Saturday, June 26, 2010

After the Holocaust

The poem After the Holocaust by Frank Kobina Parkes from his collection of poems Songs from the Wilderness from 1965:

"Let us build new homesteads
New dreams to decorate these ruins
Let us weave fresh rafters from rescued stalks
Let us start all over again

The past is a pitiless dream
A dread nightmare, you may remember, which stared
Deep into our fearless eyes
We gave it a glance for glance
Frown for frown
Fouler word for filthy word
And when it kept on staring
Like a senseless imbecile
We lost our minds completely
We braced ourselves for self-assertion
To knock this beast over
And so redeem our peace

And that, you may remember,
Was the storm clouds breaking over us
And death marching in
And flowering fields laid low
And children in the womb with them

Now we look back to the pity of the nightmare
Not being anywhere near at all
And to sad awakening that our stare
Had been nowhere but into blank brotherly eyes
Seized by delirium like ourselves
And that, had the black storm only given us
A moment's chance,
And not struck just then....

But the past is horrific reality."

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