When and where did I begin, do I begin, shall I begin?

With vague childhood memories of growing up, in not too wealthy circumstances during the years after World War II, in a small part of a big town house in a little district town surrounded by mountains?
With being afraid of the chicken and geese my grandmother kept in our backyard? Of the delirious fever fantasies I still remember during two attacks of scarlet fever exactly around Xmas-time in two consecu¬tive years when I was 4 and 5 years old? (Must have been a real treat for my parents, and my grandmother, who was living with us!) Or with the fears and nightmares I had about having to go and fetch a bucket of coal from the dimly lit basement, whose dark corners in my imagination were full of hidden dangers and hideous monsters?
Or with the routine of crossing main street to go into the smoky old little pub with an empty mug, worm my way through the forest of trousered legs, hold up my mug and a few coins to catch the innkeeper’s attention, watch the tap beer fill the mug until it made a nice foamy crown on top, and then carefully manage the high steps of the stairway back up to my father´s supper table without spilling any of the precious liquid?
Or with first memories of suffering injustice, of a child´s most ardent wishes coming true (rare) or remaining unfulfilled (the rule), of happily riding around on a bright red wooden fire engine, clutching my favorite cuddly animal (of off-brown cloth, stuffed with sawdust, lovingly made by my mother)? Or with spectacular (and usually ******) crashes with my first wooden scooter, then proudly and even more daring with a precious metal scooter with which one day I managed to crash through the glass door leading from the backyard to the hallway and, miraculously, only suffered some minor cuts?
With the fast years of grade school at whose end where not only my first pair of glasses (much hated) and the then obligatory entrance examination to high school? Or, on  a quite different scale, the end of the allied occupation of Austria and the birth of a new, neutral and independent state - registered by me mostly because of diverse ceremonies that interrupted the school routine and brought unusual treats like ice cream or chocolate bars from parents & uncles & aunts?
With the first two grades of highschool, when I got up at 5.15 a. m. every morning and sleepwalked/scurried to the railway station to catch the express train at 6.15 a. m. that took me to the next Gymnasium 50 km away? With the pleasures & dangers of these daily train rides, the first cigarette smoked there, on the lavatory (with much coughing and a sinking feeling in the stomach); the first strange sensations - sweet and hurting - when a certain girl walked by; the occasional fights with other boys about ***-knows-what-seemed-so-serious at the time? Or the memories of the huge fist that grabbed my heart when I saw my best friend, who tried to show off while our train was entering the station, miss the iron steps and simply disappear under the carriage - and with incredible luck resurface seconds later, white as a sheet but unharmed?

Or maybe with the hours I spent, after several years of not so enthusiastic practice (which nevertheless provided me with the basic abilities) alone with the piano in my grandmother´s salon, playing sonatas and dances and ètudes with growing ease and ple¬sure? Or with the bitter, bitter tears of pain and disillusionment when, at the age of 15, I had to bury my dreams of becoming a pianist because my hands started hurting terribly after only a few minutes of playing and the doctors told me, after one year of trying all kinds of treatments, that I had developed chronic tendonitis? Maybe with the many hours I spent reading numerous books of all kinds or sitting at the piano as an adolescent, improvising then popular songs (like the Beatles), or just playing some fantasy tunes, trying to give shape to my feelings and moods? With the memories of when I ´courted´ my then girlfriend not with words but with passionate songs played on ivory keys - and of my hurt pride and feelings when she, apparently unimpressed, preferred a more world-wise class-mate of mine and left me almost wrecking the poor piano with violent dissonances in e-flat minor hammered on the bass keys?
Or maybe with the first sobering experiences at summer jobs in steel mills, on construction sites, in the roofing business? And with the first 'wild´ parties during these summers at the garden house of a friend, where only a few years before we had been playing Cowboys and Indians, fighting the neighborhood boys, and where now we were sipping wine and/or gin tonics etc., smoking expertly, dancing to loud and slow music, hugging our partners close, feeling very wise, terribly attracted and at the same time a bit afraid of what might come of it?
Or with the final two year of high school that went by like in trance, filled to the brim with a hyped-up mixture of studying, playing billiards, dance class, dating, promising glances, secret meetings on warm summer evenings and at the skating rink in frosty winter nights, summer jobs, parties, the shocks about the death of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, organizing the graduation ball, ceremoniously opening the polonaise, living through the ups and downs of the final examinations, getting terribly but wonderfully drunk on the afternoon after the oral finals and recovering sufficiently within two hours to gracefully play the role of the class speaker and deliver the public address at the farewell dinner ...
And then the final trip of the graduating class - two weeks together on the beach in what used to be a budding Yugoslav seaside resort (and now is a recovering Croatian seaside resort), with the sun and the sea during the days, dancing and wine in the evening, my first experience at a *****-tease show (rather pathetic, never saw another one) and, a few days later, a heated but somewhat inconclusive evening with a member of a group of Swedish girls that had arrived at our bungalow village...

