i heard a bird sing

Sometimes hope is a thing with feathers
And sometimes hope is a thing with a snow covered snoot

ohmygod this was do cute
I started playing the piano with an open window and after awhile I saw a few birds and heard them singing. So I stopped playing and they also stopped. So I still had them on sight but I started playing again. And they started singing again and they sang through the whole song and then just flew away and idk man but it was… uplifting.

And suddenly I woke up to the sunlight reflecting off my golden skin, and felt the warmth again. I looked out the window and saw the vibrant colors and hues of the roses again. I heard the children and the birds singing in harmony again. I touched the blanket that was now between my legs, and felt comfort again. And I finally took a deep breathe and felt like I was no longer suffocating, again. And I will continue to do so, until I see you again.
—  time heals.
see saw

i saw the moon to which we sing
i see the sun that alights our wings

(sang the sea birds
i heard the birds sing the song i bring)

my feet are sore from walking on stones
setting fire to the sea & the guts of my bones

(the sea birds sing
they see the fire of the song of the stones)

my heart it pours pure heat from the love in me
open windows & doors through which i see

(see the birds watch from the edge of the sea
hearing my song of the sun & seeing the death of me)

“And then you hear the birds sing…”
By Joshua Scarbrough, a University of Michigan-Dearborn student. Josh shared his reflection on going to concentration camps on a study abroad trip to Poland.


It has definitely been a rough two weeks. Not only has the walking and traveling been tiring, but the four trips we’ve taken to Plasow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek, and Belzec have been emotionally exhausting. What is there to even say about these visits? Can I even put into words what we experienced? One thing I can say is that these four visits and the two more we will make to Treblinka and Stutthof are something I will never forget.

If anything, what I found rather astonishing about each camp so far is how quiet they seem to be. At Auschwitz it was uncomfortable, at Majdanek all you could hear were cars driving by, and at Belzec (and Auschwitz) all you heard were the birds singing. I questioned if what I was hearing was real. Was this silence all that remains of these evil places? I continued to ask myself, how could these men create these camps of destruction in such peaceful areas? I even went so far as to remark how beautiful it was at Plasow and Auschwitz.

The camps are all located in open spaces where trees and flowers grow untamed and yet ashes of thousands are what fertilize the ground. Is beautiful even a correct word to describe the wild nature surrounding these locations? I question if feeling even a sliver of peace when visiting these locations is okay. So I ask, how do I even describe my emotions when they sometimes betray me? When I witnessed “Arbeit Macht Frei” hovering over my head at Auschwitz, I felt the tears rushing to my eyes and I needed to talk and keep myself occupied. When we reached Birkenau (Auschwitz II) I was left speechless at the monstrosity that laid before us. I felt despair and anger but also peace, it’s hard to describe it and to be honest I’d rather not try to explain because vocabulary will only make it worse.

At Belzec I walked along the memorial which laid upon the graves of over 500,000 Jews murdered from March 1942 to the end of the same year. I was overwhelmed and as I walked alone I broke down thinking how 500,000 men, women, and children had no idea that they were being taken to their deaths. 500,000 innocent people thought they were simply being moved to a transit camp when they were actually on the way to their graves. Again, this is where I cannot describe the emotion. You expect to suppress the sadness and then it comes rushing up and you have no control. You can read about the camps, look at pictures of the camps, but you cannot understand the raw emotion that comes with being there.

We are told that you can never fully understand the Holocaust, that it will always be incomprehensible. I always tend to compare the Holocaust to a puzzle, a puzzle that will forever remain incomplete. So with that idea you go into these camps of destruction and that lack of understanding is increased tenfold. So when we cannot understand the action, its difficult to understand the effect it has. One thing that is certain, is that happiness does not exist in the camps, there is only anguish.

“Forever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity…”

“Earth do not cover my blood; let there be no resting place for my outcry!” Job 16:18