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Thursday, January 17, 2019


by Mark Tarren

"Far-right European governments launch plan to take over EU with anti-immigration ‘axis.’" —The Independent (UK), January 11, 2019


children are awakened by the scent
of orange peel, coffee,
melted butter on toast.

In the hazelnut light
a father carries his son
upon his shoulders.

A mother lifts her infant's
head to her breast.


She sings a lullaby for her history.


the Nazis invaded Poland —

A mother rests her hand on
her son’s cheek for the final time.

A father is executed just outside
his home of forty years.

A grandfather is thrown
from his balcony,
still seated
in his wheelchair.

A daughter’s innocence is forcibly taken.
A son becomes a shadow.


in a darkened cinema
there are hands searching for faces,
the secret language of lovers
retreating from the threat of the world.

An ear to a radio show in a sunroom.

A moist thumb to the page
of a comic book.

Chopin’s Marche funèbre
crackles into the night.


a mother and child undress to shower
for the last time.

The faint smell of bitter almonds.

They hear the Berceuse,
the gentle sounds of departure
and return

as a wrist is tattooed in Auschwitz—
the calligraphy of nationalism.


a finger swipes a touchscreen.

A small grave is dug
for a small body
after dying in
the arms of America.

A bullet enters a skull
to escape the walls around
our worlds.

These are the holes left by fascism.

So now we place our lives
in the communal

Book of Forgetting;
moving forward into the past.

For the stars died long ago,
all of us asleep;
under that dead light.

Mark Tarren is a poet and writer based in Queensland, Australia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals including TheNewVerse.News, The Blue Nib, Poets Reading The News, Street Light Press, Spillwords Press and Tuck Magazine.