... then coming home, parties continuing, but noticing how gradually the closeness of all the years of small class community begins to loosen, the growing awareness that a formative period of your life has come to an end, you will not go back to school again in fall ... and by mid-summer everybody has discovered that ... my highschool girl friend tells me about her plans for the future ... I tell her about mine ... and we quietly acknowledge (looking back, it is almost unbelievable how quietly this is done) that we do not appear in each other´s plans ... years of relationships grow pale and finally evaporate under the hot summer sun ... I work another four weeks in the steel mill, read, meet with friends for drinks in the evening, start thinking about how student life will be, what The City will be like ... eager to get away and yet a little hesitant of the unknown ... playing the piano often, taking my leave from people, from places full of sweet and painful memories ... sorting schoolbooks, putting things away ... already growing out of the room I have shared with my ´little brother´ ... out of my parents´ house, my grandmother´s world, my brother´s boyish affection ... growing out ... growing up?

                                                           ­                   © Walter W. Hölbling
Believe me, the only constant in our lives is change.
congratulations on this special day

remembering the gain of freedom
from unjust monarchy
after hard struggles for democracy
and universal human rights

we also need to be aware
of new dependencies and tyrannies
that have since come among us quietly
and with deceptive lures of easy lives and riches
of glamor  reputation  millions of virtual followers
& other such amenities
try to persuade us that these are the only goals of our lives

the most decisive loss of independence
is when we do no longer feel its absence
and happily embrace the bars of our golden cage
congratulations on this special day

remembering the gain of freedom
from unjust monarchy
after hard struggles for democracy
and universal human rights

today we also need to be aware
of new dependencies and tyrannies
that have since come among us quietly
and with deceptive lures of easy lives and riches
of glamor  reputation  millions of virtual followers
& other such amenities in our age
try to persuade us that these are the only worthy goals in life

the most decisive loss of independence
is when we do no longer feel its absence
and happily embrace the bars of our golden cage
every day we learn
how many died of violence
in any corner of the globe,
be it in wars,  by terror,  
fundamentalist fanatics,
gun-toting psychopaths and haters,
or all of the above

the figures seem to grow
the daily death toll makes us callous
what earlier was horror
has turned into ****** routine

so much so that
when there’s a day we do NOT hear
about some grisly ******
we feel like we have got a bargain!
A certain Mr. Frederick
seems unable to prevent his ****
from creeping up into his words
that end up sounding much like turds
vented on **** sites popular galore -
ON HP WE DON'T WANT HIM ANYMORE!
https://hellopoetry.com/Frederickus/
His motto: Let us celebrate in verse Intergenerational Relationships and ****!
In case you donot know what **** is: It is the acronym refeering to sado-masochistic *** practices! (just google it.. as I did, and my web browser issued a blockage which i temporarily suspended to find out what it is all about ...)
I read and commented (not positively…) on some of his rather questionable texts and also wrote a mail to Elior York suggesting he take the guy off the site. Hope he does it.
you sense it grow
and rather would not
look at it too closely,
prefer that it remain
just vaguely powerful

until one day it crystallizes
into a sphere
   perfectly polished, brilliant,
but hard to bear alone

