I realised I’d managed to post the first two parts of my poem about Auschwitz without the third. So here it is again complete:
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,
On the Sargasso Sea of humans
Searching for an invisible stream
An old man rows a leaky boat
Watching the fishes like confetti shifting
Drowned faces smiling.
Copyright Simon Banks 2012