Tag Archive: history


Fragments

I dreamed a memory as clear as day
But forgot on waking till this daysnight
As words found home and lifted a fog
Instantly transported to sleeping insight

I know it well for it plays on repeat
No words but their lack silence complete
Barely seconds then gone with a wish
To lift uncertainty not leave with a kiss

So why then the dream of deja vu
Without a twist to brighten the tale
Only a torture I’ve lived many times
A singular reminder of how loves fail

Platitudes

“One day when you wake it will just be gone”
So I waited and prayed for that day to come
It seemed like forever would never come true
But now I look back I’ve moved on from you
I don’t know when nor how long since you left
Was only reminded by your name on my breath
I guess after all the platitude held
And one by one the delusions fell
So now when I wake you are no longer there
As real,as memory, as fate or as care

The Wind

 

 

 

I of course survived

said the tortured winds of time

For as you look around

You will see the world is mine

Though there were pretenders

Their bones I’ve turned to dust

So to their civilization

And it’s intrinsic lack of trust

Now I swirl around you

The planet’s history in my song

Who will hear the words of warning

And understand they don’t belong

My time is simply forever

Yours a second in its path

As with all others before you

Your arrogance makes me laugh

Bring the anger let it be rage

A physical pain I know I can tame

Not this empty sense of blind despair

Broken from within unable move or care

Show me blood on a wall and shattered bone

The darkness I left but can still call home

There I can breathe, understand and exist

Here I am lost because of what I miss

So easy to slip back and just cut off

But I know I can’t no longer am I lost

I shall embrace what I broke

Own the folly of a loving hope

Maybe just maybe only hurt for a time

Grateful for the smile I know is only mine

Auschwitz

I recently took a trip to Poland and was told by more than one person that I trust, not to go without visiting Auschwitz. Now I have never really been into that period of history and the world wars aren’t something I have looked into a great deal outside of the usual school stuff. That being said I do believe that history has a lot to teach us and that it can show us a better way forward. I have never been so convinced of that as I am now!

 

I will not layer this post with the history of the place, the numbers that are barely even fathomable or the facts we all learned at school. If you are reading this I suspect you probably know these things better that I. This is just about my experience, one that I know will never leave me.

 

The first thing to strike me was the contrast. We arrived around 11 am, the sun was high in the sky, it was a beautiful warm day and there were no clouds in sight. It was almost peaceful.

As with most guided tours we wore headsets so that we could hear our guide. As we walked from one building to the next I found myself very grateful for the illusion of privacy and the escape from conversation. It’s hard to describe how it feels to walking down the dusty streets, between the rooms and exhibits but it reminded me of church when I was a child. The need to be quiet. Every noise seeming to echo to eternity.

I could recount the different displays, all of which told the scale of the atrocities perpetrated within the borders of these camps but that would need far more paragraphs than a simple blog lends itself too. 3 however stood out to me, not to say that the others weren’t equally as powerful but these are the ones that I have seen each night since before I sleep.

In the 4th building we visited, the opening hallway stretches out before you and runs the entire length of the building. Upon the walls at either side are row after row of pictures, singular portraits of those who entered the camp but never left. Under each one 2 dates are marked, the date on which they came to the camp and the date they died. Some dates were longer than others, the longest I saw was just under 2 years. The average though was around 3 months. Much like old portrait paintings whose eye’s seem to follow you around the room, these photographs have the same effect. Wherever you walked they appeared to be staring straight through you.

The final building in Auschwitz 1 is the only remaining gas chamber, all the rest having been destroyed by the Nazi’s. On entering the building there is a simple black marble head stone, 1 solitary marker for the countless lives taken. It stands next to a door almost as a sentry. On passing through the holding room you enter what can only be described as a bunker. Long and with a low roof. Looking up you can see the holes into which the gas pellets were poured. Nothing else marks the room out as what it was, only the feeling you get as you walk through. Passing into the other half of the building you are confronted with furnaces, in front of them rail tracks and tables. Their purpose obvious and so left unsaid. I had found myself at the back of the group by now and as I turned I saw I was alone in the room.

The entrance to Birkenau gives a view the full length of the camp. Through the gate in the grand arch you can see the path and to it’s side the railway line. A simple sight now with buildings either side and tourists walking its length. What struck me most about this was the inevitability, being able to see the end. Yet being completely unaware of what was to come. I am not sure if the site of a gated road will ever not now send a shiver down my spine.

 

As I said before, people I trusted told me I should go and they were all right. There are not many times I have been heard to say that something is life changing, but this was definitely one. If you ever find yourself in Poland this is something everyone should do.