Auschwitz (complete this time)

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:






Have you seen them bobbing on the waves,

The bright baby clothes and treasured old pan,

Flask, serviceable shoes and the old soldier’s

False leg?

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

Imagining, magician,

Drowned faces smiling.



Copyright Simon Banks 2012


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  1. You did an amazing job with this.

    If i were ever to visit Auschwitz I’d be in pieces, so to see someone write something like this is truly amazing.

    • It was some time after the visit that I wanted to write anything! Oddly enough, in our well-mixed English-speaking group, the people who seemed least affected were a Jewish father and son from Manchester.

      I think everybody should go who has a chance.

  2. Thank you for this.I also want to get back to your site Siba the Hat, which I stumbled on and then lost as I was trying to become a follower. I am badly technologically challenged. Your blog was just up my alley.My blog is at if you were able to contact me Thanks

    • Valerie – I tried to reply on your blog, but at present I’m having a problem many other WordPress users have complained about – my comments are going into spam. Apparently that’s caused by Akismet spam filter settings and there is a fix which I intend to try this weekend. Till then, I hope you read this. My blogspot blog is – or just put sibathehat into your web browser (Google Search or whatever) and several of the posts will come up right at the top. I just tried it.



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