you start the search
for one who would be willing
and of worth to share
with you
what weighs you down
while it elates you,
   desperately,
at times

you learn that there are few
whom you would gladly have
   alleviate your burden
many just want to share
   the tiny part
you´d rather keep yourself

others already bear their lot
and, willing though,
could only join you
for a while

love can be a hard thing
in its time
at times we feel the need
to catch a moment or a feeling
in our poetry

we start to write
until the feeling has abated
the moment turned into the past

when we then read the verse
it may well be that
though our need’s been sated
the lines don’t look like they would last
will we finally know
what we have always
   wanted to
when our lives end

   long expected
   always too sudden

or will it just be
   once more
the old wisdom

we know little
   and that
at the wrong time
now with a seven before the zero
I know that I am still no hero
just lucky to have lived so long
     and happy to go on
     for many years
before they sound the final gong
shall I not grieve
to miss
your voice
your sight
the glint of mischief
   in a glance
   from half-closed loving eyes
your smile
   that lighted up my life
   more brilliantly than does
   the winter sun on snowy slopes
   outside the train
   taking me at this moment
   through the landscape of my youth
      and recently of our love
   to places where
      however much I'm looking
      for your face
   I know you will not be -

shall I not grieve?
ice is in the air
it fills all space
and leaves
   nothing
untouched

the noncomittal voice
of an unfamiliar priest
bounces off
the hard air
   unheard

dark clad people
  white faces
frozen to the cemetery ground

someone
who has not yet
fully understood
softly
   defiantly
places a flaming bouqet
of red roses

my gaze
cuts through
the strange flowers
to the time
that was
On the death of a wonderful colleague who died young.
the little strong man
gives orders
to ****
    to cleanse
         to resist
he reminds
his frightened people
     of the glorious      
old
     victorious times
     and the soul of their nation

and when he is sure
     that no real news
     is shown on state-controlled TV
he broadcasts
     his rousing speeches and
     those heart-warming
patriotic
          movies
of another war
to elevate the fearful

he pretends
     not to be afraid
of laser-guided bombs
cruise missiles
stealth bombers
and unseen stratocruisers
that hit
   or almost hit
carefully selected military targets
and spare civilians

or so they say

the thought that one of my friends
   over there
might die
   as a non-selected target
because of this maniac
heats the blood in my veins
    clenches my fists
       chokes me
        with a wild
fierce
    ravenous
    cold
   ANGER
Written in 2000 while the war in ex-Yugoslavia was raging next door, but it seems to fit some contemporary scenarios as well...
the little strong man
gives orders
to ****
    to cleanse
         to resist
he reminds
his frightened people
     of the glorious      
old
     victorious times
     and the soul of their nation

and when he is sure
     that no real news
     is shown on state-controlled TV
he broadcasts
     his rousing speeches and
     those heart-warming
patriotic
          movies
of another war
to elevate the fearful

he pretends
     not to be afraid
of laser-guided bombs
cruise missiles
stealth bombers
and unseen stratocruisers
that hit
   or almost hit
carefully selected military targets
and spare civilians

or so they say

the thought that one of my friends
   over there
might die
   as a non-selected target
because of this maniac
heats the blood in my veins
    clenches my fists
       chokes me
        with a wild
fierce
    ravenous
        cold
   ANGER
Originally composed while the Balkan war was raging about 60 miles down the road from where I live; alas, it seems to fit some contemporary situations as well...
at standard cruising altitude
sipping my digestive
after a quite decent hot lunch
on the flight from Vienna to Athens

I gaze through the scratched
double plexiglass bulleye
shielding me from the outside world
and try to pierce the blinding haze
of a lazy spring afternoon
hiding from me

   the people shot by snipers
   the shelling of suburbs
   the burning houses
   the crowded hospitals
   of Sarajevo, Gorazde, Mostar, Zadar ...

suspended in diffuse light
all I can see is
   the silhouette of an occasional
       snow-capped mountain range

there is no sign
of human suffering

*May 1992
The war in Bosnia lasted from April 1992 to December 1995, an estimated 150.000 people were killed, about 50,000 women were *****, about 2,2 mio. people became refugees.
strands of hair on white linen
some smooth, some curly

