Maybe not among my best poems, but I feel a duty to post it. I didn’t feel it proper to write anything about Auschwitz till months after my visit.
ON THE WAVES
Have you seen them bobbing on the waves,
The bright baby clothes and treasured old pan,
Flask, serviceable shoes and the old soldier’s
They were dropped like confetti when the great grave
Opened and closed
The sea will not take them.
Sinking not below the unforgiving surface
They will be stranded some time on a shore
Among the cuttlefish and aerosols
For the beachcombing man and his dog to wonder on,
To root, make seed.
Thousands of faces,
Most eyes glazed, defeated,
A few determined, defiant,
Hair cut short
Eyes too big, seeing.
But on the regimented route
Other blank faces file in unison
Beneath the protecting helmets, taking pride
From a lack of holy tears and nightmares
Somewhere a child laughs from a fine house
What have you made,
By the way: my internet friend and fine poet neelthemuse is blogging a series of interviews with blogging poets and here’s the interview with me: http://neelthemuse.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/simon-banks-the-poet-of-the-archetype/
The other interviews are well worth reading too.