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Speechless at Auschwitz
by Ko Un
translation by Michael R. Burch

At Auschwitz
piles of glasses
mountains of shoes
returning, we stared out different windows.

Published by Brief Poems

Original text:

Ad Auschwitz
pile di occhiali
montagne di scarpe
sulla via del ritorno
ognuno fissava fuori dal finestrino in direzione diversa.

(da Fiori di un istante, 2001)

Keywords/Tags: Ko Un, Holocaust, translation, speechless, Auschwitz, glasses, shoes, windows, silent, tongue-tied, wordless
The unwritten note
For bless my soul
Bless your soul
I just sit here bounded by the thoughts.
So do you
Trying to decode what went wrong?
I knew it all
For all my thoughts are getting theifed by the time
Wasting away my thought
How I though in peace
Before addiction
To this type
Of a song
Poems
the-unwritten-note
Morgan Alexander Sep 2019
The man to my right was more than eight feet away. I was going to have to move closer to him to catch my limit of four trout. I halved the distance between the two of us and noted the sideways glance he shot me. I apologized immediately and asked if I was crowding him.
     “No, you fine,” he replied within a thick Serbian accent.
     “You’re with them?” I asked, pointing to the crowd of people on the bridge some 30 feet upstream from us. I had heard the crowd of eastern Europeans talking earlier, and their accents were unmistakable to me. He nodded and we continued fishing.
     With my new angle I was better able to pick my fish in the water, so that’s what I did. I spied one and tossed my jig toward him. It took five casts but eventually, he took the bait. As I netted it in the swift, ice-cold spring water the man beside me congratulated me on the catch. I thanked him and added it to my stringer. This made three, and I only needed one more.
     “What’s your name?” I asked him.
     “Ivan”.
     “Have you been in the states long?” I asked, after the pause following his short reply seemed to invite more questions.
     “Since ‘96, my family live here. It is good.”
     “You like living here?” I wondered aloud.
     “Yes, the fishing is good. It is like back home in Serbia, or in Germany. We have this fishing there.”
     “You mean trout?”
     “Yes, trout...and some other fish like these, in water like this, but I can’t go home now.” He looked away momentarily. His lips pursed, and his brow furrowed. I pulled my line in, wanting to ask him more and not wanting to be distracted.
     “Were you in the war?”
     “Yes, I was in the Serbian police force.” My heart pounded. “When I was in the Serbian police force, we did what you see on the news. We went into villages and we killed them. We killed them all.”
     I cast my line back into the water, spying another trout. Ivan shrugged and cast his own line. I couldn’t tell what he was using but it looked like cheese of some kind. “I was drafted in Serb police when I was 15. I had no choice. If I refuse, they **** me. I did what I had to do.” I nodded, and ****** my line, missing a fish. “Before the war, I fished. After the war, there were not so many people, so fishing was very good.”
     The air around me was alive. The trees were greener, the water was colder and clearer, the sun was brighter, and the sky was bluer.
     “I’ve been fishing for a long time as well,” I responded. My father used to bring me here as a child. He nodded and continued.
     “After the war, all the fish come back, no one fished during the war, so there were many of them. You just had to be careful of the mines.” He grunted and gazed skyward.
     “The mines?”
     “Yes, during the war they mined the water.”
     I watched trout number four take my jig and I carefully reeled him in. Ivan congratulated me a second time, and I thanked him in return.
“You’re a good fisherman,” he said turning back to his own pursuit of the four-trout limit, as I left the water to clean my catch.
All imperial, resource-based wars are bad wars. There are not good and bad actors, only competing wealthy interests.
Bhill Jul 2019
Do you find yourself needing
Needing things that don't make sense
Sensical things that don't need to be needed
Needing is a human need I think
Thinking of things to un-need is a goal
A goal that I shouldn't need....

Here is the time where my brain exploded AGAIN!

Brian Hill - 2019 # 184
Seriously...
Amanda Francis Jun 2019
Why do you want me to want you when you dont want me too?
Why do you need me when you dont want me to need you too?
Why do you make me love you when you know you'll never love me too?
she smites me
an
scoshe
scosh
if
i
maybe
so bold
as to
say
we
have been hung
overclung
?












...
..
.
MARK RIORDAN Sep 2017
KIM JONG UN IS ROCKET MAN
PRESIDENT  TRUMP IS TINY DANCER
ELTON JOHN IS VERY HAPPY
NOW ALL WE NEED IS PRANCER



ARE THESE TWO GREAT MEN
SMARTER THAT WE THINK
ALL THESE REFERENCE TO ELTON JOHN
WILL PUT US ON THE BRINK



CROCODILE ROCK AND THE
CANDLE IN THE WIND
WHAT WILL THE WORLD THINK
WHEN NEITHER ONE WILL WIN



TRUMP CHRONICLES  amazon.com

THIS ONCE AGAIN IS A VERY SMART POEM THEY JUST COME TO ME
WELL OUR TWO GUYS ARE STILL GOING HAMMER AND TONG. NOW ELTON JOHN IS COMING INTO THE FIGHT. I DIDN'T KNOW THEY WERE BOTH THAT SMART
Autumn Sep 2017
They run.
They scream.
They beg for help.
Their homes are burned.
The women are *****.
The children are tortured.
Everyone is killed.
A savior amidst the government and yet her lips sit on top of each other, only opening to condemn the persecuted Rohingya...
A Nobel Peace Prize winner revealing herself as an assailant of ethics.
The Rohingya.
The humans denied aid by almost every brother and sister,
THOUSANDS of men, women, children,
are drowning, burning, pleaing for mercy,
as you sit in your comfy chair and read this poem,
as i sit in this bed writing this poem.
The Rohingya are looking into the eyes of a Buddhist state;
looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at them from infancy.
An entire culture dedicated to dehumanizing humans...
An entire coalition of states conforming to locking the Rohingya out...
A state committing textbook genocide.
A world subduing to textbook ignorance.
And the Rohingya fighting for the right to live
For the right to be
Human
The Rohingya must not flee, nor fear persecution, for We shall stand by the Rohingya!
i never write about anything other then feelings basically so i know this is rough but its important
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