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Humanity Lost

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I freeze,
And fall to my knees.
The earth is cold tonight, my sight
Is sorrowed as I place my hands on its frozen surface,
No furnace to warm me, but bereft.
Here, on the borrowed hour
Of my death.

The frost seeping through my clothes
Chills my bones, I am lost here, alone.
The precipice in front of me is wide, and deep,
But full. I keep my head dipped,
Knowing they watch me
And mock me.
A pathetic excuse for man
I am; a parasite they long to vanish,
To banish and go from these lands that were free
Not so long ago….
How did I end up here?  Such fear.
What evil have I wielded in this life
Or the last
That justifies my final moment?
I have seen the past and the present, but no future,
No more will I stand as I grasp at my knees
On the floor, in the dirt that consumes me
And is ready to lose me to the worms
In the bullets and blood,
Left to die and to rot
In the mud.
Soon now, near obsolete,
A front row seat
To my own annihilation.
Devastation, wiped clean, buried.
When I, the very last in 'sin'
Of twenty-eight thousand lost,
Falls in.
I sink further into the soil.
Turmoil.  Lingerer.
The harbinger of death
Extends my suffering,
Shuffling behind.
For the sheer joy to witness my distress,
They aggress.
I hear the serpent tongues licking the air,
Tasting my fear;
I peer once more into my open tomb.
To fall soon, I see my place
Between the face of the old and the young,
The father, the son,
The well and the weak,
The proud and the meek,
Innocent, all, now done.
I feel god smile,
Thanking me for my presence
But turning away, shielding his eyes.
Even he denies that man can wield such brutality,
For my finality, even the heavens
Cannot stand.

It is said that only the dead will see
The end of war - a small salvation,
In the face of a nation destroyed
By the passing of law.
It seems though I will live long enough to witness
The perdition of sanity
And the destruction of hope,
At the end of humanity,
Here, on the very horizon of my life.
I hear the click of the barrel,
His apparel rustles at the effort.
The cold steel, real now,
Presses against my temple,
And chills my soul.
My skull, braced.
I close my eyes
And whisper ‘please’
But useless these words are,
In such hatred, such darkness,
As everything,
Suddenly and permanently passes,
Into nothing.



◄ Waves (A Final Letter Home)

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Harry O'Neill

Sat 23rd Mar 2013 16:00

Imaginatively, powerfully, and feelingly factual in the most true sense of that word when it is used literally.

I suppose any nightmarish resurrection of a modern Jewish extermination dictatorship would use enforced sterilisation, vascetomy, and abortion to `achieve` their ends. (The Nazis actually did it with the mentally defectives) A very timely reminder of what man is capable of.

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Simon Austin

Sat 23rd Mar 2013 09:35

Thank you for your comments - the poem is based on the photograph itself taken by an SS Soldier, which had 'The last jew in Vinnitsa' scrawled on the back.

It is believed that the town of Vinnitsa, of some 28,000 people (mostly Jewish) was completely eradicated by the Nazi's in the summer of 1941.

The man knelt infront of the mass grave is believed to be the very last of those executed, which I felt was a very powerful and desperately horrifying image, hence the inspiration for the poem.

Thank you again for your comments.

Kenneth Eaton-Dykes

Fri 22nd Mar 2013 17:51

Skillfully graphic, Very moving,

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Fri 22nd Mar 2013 16:48

You very much bring the horror of the holocaust to life with your poem, Simon.

I'd agree with Dave that this is a very powerful poem.

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Dave Bradley

Fri 22nd Mar 2013 07:22

Wow. The most powerful new poem I've read in a long time. Almost any words feel too glib. If only a few million young people in warlike nations could read this.

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