Canto 43: Circling Ravens

Some to the war, to try their fortunes there

Shakespeare


Hitler Youth

I have thrown way the veil,
I have taken refuge in the great guru
& snapped my fingers at the consequences
Mirabai

Max Stemmler roars along the autobahn,
Palingenetic tribute to contree,
Musing upon the Battle of the Marne,
So close to Paris, & to victory!
He parks the car,
Bear-hugs his eldest son,
“My boy if we must war, with you our battles won.”

Khan dined with peers clever & couth
As his malleable mind
Bombarded was with Nazi truth,
The majesty of their kind,
Carefree below the starry roof
Boys talk’d & laugh’d & dined,
Singing proud songs, so strong & beautiful,
Of Lebensraum & of love of battle!

They run, they swim, they fight, they share
The life of Herr Soldier,
As mountain air rang with fanfare,
They planted Swastika
On summits for the glorious Fatherland & Fuhrer.

Harz Mountains
1935


Fascist March

Crumbled I die
Tortured I die
In innocence.
Albert Kalimbakatha

Sensing a most depress’d & restless Rome,
If Rome, of course, the whole of Italy,
Turning the focus from his forehead’s dome
Towards paths of hypnagogic glory;
A seismic shift
Rumbles before mankind,
His anchor rais’d as drift the lamarckians, blind.

From Erit & Somalia
Marches facinorous creed,
Oer ancyent Abyssinia
Like some martial millipede,
All the churches rang in Pisa
To celebrate the deed,
Of conquerors, their brave & bouyant band,
Gone marching, all, into the promis’d land.

Men thee hail, Haile Selassie!
As Emperor, as King,
The grand Gabbi sends Italy
A message, as they sing,
“Repulse, resist, punish, persist, them from our farmsteads fling!”

Addis Abbaba
October
1935


An Evening with the SS

Tell, Muse, how such treasure came to be at
Wewelsburg & how Himmler kept his Knights
Loyal with blood rituals of genocide
Nicholas Hagger

Oer the Prussian fief of Westphalia
Uprose a gothic, speartipp’d citadel,
Home for an Order, its strange Grandmaster –
Himmler & his infamous Shutstaffel;
Unbridl’d lord,
Far from the chicken farm,
Sharp’ning the Fowler’s sword to conquer Lebensraum.

Young Gerhart Buscher – blonde, blue-eyed –
Deem’d widely the blood ideal,
To long day’s lessons hard applied
His cool, fanatical zeal,
On one fine night, heart thumping pride,
Sat haught at Heydrich’s meal;
An invitation follow’d the supper,
“Come show us your skills with the rapier!”

Baron Von Grolsch made the first play,
Set on him in a flash,
Blades race away, graceful ballet,
Til with an uncheck’d slash,
Stormblasting pain stings Buscher’s brain, cheek splits with spilly gash.

Wewelseberg
1936


Olympic Games

Peace on this planet
Or guns glowing hot,
We lay there together
Jericho Brown

The cavalcade of old Olympia
Settles its sacred flame upon Berlin,
Oer Hindenburg trails an Orphic banner,
Below, even allow’d are Juden in;
Majestic roar,
O scale Wagnerian!
Of modern man at war in his coliseum.

As Jesse Owen took the track
All eyes focus upon him,
Racism hating skinsheen black
Quadruples his vigour’s vim,
A leaping cheetah from the CRACK,
The stadium grew dim;
A whirl of pounding thighs & bursting lung…
How soon, how proud, ‘Star Spangl’d Banner‘ sung.

Quite disgusted grows Der Fuhrer,
The White Supremacist –
Some dog-runner, some dumb nigger,
Wins medals white men miss’d –
Glanc’d at his wrist, hiss’d “I must leave…” blood glist’ning ‘neath clench’d fist.

Berlin
1936


Jewish Wedding

Throttled before
they got the word out,
it must break through
Theodore Weiss

A carriage trundles thro’ soft ribbon fog,
As tho’ a cushion of romantic myst,
The Grunfelds gather’d in their synagogue,
Speechless til Heidi & her husband kiss’d;
A tearsplash floor,
Anna weeps happily,
Joyously crying for yofiful family.

