Final solution

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The Unwritten predominates, 

The times of wonder have gone,

We hold on - the wise women drugged

Into submission.

Forensic psychology reveals traces

Of long-forgotten haunted faces;

Which, like Munch's lurid, silent scream,

Degenerate into nightmaredream.

Or, so it seems.

Meanwhile, in population centres,

Desire, in all its lurid manifestations,

Falls into disuse,

All is as it was before:

Footsteps in the snow 

On a flat, grey concrete floor:

Krema I at Auschwitz,

Eminently productive procedures are established:

340 corpses burned every 24 hours

This was indeed progress of the sort required

Arbeit macht frei

Weaponising the common man and woman

An act of genius

Monsters exist

Much more dangerous are the common men and women,

Ready and able to act without question,.

Yes, plenty of these in our nation.

◄ Victorian Gin Palace

Lotus flower ►


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John Marks

Sun 8th Sep 2019 00:27

Thank you Adam, Jason and Devon. The approval of my peers means so much to me. Thank you again.

"I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world. Time has come to strenghten them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander."

Yehuda Bauer, s peech to the German Bundestag, January 27, 1998

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Adam Rabinowitz

Sat 7th Sep 2019 02:16

Truly powerful work.

Devon Brock

Fri 6th Sep 2019 23:45

The simple lives of birds, for all their bloom and song,
remain forever wary of the hawk's long shadow,
descend into silence, meek among the leaves,
eyeing grubs, as another is thrashed for singing too long.

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John Marks

Fri 6th Sep 2019 22:35

Thank you Kevin, Ray, Don and Devon. Your comments gave rise to even more presessing questions in my.mind.
And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird's life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird's heart

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Thu 5th Sep 2019 10:45

I hardly feel qualified to comment on this John . I believe all perversions of human nature can be examined in retrospect but the Holocaust stands alone in terms of the sheer scale and secrecy at the time. I have read widely on the subject. I found Primo Levi's personal account perhaps the most moving and of course the Hitchcock's film too so ghastly.
You have struck a rich seam of truth about the compliance of ordinary people .like the mass beliefs that can dominate acquiescence. Perhaps persuasion and fear can go side by side.
Your poem is successful for me for its ability to examine without emotional overload and an inspiration . If nothing else we have to be wary of ideology as delusion.

With respect Ray

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Don Matthews

Wed 4th Sep 2019 22:15

Very thought provoking....

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keith jeffries

Wed 4th Sep 2019 21:51


The title of this poem stopped me in my tracks. I read it with a degree of trepidation as I am filled with an indescribable horror at what took place during the last world war. The last three lines pose some dark and probing questions into human nature. Ordinary men and women, train drivers, former secretaries, unemployed men and women, many of whom volunteered to partake in in the systematic mass murder of a millions of people with whom they had hitherto lived with for many years with no apparent problems. Is this confined only to the Germans? I think not. It makes one fearful of the future.
Thank you for this. This mass murder needs to be regularly revisited so that we don´t forget what our species is capable of.


Devon Brock

Wed 4th Sep 2019 21:26

And here as well.


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