Alumni Showcase: Nick Wheeling Pens “Beyond” for Chapman Holocaust Remembrance

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 11.26.48 AMBYMS alumni and Yorba Linda High School Sophomore, Nick Wheeling, was chosen as one of three students to submit a writing for Chapman University’s “15th Annual Art and Writing Contest” held spring 2014.
“In partnership with The 1939 Club, one of the largest and most active Holocaust survivor organizations in the United States, and with the support of the Samueli Foundation and others, the Rodgers Center annually

Holocaust survivor signs commemorative book for Nick Wheeling at Chapman University.
sponsors an art and writing contest for middle and high school students,” explained the competition website.
Contestants listened to a Holocaust survivor’s full length testimony. Entries were to show “the intersection between memory spoken and heard ” from the artist or author’s  perspective,” according to Chapman University’s website.” 

Focusing on themes central both to the Holocaust and to ethical decision making in our world today, the contest gives students from public, private and parochial schools the opportunity to share their creative works in response to survivors’ oral testimonies.”
Thank you, Nick, for sharing your poem as an inspiration to our readers world wide.
Tremendous quantities of footfalls resound, shattering the serenity.
As more time elapses, a militia may be beheld.
No, not a militia, but a swelling sea of emaciated prisoners being ushered on; at their heels a
squad of virulent, acrimonious soldiers, displaying their arms.
Rebellious inmates are brutally savaged, gouged, fractured, and slain.
As if not pestered, the vast stream commences escalating rapidly.
A light, faint, but not extinguished, begins to flare with novel intensity.
The men, baring new and ancient visages alike, defiantly strut towards their destination.
Eventually, their progress is impeded by massive, hulking, hermetic bunkers.
The soldiers unlatch the immense, unyielding hatches to permit access to the bunker’s recesses.
The light is unbearable to gaze upon, so profuse is its luminescence.
Men, prisoners, brothers file into the cavernous concrete behemoths, content to be amongst each other at so grave a time.
Doors shriek in protest as they are once again sealed, and the soldiers strain for their controlling
Flames envelop the light, cascading ethereal sparks, projecting spectral beams of light.
The switches are tugged, and noxious, sallow fumes erupt from overhead sprinklers, diffusing
throughout the room, obscuring the men from each other.
Courageous friends collapse, succumbing to the pervasive, demonic fog.
The light diminishes, rekindles, and then…
Nicholas Wheeling