The Rabbi’s household welcomes them,
Full-feasted celebration,
Moses toasts, “Shalom Alachem!”
Franz faithful keeps tradition,
Stamping on glasses, cries, “Lechaim!”
To the Hebrew nation…
As into this sacred ceremony
Brashly bursts & brawling brown-shirt bully.

Worm-filthy mouth spew’d forth abuse,
Breath-stench of bottl’d beer,
“You heard the news, you filthy Jews,
No longer welcome here!”
Scatter platters, romance shatters, batter’d by rattl’d fear.

Frankfurt
1936


The Raven

Your task, O man, is not to carp & cavil
At God’s achievements, but with purpose strong
To cling to good, & turn away from evil
EW Wilcox

From Nurnburg’s grand old Palace of Justice
To notices pinn’d at Hamburg stations,
Hitlerean antisemitismus
Forbids Jewish-Aryan relations;
In deep disgust
Jack Foley boards the train,
Such dirty devil’s dust ingrinds his native grain.

Inside the capital’s bright glow
Jack slides thro’ his embassy,
Plugs in his secret radio,
London warns about Graf Spree,
Contacting corrupt Gestapo,
Mix’d charm with bribery,
Obtaining visa-clutches for these Jews
Waiting outside his room all night in queues.

Onto a pillar by them flies
A bird to perch its flight,
With moonbright eyes, lampooning cries,
He fills them all with fright,
Who watch & wonder what it brings, this thing as black as night?

Berlin
April
1937


Cinematica

The armaments will start their devastations,
And though we’re for it, though we’re all convinced
Some fool will press the button soon or late
John Lehmann

To moving pictures Rita treats her son,
Laughs with the Marx boys, peers upon Pathay –
Smiles straighten with increas’d trepidation,
Her country choak’d on trouble-cloak’d Cathay;
Whoop-whoops & cheers!
Appears their President,
Easing most furtive fears with rhoticless accent.

Sitting beside his homely fire,
He panic play’d down calmly,
“Unto the Japanese Empire
A friendly hand extend we,
Peace ranks beyond War’s thankless mire,
Breathe Peace, breed Liberty;
For all our childrens’ sake Men must forgive,
& build a world where they would want to live”

The Hindenburg lit up the screen,
Cauterized by plasma,
Strange ghostly sheen, strange portents glean
About that swastika….
Like Carlton playing soldiers as they left the cinema.

Jerkwater
1937


Pierre & Veronique

Oh ! for some honest Lovers ghost
Some kind unbodied post
Sent from the shades below
Sir John Suckling

Loiret’s perfect city, rose-fair & sweet,
Deliver’d from the English by the Maid,
Two perfectly-lustred, loving lips meet,
The drudge of harsh realities allay’d;
Wearing life’s youth,
Our spirit’s velvet glove,
They share but one bold truth… to love is to know love!

Pierre carresses Veronique,
Whispers, “Je t’adore ma chere!”
Hands stroking slender, quatchless cheek,
Hers insliding thro’ soft hair,
Watching Communist comrades speak,
Jacquerie fills the square,
Sporting pitchforks & the sickle banner…
“Vite!” gasps Pierre, “We’re late for lit’rature!”

They rush’d into the lecture hall,
Took their shushing places,
The floral roll of Verlaine’s soul
Wove its vernal graces,
While finger-tips touch tingling at poesy’s pretty places.

Orleans
1937


Fascist Knot

Surely the wings that hold,
dark-clasp’d, the mystery of Fate
This moment will unfold
Harold Monro

Hitler receiv’d his conquering idol,
A dazzle of banners & manoeuvres!
Impresses his ‘hero’ with mock battle,
“How like the Spartans march these fine soldiers!”
“My friend please speak
Beneath the Glockenturm,”
The Mai-feld’s bound’ries creak e’en in a Donnersturm.

Wooed Mussolini’s mood unique
Thro’ supper conversation,
“The British Empire has grown weak,
Wrote off the Tscheschienne nation,
Together we shall climb the peak
Of our proper station,
Forcing the course of history’s censor,
Steal victory thro all the pomp of war.”

Two sister nations buck & rise
To ride the wylde warhorse;
First centralize, then march to prise
Thy neighbour’s realms by force,
Then sail in search of empire, letting conquest take best course.

Berlin
November
1937

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