Brief Lives

by Thomas Ország-Land (December 2014)

Poems of the Hungarian Holocaust in the English translation of this author are being performed in The 100 Years War, a major British a touring stage production by Midland Creative Projects in association with The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, and Bloodaxe Books. More Holocaust poems appear in his Christmas in Auschwitz and Survivors (Smokestack Books, England, 2010 & 2014, respectively).



A Pledge in the Ghetto


A grieving 5-year old promised her rabbit:

Don't cry, little one!

When the soldiers come to grab you...

I won’t leave you.




Arrival & Departure


               In memoriam

               György Timár


Crazed by the stench of death,

my Brother clenched and raised

his emaciated fist:

For Your own sake, my Lord,

I take... you do not exist.




No Hiding


There’s no hiding behind

the royal shilling,

the chain of command,

the endless drill:

it's the hand on the gun

that does the killing,

no matter who issues

the call to kill.




Thomas Ország-Land (b. 1938) is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes from London and his native Budapest. His poetry appears in current, forthcoming or very recent issues of Acumen, Ambit, The Hungarian Quarterly, The Jewish Quarterly, The London Magazine and Stand.



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