The necessity of being

Men came out

Women emerged

No children

The children were gone

What happened the first month?

Outside bars and cement

Away from gas chamber

When legs and arms, mere bone

Unshackled could move once more


Did you pick up your lives then?

Learn the grace of living 

No one has ever said

Something so horrific cannot be vented

It can only transform into fire

from survival we are born, once more

A second life

Not a child, not young

Nor unscathed, but covered in scars

They are our metal, winking silver and rose 

We do not stand in new bones

But those that know the feeling of kneeling

Begging for the end to come

And when it did not

When we survived

Despite their best attempt to smother

It is a land of ash and terror 

To navigate and put back together

Those shattered pieces of self 

Willing meaning from devestation


With the blood of ancestors, fresh

Seeing them led to their deaths

Courage in silence, in suffering


When nothing is left but the last straw 

And it erupts into flame, burning everything you were


Do you design again a day, a week, a year?

With a face enured by fear

Used to screaming in the dark


To go past the horror and walk into a new life?

We do it by taking the broken pieces of us

Head in the oven, wrists slashed in bathroom

Pill bottles strewn about like flotsum

All our aborted attempts to shut the terror out

We take the gore and the furnace

The golem and the hangman

In our minds eye we stand among graves

Tasting human ash whilst behind us chambers cough out families

And if that doesn’t kill us 

Nothing ever will

Because when you stand on the far side of fear

Your heart extinguished and cold, a lifeless thing

There is only survival

We are the feral leftovers

We rebuilt ourselves from nothing 

Like from clay we came, so again, a second coming

To defy the proximity of evil

We are the ones who refused to cease

Standing when nothing held us up

But the necessity of being

(For all who perished in the death camps and all who survived.)


41 thoughts on “The necessity of being

  1. A harrowing read dear Candice.. You are shedding the scars by releasing them in words.. learning to’live in Grace’, as you pick up the pieces of those shards which cut so deep..
    My heart is always sending.. as you negotiate your healing journey
    Love and Blessings my friend.. ❀
    Sue xxx

  2. Thank you for this post, Candice. We must never forget the horrors of what humans can do to other humans. We must be reminded often so that such atrocities will become a thing of the past around the world, with all peoples. Masterful writing once again. πŸ’™πŸ’•

  3. You have that rare connection a poet gets, connecting them to truth, to feelings, destinies … stories waiting in the ashes to be told. Perhaps it is a racial mind, as Jung described. Wherever it’s roots, your voice speaks well of it. Candy does not sugar coat her words.

  4. Cellular imprints in genetic DNA is really probably what Carl Jung understood as the collective unconsicous, the deep sea and water is imprinted by that pain deep in cells and we are cells of cells of cells all in a vast ocean. I love this poem as it touches on that in such a poweful way. πŸ™‚

  5. This lines got me thinking beyond my capacity of understanding:
    “Men came out
    Women emerged
    No children
    The children were gone”

    I love your masterpieces, they get me thinking.
    Thank you!!!!

  6. Wow! That was amazing!!!! I got chills from head to toe! Thank you dear friend. I needed to see that wise old lady’s eyes tonight. Been going through a bit of a rough patch. Thanks so much xo sending love to you xo

  7. She gives us what we all most need. Hope. I wish that for you and healing. When I got sick I doubted the natural medicine and lifestyle I felt betrayed by it but I was wrong. Illness doesn’t mean it didn’t work. Faith in the process is how we get well. We know conventional means are mostly toxic. But we are human too. I wish you renewal and healing light. I know your spirit is STRONG.

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