Canto 60: Tornado

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient & dangerous of human illusions

Robert Lynd


Perversions

Who breathe only when allowed
Who talk only when allowed
Who rest only when allowed
Elizabeth L. A. Kamara

Three schweinerei with nothing else to do
Kidnap three sisters skipping down the street
Dresses rip-torn at Gestapo HQ,
Cesspool where evils deeds & demons meet;
The time & place
Recall as World War Two,
Whose bastard Master Race like madness prosper’d thro.

Naked but for his boots & cap,
The Obersturmbannfuhrer
Slams down her strugglings on his lap,
& down her throat pour’d vodka,
Heard all the while the SLAP-SLAP-SLAP
Of thighs, youngest sister
Weeping as she was raped, while the older
Fending off every fondle, grows bolder

To kick & scratch, she bit & claw’d,
Like kitten’d alleycat,
By gunbutt floor’d, the law restor’d
“We’ll have no more of that,”
The Obersturmbannfuhrer hiss’d while spinning off his hat.

Brussels
November
1942


Counter Attack!

I am not strong, no soldier, no hero,
but if I look back, behind me is 1942,
behind me Stalingrad.
Galina Nikolaeva

How brutal when two granite wills collide,
Men kick’d to death defending an ideal,
The Red Army has trawl’d the nation wide
For fodder to feed into Hades’ wheel;
Adolf Hitler
Remains, tho’ devil’s kin,
Pettiest dictator in the times of Stalin.

As winter gales pile up the snow
Still struggle on the soldiers,
Half-frozen far below zero –
Von Paulus, thro’ field-glasses,
Views flares; a sent up, signal glow,
By vital rescuers –
“Achtung!” across the Wehrmacht’s flimsy flanks –
Roar lethal rows, lextalionic tanks!

As PANIC acquires grave station
Spreading her pungent breeze –
Chain reaction, six-months gains gone,
World-conqueror far flees,
But for the Sixth, that wounded Knight, trapp’d on its bleeding knees.

Stalingrad
December 22nd
1942


Maltese Falcon

Long the night, boisterous is the sea-shore;
Usual a tumult in a congregation;
The vicious will not agree with the good.
Lywarch Hen

From nettle-danger flowers safely drawn,
With Monty on the roads to Tripoli
The Maltese felt them less & less alone
As day-by-day was nearing victory;
Valiant light
Brave Malta saved the world
When Hitler’s evil might was at Valetta hurl’d.

That once more yearn’d their homes to raze,
In an action of sheer spite
The heavens, for eleven days,
Full of sound & fire-sprite,
When spitfire its design displays
Lord of the azure height,
So many Axis pilots by them slain,
They never would return in force again.

With winter comes increas’d rations,
& mail from overseas,
Latest fashions, famous passions
Sets people at their ease,
Small semblance of normality & sweet-fill’d christmas trees.

Malta
December 25th
1942

 


Nippon Noon

into plain rubbish
they begin to turn –
fallen blossoms
Tsuji Momoko

Sanguine waters surround the Solomons,
The Sun of Empire starts her long descent,
Humbl’d & hurt by brash Americans,
Epitomised by one hardy sergeant;
Our big, bald Al,
As rough as gruff could be,
Stuck on Guadalcanal from Hicksville, Tennessee.

He watch’d the vaulting Perseids
Cause foeman’s vapouressence,
At times was forced to close his lids
To starbrite phosphorescence,
Struck by th’enchaunting Leonids
& life’s impermanence,
He remember’d what his Pa used to say,
“Son, life’s a loan, you’ll pay the debt one day.”

The Yankee seizes seas & skies
As the Imperatour,
Enlowers eyes, slouches & sighs,
“The army may withdraw…”
Bows Tojo, “Yes, your majesty…” then scuttles thro’ the door.

Tokyo
December 31st
1942


Imperial Dementia

As soon as his children were born
Sky hid them away
he deprived them of light
Hesiod

The pursuit of unbridl’d ambition,
Wildly bezerking thro’ civilised lands,
Oft leads to phantasies, as the vision
Of Empire crumbles to glitter-bone sands;
Hitler muses
Midst these mythopoeics,
So serenely ponders, “O, what should I do next?”

