Poems: Four Poems

by The New Republic | September 24, 2007

I know you are alive. Otherwise

what sense would there be in the

shadow and light

of faraway cold stars, reflections

of a crystal world? The black earth

seems to blaze with dew, the woods

rise up darkly above the horizon

as if it were the sea's blue depths,

and my blood pulses as if its beat

answered

the beat of the waves of all the seas

in the universe,

so close to me and yet so far,

pulsing with your blood.

I feel you are here, I know you are.

Dachau, 1945

Friends

All of my friends,

SOBs,

knew life in the damp

of KZs.

All of my friends,

dopes,

didn't shield their eyes

at the post.

All of my friends,

asses,

now lie in their graves

under grasses.

All of my friends,

madmen.

Write the ditty, hold the pity.

Nothing more then.

If you have died, then remember:

I will come to you. What use have I

for these shapes that shimmer and

fade

like a river reflected in the sun--

an unfamiliar smile or pain or just trees

that lightly lay their leaves upon

the wind, or

the soaked earth, dead as a face

in the moon's green light ... I hear it,

I hear it, you're calling me, I feel it

in the wind

that flows past my window as if

it were you stroking my face

with your hair, your delicate hand,

pronouncing my name in a whisper ...

If you have died, know this: I will come.

Fairy Tale for Children

We will recount to the children

on long familial evenings

tales of prison cellars, of interrogation,

of camps and of chimneys.

We will tell them of the suitcases,

of transports, their gold and their

jewels.

The techniques of theft and murder

are what children will learn in their

schools.

Our words will pass down generations,

they will awaken evil and vice.

The children will build gas chambers,

they will murder people inside.

By Tadeusz Borowski

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/books-and-arts/poems-four-poems