           * *
one of the orchid blossoms dropped
when I came back without you

the last one is opening today

beauty lost in solitude

               * *
the last one
of the orchid blossoms
has fallen

down

I am leaving in an hour

            * *
dragging our voices
through detailed agendas
paying meticulous attention
to points of marginal interest
to please bureaucrats
who most likely just
stamp RECEIVED
on the file
and lay it to rest
   quietly
in bottomless
desk drawers
over two billion people
these days are waiting to commemorate
the birth of one whom they consider
humankind‘s savior

it happened more than 2000 years ago

since then it has not really been established
from what he has saved us

looking at our history
does not help much either

maybe this is a good thing
such indeterminacy can be quite uplifting

after all
who does not like to be saved?
the presence
   of your absence
cloaks me like a shroud

I go about my business

yet it takes days
for me to regain balance
and remember that

   the hurt of missing you
   is only the result
of your existence

   the joy of being with you
   will be renewed
in the foreseeable future

only then
can my eyes begin
to smile at the world
again

          * *
hardly a day goes by
without the news
of yet more suicide attacks
that **** mothers and children
     innocently playing in parks
     listening to their favorite songs
friends chatting over tea and coffee
expectant travelers on their way
     to business  family  or lovers

the perpetrators of such deeds
must be a very lonely crowd
with eyes as empty as their hearts
and frozen souls that harbor the illusion
       that cowards will turn heroes
       that killing innocents is brave
       that the world will recognize their great importance
            when they bring ****** ends to happy lives

it will not come to pass

no peace
     in this   or any other world
can find its way to them
who ****** in cold blood
clouds
like
white
fluffy spires
dotting
an azure canvas
that wears off
into milky haze
at its far edges
toward the

distant

coast

of

Africa

      * *
one of the Orient’s oldest
and most beautiful important cities
inhabited for thousands of years
by generations after generations
of craftsmen, merchants, artists, dynasties,
famous architects of all styles and religions,
the western end of the old silk road
home to over 2 million citizens
until not long ago

a few weeks of modern warfare
were enough to destroy
what hundreds of generations had built
for their living as well as their sense of beauty

     rockets exploded churches, temples, and mosques
     artillery pulverized ancient palaces and new houses

     barrel bombs and poison gas
     killed the people

on tv we now see acres of urban wasteland
miles of rubble with no life
except for occasional tanks and soldiers
proclaiming victory over these ruins
in the name of a dictator whose regime
has become a puppet in global power games
no matter what the cost in lives or things

     to destroy is easy
     building things up is hard work

     with friends like these
     who needs enemies
For this ancient city as it used to be, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo
one of the Orient’s oldest
and most beautiful important cities
inhabited for thousands of years
by generations after generations
of craftsmen, merchants, artists, dynasties,
famous architects of all styles and religions,
the western end of the old silk road
home to over 2 million citizens
until not long ago

a few weeks of modern warfare
were enough to destroy
what hundreds of generations had built
for their living as well as their sense of beauty

     rockets exploded churches, temples, and mosques
     artillery pulverized ancient palaces and new houses

     barrel bombs and poison gas
     killed the people

on tv we now see acres of urban wasteland
miles of rubble with no life
except for occasional tanks and soldiers
proclaiming victory over these ruins
in the name of a dictator whose regime
has become a puppet in global power games
no matter what the cost in lives or things

     to destroy is easy
     building things up is hard work

     with friends like these
     who needs enemies
For the ancient city of Aleppo as it used to be, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo
all ways
   lead to the end
and there is little
you can do
  but try
to travel well

