The Ballad Of The Concentration Camp and Other Poems

By: Bill the Butcher

THE BALLAD OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMP


Walls grey walls bricks wire and glitter of metal weapon-bright in the sunshine but no litter
This is no place for litter. Here Arbeit Macht Frei. Here we’re in Paradise
If only we knew it. And only the traitor feels his hunger, only the treasonable
Moans his pain. Here the birds fly over the wall, and the towers with their machine guns. This is no prison for birds,
More’s the pity. Because –
I’d like to fly over the walls with those birds, Herr Hauptsturmführer. I know this is
Ungrateful, after all you have done. After your tender beatings
To teach me to keep my eyes down
And my mouth shut, except to answer roll call. I’m grateful for those lessons, surely I am. Maybe even some day I would figure out what I’m doing here. I only know it’s for my good,
Because the Führer said so. Was I am I an enemy of the people? I, Jew, Social Democrat, Gypsy, Communist, am I the enemy? Is it true?
I’m desolate at my own incompetence at comprehending the simplest thing, Herr Hauptsturmführer. You could have sent me to the chambers, after all, but you didn’t.
Then
I might have flown like the birds, over the wall
In smudges of crematorium smoke.
Maybe you might have done me a favour at that, Herr Hauptsturmführer.
I think I hate you.

WHALESONG


The great sea swells, and the great sea swells
With the rhythms of ages beyond and forevermore
And the sun sinks towards the edge of the sea.

The whale pods swim singing, singing
The whale pods swim, singing
Towards the sunset that lights up

The edge of the sea.
Perhaps the sea sings, perhaps the sea sings
With their song, and their song is

The song of the sea.
The whale pods swim, singing, singing
The whale pods swim singing,

In the bosom of the sea.

“The Sea Lord must be angry, the Sea Lord must be angry
With our sins, so he sends us
The monsters from beyond the sea.

“We have sinned, yes we have sinned
And the ocean tastes of blood
Because we offended

“The Lord of the Sea.

“And we swim in the ocean
Yes we swim in the ocean
Until the wrath falls on us

“Of the Lord of the Sea.
They will kill us,
Yes they will kill us

“And drag us away from the sea.
They will drag us
Onto their metal monsters

“And cut us to pieces
Cut us to pieces
Strip us of skin and bone

“Fat and muscle, all of we.
Because of the anger, yes of the anger
Of the Lord of the Sea.

“They will change us
Yes they will change us
To lipsticks shoe polish

“Steaks and margarine.
But we must pay, yes we must pay
For our sins, for we angered

“The Lord of the Sea.
We are guilty, we are guilty
And we must seek out

“Why he is angry.
Till then we shall suffer
And we must suffer

“The righteous wrath
Of the Lord of the Sea.”
The whale pod sings,

The whale pod sings
And the red sun sinks
Past the edge of the sea

And somewhere
Yes somewhere
People eat whale steaks

And talk of cultural need
Scientific research
And economic necessity.

NOT YET A WOMAN

Why do you encircle me with the
Iron chains of your words and cautions?
I’m not a child, mother
If not yet a woman.

I know the world is hard and sharp
I know the world can cut and hurt
But the world is colourful and bright
More so than you can understand.

Why do you treat me
As though I would not grow
Up without your helping hand?
I’m not a child if not yet a woman.

If you tell me I must do this
I must be that, I feel torn
Between what I am and what you want me to be
I never, you know, asked to be born.

MY GOD IS BETTER THAN YOURS

My god is a living god

And yours is a stone, so

My god is better than yours.

My god is formless and everywhere

Your god is in a body of base metal, so

My god is better than yours.

I venerate my god

While you nail yours to a tree, so

My god is better than yours.

My god has a heart and weeps

Your god is a jealous god, so

My god is better than yours.

My god redeems my sins

Your god condemns you to hellfire, so

My god is better than yours.

My god knows how to smile

Your god only demands eternal praise, so

My god is better than yours.

My god was born of this land

Your god is a foreign god, so

My god is better than yours.

My god made man in his image

Your god has no shape, so

My god is better than yours.

My god counts the fall of every sparrow

Your god sleeps with concubines, so

My god is better than yours.

My god will be my salvation

Your god condemns you to rebirth, so

My god is better than yours.

My god talks to me in my sleep

And comforts me when I weep, so

My god is better than yours.

My god created the world in seven days

Yours came after men created them, so

My god is better than yours.

I can chop off your head

And take your land for mine own, so

My god is better than yours.