Lawrence Upton

As you ask

I did go to Auschwitz.

It damaged me greatly;

but over a long time,
a time not yet over —

I wake to my old self,
too often, recalling loss;
I do not know what of;
that time before the pain
of unwanted knowledge —

I suppose that is the cause.

I’ve kept my limbs and mind;
but I have been lessened
for more than forty years —

an unwilling tourist
at what was a funfair:
caricature Germans
painted on the walls; so strong
and blue-eyed; and quite tall;
nascent laughter in smiles
that threatened savagery.

I would not go back there.
I could not endorse that.
A meadow. A depression,
aptly so, filled, levelled
with human ash, product
of incineration,
itself an apt response
to murder of innocence;
and criminals; and those
who had not rushed away
from fear of disaster.

That view more than anything.

All the burned off debris
of supposed creation.

The Book of Joshua?

Structured studies of death
raised for hierarchies;
ruins preserved with care.
Temples to obsession
and inadequacy.

Or the books their scribes kept,
quantifying bodies,
unreliable currency
made Reich marks. Many lines
of code for rationales,
round the wrong way, buggered.
Many precise falsehoods.

The gas chambers persist,
artfully transmogrified.

We stand in line. Queuing
for a turn to destroy,

making each new heaven
out of recycled earth.
© Lawrence Upton 2017

 

 

at Lelant Saltings

 

at this point, for now,
inherently inter-tidal
on a gantry……..over saltings
………………….and behind, ………….few works really grounded
a causeway,
a motorway on stilts,
a railway, the same,
unstopping cars
and few pedestrians
all rush

one sees the fallacy of land…

which is afloat……. if …….imperceptibly

the flood

transforms that which it releases
realises that which it retakes

assurance of inconstancy
resistance
……….every false an equalising ………and apposite motion
there being no here
and here being’s beings’ fantasy
………………………………………………………..and basis
……………………….one leaves ……………….to walk on
moving surfaces
………………surfaces of movement
………………………..a sedimentary persistence
……………..coming together ………………..of particles
……….and waves ………………………gathering the sediments
……………..the gravity of situation
sentimental
……………………………………………………………………….spent
……………………………..flushed
………………………before they harden
………………………………………hence the hard clear eyes
………………………………of fish and birds
……………………………………………………………hear
…………………………………………………………………….today
it shone
……………………….the next day
gone ………………………….except in memory
……………………….subject to re-assay
………………………………………………………re-instantiation

a predicate of unpredictability

the tide’s turn time quite known
but not or ever mappings of its flow

© Lawrence Upton 2017

 

 

 

Lelants
in the sky at Lelant

A flying sheep on fire over-reaching
its apogee, engines burning, black smoke,
an exploding eye, the wool yet fluffy and soft.
A fierce bear, so keen to bite the sheep
its head is parting from its body,
leaps forward, anxious to be there first
or quicker. It is a black-faced bear. A baby bear
pushes out from the side of the fierce bear’s chest,
air-launched, as yet unshapen.
……………………………………………….Below them,
colliding glaciers of choc ice; and mauve stew,
almost ready for tasting, bubbles on low heat.
A turkey with a llama’s body pursues
a disintegrating wolf which worms munch.
The turkey vanishes. The remnants
of the wolf break up, and then again, small bits
floating, autumnal seeds.
……………………………………..The baby bear,
five legs and some half body, lands
in the choc ice; to whinny I suppose.
The stew is being eaten by invisible mouths.
……………An all-white cat, with a bit of shading
round the left eye, leaps over a hunched down
white rabbit rushing the other way. It is
a huge cat. It lumbers. A ferret seems
to be trying to keep up with the rabbit
but is veering off to avoid the cat.
Which cannot hold out.
…………………………………..The cat is falling.
The rabbit has rolled and kicked the cat
with a back leg.
……………………….The two now fold into one
and go down; and the ferret slopes at speed,
discarding its jaw which hangs, enlarging, looking
like a tap root, for some turbulent seconds.
It masquerades, briefly, as an arachnid;
but then, there being no prey, that jaw
appears to be a nest of cute ducklings.
An ink-drawn lancer charges fleeing onlookers.
A dog looks up from below, among smoke
and moving mirrors, and barks at the lancer.
The upper world of war and the lower world
of commentary bang together.
It’s not a good system that we have here.
What we really need is wings; and the whole
digitised – brains and souls pulled out and put back —
hard disks and microprocessors, continents drifting
through the sky, Scandinavia replacing
France at the end of a mainland peninsula
of Europe.
…………………..Iberia has been crushed
into Africa; the cracks filled in. Spray-paint
representing sedimentary deposition.

© Lawrence Upton 2017

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