Holocaust

The silence…

palpable

tourists alight…
silence deafens,
like Buddhists, walking, shedding no footfall,
slipper footed it seemed.

The air was light,
the breeze slight,
yet every heart was heavy.

Rows of sheds…
empty.
Tiers of planks named ‘bed’ where bodies had lain:

Nameless.
Objects of a crude economy,
measured and managed,
pulled,
pushed,
directed.

Objects transported to where we were standing.
No looking back.
The end of the line.

The silence…palpable…

We left…
silence…
never more
in peace

For Holocaust Sunday 27th January 2019 © Andrew Pratt

birchenau

At the turning of the year…

The danger of a storm of cliches hovers in the wings…
metaphors mix it with each other…
tides turn, seas ebb…
moons set, suns rise…
worlds spin on their axes…

Strange that marking a year’s end
and a new beginning
feels like a monument rising,
a tower falling,
a significant event
when naming of days is arbitrary.

The rev-counting globe,
moon’s phases
are built in,
each day the same,
undifferentiated.

So why this apprehension?

Why my uncertainty?

Fear,
that death is nearer than it was?

Arrogance,
importing significance to tasks left incomplete?

The intractable magnetism of mystery,
drawing and repelling?

The cliches are gathering…

Andrew Pratt 27/12/2018