The grey haired man walked,
a potato tucked safely in his pocket.
The past was his constant companion,
his heart longed for his homeland.
The tapestry of his life woven
by threads of pain and strength.
The grey haired man,
was once a boy that lived across the ocean,
persecuted for his religion.
His mother was murdered,
left bleeding by her infant son.
The infant grew into a brave boy,
he saved a train of children destined to die.
He jumped off the train,
and pleaded with the American soldiers,
to listen to his plight.
His picture was published
in the newspaper.
the boy wearing only a tattered men's dress shirt.
The boy with dark bright eyes,
he ran like the wind,
with the will to survive.
His voice rose with courage,
to all those children that day.
The grey haired man,
never quite forgot,
the taste of grass he ate from the ground,
escaping to the mountains to stay alive.
He never forgot the hunger,
the potato in his pocket tucked away,
the potato in his pocket a source of comfort.
The past his companion,
all the days of his life.
This is dedicated to my husband's grandfather, Antranik Sheshedian, a survivor of the Armenian genocide. We have a framed photograph of the picture that was published in the newspaper, the day he saved the train of children by urging the American soldiers to listen to him.
http://dversepoets.com/ Meet us here where we share our thoughts and our hearts.
wow...nice story telling ayala...that it is a true tale too...interesting keeping the potato in his pocket to keep him going...very cool...ReplyDelete
The grey-haired man broke my heart in two, ayala. Beautiful tribute to your husband's grandfather. A true hero.ReplyDelete
And how could I forget to add just gorgeous writing?ReplyDelete
stunning write! and such a remarkable story in your family! you must be proud!ReplyDelete
Wow truly wonderful tribute and a true hero indeed. Although after a while that potato prob wasn't fit to eat anyway..hahaReplyDelete
My thoughts and my heart are here with you...as you share YOUR heart and thoughts today. What a fine story of true courage--rather, bravery.ReplyDelete
I will keep this thought in my mind as long as another does not push it aside (like 'dinner'--grin!)
Thank you, Ayala
Ayala, this is an exquisite memorial to a true hero.ReplyDelete
What a tragic story both of horror and of courage. of hardships and endurance. Amazing boy and then man and, amazing write.ReplyDelete
Such bravery, loss and fear wrapped into this story ~ lovely work. Poetryman http://apoetryman.blogspot.com/ReplyDelete
... so many hard things in life and few heroesReplyDelete
What lovely tribute to a brave man.. thank you for sharing this ~ReplyDelete
This gives me the chills...literally. I'm currently reading a book about the Holocaust, a topic that draws me time and again, something I can never understand. Because my father (I never knew him) was killed in Germany in WWII, I guess in my own way I'm trying to comprehend the meaning of his short life.ReplyDelete
wow..your husband's grandfather must have been an awesome man..what a story ayala... touched my heart madly..thank you..ReplyDelete
This is an excellent poem, straight and sincere and wise. The potato somehow makes it all real. So many stories like this people never hear--we might think better of the human race for knowing how many there really are. Thanks for sharing this, ayala.ReplyDelete
Just beautiful....the past his companion all the days of his life. Yes! I hear that loud and clear. I love the symbolism of the potato! This poem awes me.ReplyDelete
such heartbreaking, soul-feeding words. so beautifully sad and poignant. wow.ReplyDelete
Wonderful tribute to your husband's grandfather. So well done.ReplyDelete
Wow, this is wonderful. Very well done and moving.ReplyDelete
Incidentally--the potato reminds me of Terry Pratchett--though he uses it in a very silly way in one of his novels. This is not truly like Pratchett, as it is very noble and lovely. But the fact that Pratchett writes about a character carrying a potato makes me wonder if it isn't also a custom in Eastern Europe. K.
Heartbreaking tribute to your husband's grandfather. I am always amazed by the perseverance of the human spirit.ReplyDelete
How very touching! What a beautiful tribute to a true hero...a tale, simple told and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyDelete
Your family has a rich history. I love the way you began this poem:ReplyDelete
"The grey haired man walked,
a potato tucked safely in his pocket."
My gawd! I've got tears, I've got goose bumps. What an amazing tale you've told. You must be so very proud...he was obviously a well spoke man to convince such soldiers to listen...perhaps too we've received a glimpse of the words that grow so beautifully from your pen and where their heritage lies. An absolutely wonderful share...ReplyDelete
The fact that this is true makes it all the more powerful. I especially like:ReplyDelete
The tapestry of his life woven
by threads of pain and strength.
Very moving ~ and puts an interesting thought in my head...I spend a lot of time preserving happy memories ~ perhaps I need to consider 'carrying with me' momentos of tougher times as well. I love that he wasn't afraid to remember.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful tribute to a hero. You've put your imagination at the service of great ideas in this work. Carrying the past--I guess we all do it to some extent, but certainly some have more reason than others. This is a wonderful poem.
Wow, what an incredible story. I got shivers reading that. What an amazing man and legacy.ReplyDelete
a wonderful poem and tribute to the boy that turned into the man - a beautiful storyReplyDelete
Stunning poem. It deserves a wide audience-- are you on Facebook and have you posted any of your work as notes or linked to your blog there? Brava! xxxjReplyDelete
I agree with everyone, this is a poem that needs a wide audience...Such a courageous boy...who grew into a strong brave man. What a story Ayla... Beautifully told!ReplyDelete
Your opening line caught me and keep drawing me throughout your work. I agree, this is wonderful and beautifully told.ReplyDelete
I'm now following you.