       * *
when those we have elected tell us blatant lies
     and call them “alternative facts”
we should not wait too long to call them liars
make them aware that we don’t share
their newspeak fantasies and visions
     removed from everyday reality

nor do we treasure their maneuvers
     that keep the media all hyped up
reporting every tweet as if it were
     one of the ten commandments
     Moses once held up in stone

while
     unmentioned
behind quite secret White House doors
the leader’s relatives and cronies
    incompetent but greedy
are nominated for positions of whose duties
    they do not really have a clue

a friend of oil & coal & fracking
supposedly protects our environment

an ignorant billionairess
     who never really saw a public school
is now in charge of education

a business man with heavy ties to Russia
is asked to steer our foreign policy

a judge well known for his quite racist bias
is thought to fit into the supreme court

and many of the Wall Street’s alligators
     whose swamps the current leader
     has kept promising to drain
     all through his great campaign
are happily assembled ‘round the trough
of power  influence  and money

facts quite ‘alternative’ indeed
     from those that had been promised
          for over more than a whole year
by that self-styled
‘candidate against the establishment’
     with not so secret Russian ties

simply unbelievable
I though I was done with political verse, but I simply can't help it in view of what's happening!!!
at least one shooting every week
congress & president mild and meek
whatever they might do or say
no blame goes to the NRA

that keeps abusing the 2nd amendment
     who needs militias today?!
and thanks to that ****** arrangement
more students weekly fall prey

to psychopaths in our states
whose weapons open the gates
to free indiscriminate killing
thanks to our politicians unwilling

to forego all the boons
they receive from their insane tycoons
The recent high school  shooting in Santa Fe, TX, is the 20th school shooting in the 20th week of 2018 .... who tf wants to attend (high) school in the USA any more?!
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html
it seems the bipolar view
of US vs. THEM
the cry that WE
are always the victims
of all these aliens
has also caught on
among some European idiotic leaders
who seriously believe
that building walls and fences
would make their countries great again

fact is that keeping all refugees out
is not only inhuman and unlawful

it shrinks our concepts
of the wonderful diversity of our world

down to a tunnel vision
of global monotony

as boring as it gets!
And would it have been better, after all,
after these months full of suggestions
leading all ways to find the one
that would
perhaps
point to a chance
for change in stasis,
running the risk it be
revealed as but another dry oasis
adding to those we left behind?

Would it have been less painful
to postpone, again, the action,
have suffering continue as before
when it appears to have become a habit,
but does not seem, for that,
less of a pain that daily tears your heart?

How to improve the second-best solution,
feeling the best is out of reach for now?
How not to hurt the other,
driven to take the first step
out of tune
in the prevailing dance of possibilities
that threatens to go round and round again?

How to let temporary logic
rule over whispering love,
how to ignore my pain
that looks at me out of your eyes
in shock and disbelief?

How to explain
that I do love you even more, not less -
when your blank look cuts me
in half and lets me know that you
believe old fears have now come true?

So, would it have been better,
after all,
after the pain, the hard words
and the crying, the mutual reproaches,

to have left things unsaid, untouched
and stumbling as they were?

I do not know.

If it turn out
this change was for the worse
and not the better,
I will have learned
maybe you, too
and we can take our steps
into our futures
sadder and wiser
   for all the years
   spent separately
   together

          * *
Somewhat vaguely in the mode of T. S. Eliot's "Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock"
is it not strange
that the knowledge
of returning spring

helps little

in the here and now

to forget
the oncoming chilling gusts
of winter?

       * *
I deplane
   under a drizzling sky
and see little else but
rain clouds hanging low
over bare hilltops
  and a few wet apartment buidlings
  beyond the runway

knowing you are there
   I feel at home

           * *
A poem should be palpable and mute  
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

A poem should be wordless  
As the flight of birds.

                         *              

A poem should be motionless in time  
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,  
Memory by memory the mind—

A poem should be motionless in time  
As the moon climbs.

