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I am shade
twisted, interfolding
Bones are cliffs
Blood is liquid cream clay
Flesh blooms on a fertile soil
In uncovered shadow
It shapes with mist, mud and naked trees
Season apparelled
Dissolving in tenderness and movement
I crave tenderness of a cloud
I crave whiteness of a movement
I crave, I crave!
And bury that craving in softness
Yassine Sep 18
Life will dive your head into the muck, And facilitate your way to the ****.

So While the owls hoot, and the wolves howl,  Standstill.

The longer the night hits, The sun will shine despite everyone’s will.

Stick to your guns even when you’re ill,
And make sure you won’t miss the right feel.
a man
has shoot
and sell
his desire
where tires
embark to
Ilium but
a nobleman
farm his
wit with
hell and
back truck
in a
parade of
fire yet
amble in
Market Square
And when I was asked
What mother smells like?

Mud
Nothing else
Genre: Experimental
Theme: Rooting
Sanctuary at Dawn
by Michael R. Burch

I have walked these thirteen miles
just to stand outside your door.
The rain has dogged my footsteps
for thirteen miles, for thirty years,
through the monsoon seasons ...
and now my tears
have all been washed away.

Through thirteen miles of rain I slogged,
I stumbled and I climbed
rainslickened slopes
that led me home
to the hope that I might find
a life I lived before.

The door is wet; my cheeks are wet,
but not with rain or tears ...
as I knock I sweat
and the raining seems
the rhythm of the years.

Now you stand outlined in the doorway
—a man as large as I left—
and with bated breath
I take a step
into the accusing light.

Your eyes are grayer
than I remembered;
your hair is grayer, too.
As the red rust runs
down the dripping drains,
our voices exclaim—

"My father!"
"My son!"

NOTE: “Sanctuary at Dawn” was written either in high school or during my first two years of college. Keywords/Tags: father, son, conflict, reconciliation, storm, rain, tears, sweat, mud, slog, downpour, flood
Buna
by Primo Levi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Mangled feet, cursed earth,
the long interminable line in the gray morning
as Buna smokes corpses through industrious chimneys...

Another gray day like every other day awaits us.

The terrible whistle shrilly announces dawn:
"Rise, wretched multitudes, with your lifeless faces,
welcome the monotonous hell of the mud...
another day’s suffering has begun!"

Weary companion, I know you well.

I see your dead eyes, my disconsolate friend.
In your breast you bear the burden of cold, deprivation, emptiness.
Life long ago broke what remained of your courage.

Colorless one, you once were a real man;
a considerable woman once accompanied you.

But now, my invisible companion, you lack even a name.
So forsaken, you are unable to weep.
So poor in spirit, you can no longer grieve.
So tired, your flesh can no longer shiver with fear...

My once-strong man, now spent,
were we to meet again
in some other world, beneath some sunnier sun,
with what unfamiliar faces would we recognize each other?

Buna was the largest Auschwitz sub-camp, with around 40, 000 foreigners “workers” who had been enslaved by the Nazis. Primo Levi called the Jews of Buna the “slaves of slaves” because the other slaves outranked them. Despite Buna’s immense size and four years of activity, according to Levi it never produced a kilo of its intended product: synthetic rubber. Levi described Buna as “desperately and essentially opaque and gray.” He said not a blade of grass grew within the compound because its soil had been impregnated with the “poisonous juices of coal and petroleum” so that nothing was alive but machines and slaves, with the former “more alive” than the latter. Levi also related hearing a Buna Kapo say that the only way Jews could leave Auschwitz was “through the Chimney” of the crematorium. It is possible that the companion being addressed in “Buna” is Primo Levi himself, recognizing what he had been reduced to. Keywords/Tags: Primo Levi, translation, Holocaust poem, Auschwitz, Buna, mud, chimney, smoke, crematorium, corpses, bodies, death, ******, starvation, gray, colorless, invisible, nameless, slave, slaves, slave labor, horror, hell
Shema (“Listen”)
by Primo Levi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You who live secure
in your comfortable homes,
who return each evening to find
warm food and a hearty welcome ...

Consider: is this a “man”
who slogs through mud,
who has never known peace,
who fights for scraps of bread,
who lives at another man's whim,
who at his "yes" or his "no" lies dead.

Consider: is this a “woman”
shorn bald and bereft of a name
because she lacks the strength to remember,
her eyes as void and her womb as frigid
as a winter frog's?

Consider that such horrors have indeed been!

I commend these words to you.
Engrave them in your hearts
when you lounge in your beds
and again when you rise,
when you venture outside.

Rehearse them to your children,
or may your houses softly crumble
and disease render you equally as humble
so that even your offspring avert their eyes.

Primo Michele Levi (1919-1987) was an Italian Jewish chemist, writer and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of two novels and several collections of short stories, essays, and poems, but is best known for If This Is a Man, his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in ****-occupied Poland. It has been described as one of the best books by one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His unique work The Periodic Table was shortlisted as one of the greatest scientific books ever written, by the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Levi's autobiographical book about his liberation from Auschwitz, The Truce, became a movie with the same name in 1997. Keywords: Holocaust, poem, Italian, translation, man, mud, woman, bald, nameless, houses, homes, bread, eyes, womb, empty, void, frigid, lifeless, horror, horrors, hearts, write, etch, engrave, inscribe, children, offspring, disease, avert, reject
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