Another Christmas passes by
Still elusive, victory,
Cheer found but when his childish eye
Casts oer a model city,
By marble fire-place a sigh
Of wistful self pity…
Reliev’d by smashing up plastic soldiers
With models of rockets & jet fighters.

Retiring to his simple bed,
Old nightmares draw yet near,
Convulsions shred the shrieking dread,
Awake… awash with fear,
Blue lips babbling strange nonsense, gasping, “He… He… He’s been here!”

The Berghof
January
1943


Intrepedities

Though you may out of sight retire,
Malice will not be cheated so,
She can pursue where’er you go
Brooke Boothby

Captain Baron Jean-Michael de Selys
Saddl’d his typhoon without permission,
Whistling La Brabanconne askim the sea
Spire-tip Brussels swimming into vision;
Neath rooftop guns
Gestapo Headquarters!
Who murders Belgium’s sons, that rapes Belgium’s daughters.

At window-level whizz’d the plane
& pepper’d the place entire
With vengeful bullets, to sustain
Bodies tumbling under fire
With bursted abdomen & brain;
Watch the lone wolf flyer
Go treetop-touching down the Avenue,
To soar off high & melt in blue sky true!

Thro’ bodies, broken glass & blood
Rush stretchers & white sheets,
A crimson flood, a small crowd stood
Onwatching from the streets,
Stonefaced & silent, but inside singing from the songsheets.

Brussels
January 20th
1943


Zionism

See how villains make such noise
They turn birth & death into rituals
Fools fall prey to their shouts
Bullhe Shah

Too many massacres, dire & sneaky,
To mention in stanzettas – I’ll sing one,
Of how the Turks reduc’d Saloniki
From centuries of cultural Hebron:
The Holocaust
Accelerates the need
For better homelands, hors’d by Zion’s tawny steed

Rabbi Schonfeld supplies the plan
To save the Jewish fishes
Leave Hitler to his master plan
Un-netted in Mauritious
Tho parliament & churchmen fan
Flames of his best wishes
Such noble dream to save the Jews stillborn
When underneath the brier’s leaf, the thorn!

Yes, there shall be an Israel,
Her children are divine,
Like Azrael (prophet or asngel) the lobbies yell
“It must be Palestine,
Those lands promis’d to Moses on Mount Sinai, by sign.”

London
January
1943


Convoy

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be, –
In the cold grave, under the deep, deep sea
Thomas Hood

America! Republic Young & Free!
Your Liberty remains supreme touchstone,
Keep safe thine arsenal of democracy
Til by great fleets to battle’s field is borne;
Your shore recedes,
Soon lost in hoary mists,
Merseywise flow the needs to feed th’Allied int’rests.

Our fleet in constant motion ploughs
Thro’ a ceaseless sea of silk,
The ocean crashes oer the boughs
Of Elizabeth & her ilk,
Gigantic herd of scatter’d cows
Laden with vital milk,
On all sides nothing but the tawny blue,
Sometimes an iceberg lumbers into view…

Jack blew into his freezing hands,
Inert, unthawable,
In vigil stands watching Iceland’s
Cliff rows formidable,
By nature’s beauty nobly touch’d… rip-tiding to battle.

The Atlantic Ocean
January
1943


Colonel Wingate

The temples are no protection:
the hunters are lying in wait
with traps & nooses & nets
Aristophanes

Burma… fresh bane of the British army,
Catalogue of defeat & disaster,
Receives a maverick visionary,
Determin’d to restore his land’s honour;
Daring designs
Regaled with sure surmise,
“Let me break thro’ the lines, harassing their supplies…”

He enlisted common scousers,
La, full of life & gobby,
Alchemied with Nepal’s Ghurkas
Busk’d in a dusky khaki,
He put them thro’ strictest paces,
Three months purgatory…
Gen’ral Wavell visits one stormy day,
Inspects them then salutes them on their way.

The vanguard of the re-conquest
Fords the Chindwin river,
Chain’d to the best, by good lord bless’d,
Sporting an umbrella,
“You never know when needed when tropical the weather!”

The Raj
February
1943

 

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