                         *              

A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea—

A poem should not mean  
But be.
the art of poetry
    like any art
produces better work
when writers are not only
erudite but also smart

the lovers' painful state
upon loss or desertion
is voiced much more impressively
with less dramatic flourish
and more of the grate
that finishes the sword
at the old blacksmith's fire
where the hot flame of our desire
    thrown into water
with a defiant hiss
turns into deadly steel
ready to **** and ******
     friend or foe or lover
in our desperate search
     for exits from the mire

or take the unexpected loss
    of victory that seemed so close
    on a wild battlefield
when suddenly the hero's gallant steed
    falls victim to a hostile archers shot
and its proud rider is reduced to shout
"A kingdom for a horse!"
rather than holding a long monologue
    about the treachery of fate

in  short
less is oft' more
and lets the readers fill the empty spaces
with their own images and graces
there once was a gulyas-blonde assident
who posed as a white house full resident
his deplorable style
proved him an imbecile
disgruntling quite a few global residents
gulyas - a rich meat stew highly seasoned with paprika
goulash, Hungarian goulash
love  
dove
bird
hurt pain rain
washing laundry dryer  shrunk
too hot   summer  beach  tanned skins
bikini girls   lifeguards  bodybuilders  
Schwarzenegger
robocop criminals politicians votes
lobbyists corporations   special interests
stock exchange oil price pipelines
pollution profits   leaded water   oily shores
banking wall street   99percent
wealth CEOs distribution education defloration
exploitation union struggle macjobs
Walmart amazon   tax evasion    offshore banking
islands caimans reptiles alligators walruses
snapping turtles  manatees  albatrosses
birds
dove
love
just for fun, sort of ...
every day
we say goodbye
     to lovers, family, and friends
expecting we shall see them
     safe and sound
again within short time

we rarely do think why
our trust that there ‘s no crime
     attack or accident
     exploding our expectations
is strong enough to carry us
     above all fears and hesitations
lets us assume that our parting
     will always be just for a while

it may well be the sheer necessity
     of positive assumptions
is what allows us to survive
      to navigate our lives
and to maintain a parting smile on our lips
born from the firm
      possibly desperate belief
our departures never are
      as yet
forever
(To be sung to the tune of Leonard Cohen´s
"Suzanne led me down the river")

at the buffet of the station
you are looking at the women
in your dreams they're always younger
and they don't have these hard lines
around their mouths

at the buffet of the station
where you chew your lukewarm hotdog
you are listening to the drunk bums
who abuse the red-mouthed women
whose hard lines are cracking open
for a twisted smile
now and then

at the buffet of the station
you are sipping your stale beer
and you're watching all the people
and you almost ask yourself
why you are there

and you smoke your final cigarette
at the buffet of the station
and you pay the shabby waitress
with the hungry eyes
and you stoop to take your briefcase
and return their empty smiles
and then you turn away

but you know when you come back
another train, another day
there will be the same fixation,
the same peoples, the same smiles
at the buffet of the station
as they always are

and you never can forget them
always hear their hollow laughter
always see the painted smiles
and you know that they are
part of what you are

now and then

              * *
the tiredness in my bones
at times is almost overwhelming

it feels existential
lodged deeply somewhere at my core

that center of my life
   wherever it is
seems to gain distance
step by step
from the world’s busy-ness
makes me consider things
   like from above
and at the same time
narrows down my vision
   to my basic needs

what do I care about
   the hungry dead in Africa
the Asian victims of typhoons and floods and mudslides
or who becomes chancellor or president etc.

I focus on myself
mulling the question
whether I have a mission in my life
whether there is a destiny
   that needs to be fulfilled
or fate to be resigned to
or if it’s better to catch each day
   as if it were my last
   experience life to the brim
   as long as possible
   and die in the midst of it

at times
I wonder & ponder
yet shy back
from any definite conclusion
hesitant to fall into a groove
that lead me
to a too predictable
end

           * *
some venerable cities
hide their soul
   behind endless accumulations
of steely glass facades
   reflecting anonymity

in Athens
all relics of the ancient times
that once helped shape the Western World
appear like foreign bodies
   in a sea of faceless concrete cubes

   most prominent
   Akropolis and Likavitos hill
   tourist-infested and forlorn

and it is only
when you meet the people
   and see them go
   about their businesses
that you perceive
tradition here
   is strong
and still lives on
in Portugal  here
at the continent's southeastern rim
   where  as the legend says
   enchanted horses and their riders
      turned into rocks
   break up the waves
Hesiod's vision of Atlantis lingers on

and with some luck
you see
the path
that leads to a submerged paradise

yet beware

lest you tread gentle
   and with care
the palace falls to ruins
and the fair beautiful women
grow Medusa's hair  

