Posted in Essay, Jamie Dedes, Music, Poems/Poetry

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Butterfly Boy Bronze Statue unveiled at Jane Bancroft Cook Library (Florida), January 28, 2010

Sculptor, Sidney Fagin.



The last, the very last,

So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.

Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing

against a white stone. . . .

Such, such a yellow

Is carried lightly ‘way up high.

It went away I’m sure because it wished to

kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,

Penned up inside this ghetto.

But I have found what I love here.

The dandelions call to me

And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.

Butterflies don’t live in here,

in the ghetto.

– Pavel Friedmann

Pavel Friedmann was born in Prague on January 7, 1921. He was deported to Terezin on April 26, 1942 and later to Auschwitz, where he died on September 29, 1944. At least 960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz. Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma (Gypsies), and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war; and 10,000-15,000 members of other nationalities (Soviet civilians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, French, Germans, and Austrians). Women, men, children.

722px-Timbre_Allemagne_1992_Martin_Niemoller_oblWhile it is common to say “never again” … meaning that event we refer to as THE Holocaust … it’s important to remember that there are Holocausts (genocides) in process now and  there have been many in our history  … think of Armenia, Rawanda, the Congo, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, North Korea,  the Kurdish peoples, Syria, Palestine … Time and past time to put an end to it …

I like to remember the lesson taught by Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) – a victim of the Nazis – and passed on to us. There is some controversy over the many versions of his “First they came …” It is often presented as a poem.  The great jazz musician, Charles Mingus, recites a version before his musical composition, Don’t Let It Happen Here. In any event, the point is made: political apathy is dangerous.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out-
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me-
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

– Pastor Martin Niemoller

– Jamie Dedes

Photo credits: Sidney Fagin – New College of Florida; German postage stamp with sketch of Pastor Martin Niemoeller (licensing status unclear ) via Wikipedia

Posted in General Interest, Jamie Dedes, Teachers

MADEMOISELLE, Teaches Lessons in Courage and Compassion


Saved 300 Jewish children during the Holocaust



Jamie Dedes

With love for her students who would surely face death at the hands of the Nazis,  Andree Geulen (then a twenty-year-old teacher) hung the Star of David on her Cross of Jesus and one-by-one walked three-hundred children out of the Holocaust and into life. They called her Mademoiselle. Her story is a lesson in courage and compassion.

There are unsung heroes in this story too. They are the men and women who subsequently took these children in at risk to themselves. They raised and presented the children as their own. They taught them to put on the face of Christianity for safety sake while secretly teaching them to honor their own Judaism.

Laurel D. sent me this video with a song that was written to honor Andree Geulen-Herscovici. The complete story is embedded in the video. The song was written to honor Mrs. Geulene-Herscovici’s 90th birthday, as you will note in the video.


Andree Geulen-Herscovici, May 1998, at the reunion of children who had been saved during the war at Chateau Jamoigne, Belgium: Her comment HERE. (Must read.)

Belgian woman who saved 300 children in the Holocaust gets honorary Israeli citizenship HERE.

© 2012, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Video uploaded to YouTube by  

Photo credit ~ Andree Geulen, Maison des Justes Histoire

Posted in Guest Writer, Poems/Poetry, Shamanism

SHAMANIC JOURNEY, Old Raven travels to Machu Picchu, Peru

Following the shaman. (2007)




Old Raven (RavenPress), All Rights Reserved

Still, stillness now
Quiet, center … centered now
Go deeply within
Slowwwwww … ly
Deeply quiet.
Deep within
Space consummation.
Not hurtling … no, not hurtling towards the void.  But slowly advancing.
Slowwwwly … condense all thought.
Become nothing.
your place
your opening
movvvve slowly towards
your opening.  Be still.
the tunnel.
LAND.  Quietly.
Summon … your Power.
Summon your … Animal.
Let him/her
Now take you into the void.  Void.  VOID.
CIRCLE … find what you need.
bring it back.  BLOW.
Rattle … feather.
Return now … open, open, open … your … eyes.
The rocks carved to imitate the mountains … an alignment happened when the sun reached a certain place in the sky.
An Alter used for ceremony long ago.
Standing with my feet curled over the edge looking straight down 2600 feet, this is where I chose to lose my fear of heights.
Doing ceremony.
© 2011, 2012 poem and photographs, L. Rice-Sosne All Rights Reserved. No re-blogging or reprinting without the express permission of the author.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

OLD RAVEN writes poetry and memoir and shares her photography at RavenPress. She  lives with her husband and several pets and writes extensively about war and the suffering that results, especially post-traumatic stress disorder. She also touches on her own spiritual healing, shamanic studies, and the outcome of her shamanic journey. Currently Old Raven is working on a major project: a book about her mother’s experience of World War II, which we look forward to reading one day. Her mother worked for the United States Office of War Information (OWI). Old Raven just completed a five-year study of the Second World War, combat PTSD, and her father’s war experience.  She recently celebrated a birthday. We gratefully celebrate her here today. Please visit her blog to say “hi” and “happy birthday.” Happy Birthday, Liz.