in the dark recess

Of your cave, by the soft sound

Of sea birds who came and dived

 

And cawed loudly as heaven and earth moved

Before veils of sleep came down

Like shutters from the purple mountain.

 

 

 

 

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