      * *
quietly
over the past week
a gentle autumn sun
has painted colored leaves
upon the ground
and thinned
the bright abundance
of the wooded ranges

most of the harvest
is securely stored by now
or sold at morning markets
by weathered men and women
in their country garbs

vintners are busy with their lots
fermenting grapes
and entertaining those
who see their visit
as pleasant pastime and escape
from daily urban chores

hunters and lumbermen
are waking up
to shoot and mark

schools by this time
have settled into the new year
teachers are happy still to share
the knowledge of our world
with students still inclined
to listen

businessmen, remembering their vacations
on the Bahamas or in Saint Tropez
step sprightly into offices
womanned by secretaries dreaming secretly
of beautiful Mallorca summers
and those never-ending nights
at the Algarve

I guess it is a human thing
to find a new beginning
at the time when nature’s breath
goes easy
to collect the strength
for yet another fruitful year

Or were it better
that we also took a rest?
over the past weeks
a gentle autumn sun
has painted colored leaves
upon the ground
and thinned
the bright abundance
of the wooded ranges

most of the harvest
is securely stored by now
or sold at morning markets
by weathered men and women
in country garbs

vintners are busy with their lots
fermenting grapes
and entertaining those
who see their visit
as pleasant pastime and escape
from daily urban chores

hunters and lumbermen
are waking up
to shoot and mark

schools by this time
have settled into the new year
teachers are happy still to share
the knowledge of our world
with students still inclined
to listen

businessmen
remembering their vacations
on the Bahamas or in Saint Tropez
step sprightly into offices
womanned by secretaries dreaming secretly
of beautiful Mallorca summers
and of those never-ending nights
on the Algarve

I guess it is a human thing
to find a new beginning
and do best
when nature’s breath goes easy
to collect the strength
for yet another fruitful year

or were it better
that we also took a rest?

           * *
in today´s virtual worlds we take our avatars
to meet with others of their kind
in that cute coffee shop in neverland

hoping that one of many current superheroes
shows up for a quick drink before another dangerous task
like fighting dragons threatening fair damsels
       killing the blinded one-eyed giant
       defeating hordes of wild insurgents
       saving our planet from superior but evil aliens

old fairy tales and myths
       it seems
have donned contemporary virtual garbs
changed names and weapons
to happily exude their fascination
on yet another generation
hungry for adventures
that take them far away
from their quotidian battles for survival
be honest

do you always
like yourself
   your partner
   all your friends
   your job

do you feel
at times
that you are quite abominable
   your friends are boring
   have turned into enemies
that your beloved has become
   an obligation rather than the joy of your life
and that your job is just
   a never ending treadmill

if all of the above applies
then it is time to take
   a step or two
   back from the everyday

look at yourself
as from a mountain top
and honestly acknowlegde
that you belong
   to the seven billion people
   on this globe

who struggle
back in an other world
   that feels unreal

with people whose familiar voices
   sound strange and thin
   as from behind thick glass

moving in rooms
   that do not promise
   your return

walking in streets
   that fail
   to echo your steps

I dream of you

       * *
Remember: Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everyhere!
in restless sleep
under a full moon
the mists of rain
swarming with demons
of the hidden soul
I keep dreaming
   I hear
the ringing of the telephone

my lifeline
to my beloved
so distant   and yet
almost painfully close
behind my half-closed eyes

so I stumble down
stairs in the dark
grab the receiver
and listen
   with freezing heart
to echoes
   of silence

           * *
there is a dog
that barks
with such a
   hoarse,
   unhappy whimper

I only hear it
   from a distance
and wonder
what it wants
to say
what are those battles
we have been fighting
for so many months

to prove
   that one is right
   the other wrong

summoning friends
   or gods   or common values
       or personal histories
   for our support
we lash out at each other
   in wild despair
   trying to duck the bullets
      evade the thrusts
      keep our selves intact
          up to a point
      just shy of total agony

seemingly oblivious of the fact
   that what really is at stake
   is not victory

   but our joint survival
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