Thank you, Brian. I appreciate the support you always give me, my friend!ReplyDelete
He broke my heart too.
Our family history on both my husband's side and mine are amazing. His grandpa a hero and on my side my grandfather, a hero that saved family and friends during the holocaust. A part of our legacy. A lot to be proud of!
Thank you, Tulika. I am so proud of the legacy that we have.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pat....and you made me smile-again. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Steve.ReplyDelete
That's kind of you...
Peace to you!
Thank you, Laura.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bren.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Poetryman.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Wolfsrosebud.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Heaven.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Victoria. I am sorry about your father. Sad. I have many stories about the holocaust and my dad's family's story of survival.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Claudia. My husband was very close to him and he misses him dearly.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Joy. The potato is real and it made me sad that his pain was so great and it never quite left him.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Mary.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kelly.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Chris.ReplyDelete
I never read it. His potato I think was just an emotional assurance that he won't be hungry again.
And thank you, Karin. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Rudri. Me too..... :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jackie.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Leslie. :)ReplyDelete
I hope all is well with you.
Thank you, Natasha.ReplyDelete
So humbled by your comment.
I am proud that it moved you and others into seeing a glimpse of a wonderful boy that rose in that moment and abandoned fear to save others. True courage.
Thank you, Laurie. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Adrienne. You keep preserving the good memories, you do such a great job of it. I think deep within we always carry the struggles with us...it makes us who we are.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Steve. I appreciate it. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, CM.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ruth.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jen. I am on Facebook. I didn't link it to any notes but I did post it on my wall.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your support.
Thank you, Di. Such thoughtful comments from all of you. I am touched.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Mari.ReplyDelete
And thank you for following, I am following you too. I will come by and visit. :)
This is amazing.ReplyDelete
Oh, this story is touching and moving... a story that needs to be alive and retold... so beautiful, ayala, to have this to pass along; thank you so much for sharing this.ReplyDelete
Much respect to him. Thanks for sharing this. :)ReplyDelete
excellent story telling,ReplyDelete
poetic and beautiful imagery.
Thank you, MZ.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Anna. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ravenblack.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Morning.ReplyDelete
What a boy and now a man. So captivating.ReplyDelete
This is a beautiful tribute to a very special man. It leaves an ache deep inside for those who suffered so much, and carried it with them all life long.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful tribute, Ayala. Moving story, and such bravery. Thanks for sharingReplyDelete
lovely tributary piece, Ayala.ReplyDelete
Honored to know about this!ReplyDelete
Bless him and you
Aloha from Waikiki
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Lovely. Heart warming. Beautiful.ReplyDelete
What an amazing story...amazing man...amazing poem. (On a different note, thanks for you comments and for following me.)ReplyDelete
a chilling account - a man to be proud of.ReplyDelete
Potato in his pocket, what comfort that could bring to those that had gone through suffering. Thank you for telling his story Ayala.ReplyDelete
Love the tribute to the one and ones who've got to know things we fortunately have not- we must never forget that was and is so near still, so nearReplyDelete
Thank you, Lauren.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Patti. I believe the pain is always there buried inside.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Emma.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Luke.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Cloudia.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Zeba.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Mary.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sheila. A legacy that gives us pride.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Oceangirl.ReplyDelete
Dulce, we must never forget so it can never happen again....ReplyDelete
hey... it's taken me a couple of days to comment. the potato in his pocket is such an intense image... very moving, as is the line- "the past was his constant companion" - one of my favorite lines (ever). it's very moving from the very first image to the last words of your dedication.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ed.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Deb. I appreciate your thoughts here.ReplyDelete
Very intense. Thank you for sharing this story.ReplyDelete
This made me weepy, Ayala. What a remarkable person this grey-haired man was. Thank you for sharing his story.ReplyDelete
Thank you, KB. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Belinda. He was amazing. :)ReplyDelete
Goodness, Ayala, this is so powerful, it brought tears to my eyes.ReplyDelete
When I was teaching high school history, I was struck by how few of my students had ever heard of the Armenian genocide. Thank you for sharing the story of your husband's grandfather to help ensure that more people know about a part of history that we must never repeat.
Thank you, Kristen. It amazes me all the time how many people don't know about the genocide or anything about the Armenian people.ReplyDelete
This link finally came through on fb!! To think of this boy in only a men's dress shirt with dark bright eyes and the will to survive. I grieve in his sorrow, I rejoice in his life. His tapestry woven and designed to make room for you and yours... and your tapestry including all the colors and threads of his... woven together. What a beautiful tribute to a man of honor.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pat. Strange that this was on my fb and it was removed as spam. A post I just wrote on Tuesday also was removed. It was dedicated to my grandfather, a holocaust survivor. I am in awe of what could have happened....I appreciate your comment and your sentiments.Delete
SUCH a touching, sad--yet strengthening--message you leave us in this post! Thank you for linking it to April 24, 2012, so I got to read it again. I may have commented earlier here, but don't have the time to check.
This is true story of Grandpa...I have read an account of this somewhere else--or maybe here Dec 11--grin! Yet and still, AMAZING is this story of how one refused to do nothing, and be led to the slaughter.ReplyDelete
Oh the Power of that 'grace' at a critical moment--IF we accept it.