Tuesday, 15 April 2014

In Ribbons, Fell

Beloved son, I send you warmest greetings here,
For many years this war has kept us far apart
And whilst this ghastly circumstance is not yet clear,
Remain you do at front of thoughts and tip of heart.
I write this letter to you as my hours wane
So that I may not leave you questioning the blame.

For six days now we have been here beneath the ground.
It shakes most terribly from moon to rising sun.
The thunder never stops, it echo’s all around
And we, like rats trapped firm within the adders run,
Live out the final days amongst beloved friends,
As our most revered Fatherland meets dire ends.

But do not fret my darling child, for we are free
Beneath the ravaged city streets we make our stand.
Our glorious and honoured leader comforts me
And puts to rest the fears I had for our great land.
For I will stay against your fathers protestings
And see the final days out with your dear siblings.

We have bore dark monsters in our revolution
And treated other nations with untold cruelty,
For this the victors will exact their retribution
But cannot let them think that we are cowardly.
The right to life is rightly left with whom it fits
But we have lost this right and now must forfeit it.

Our glorious idea is but an ashes pile
And as you sift through it with but the finest brush
All the beauty I have known in life and style
Will dirty and befoul your thoughts of me, of us.
The world that comes after the Fuhrer is no more,
Is not the world that I would wish us to endure.

And to this end I tell you now what I have done,
I hope that you, my darling son, will understand.
I cannot see, or wish to see, the rising sun
Over the fallen cities of our Fatherland,
And neither do I wish your siblings eyes to bear
The buried dreams above, beneath the Russian air. 

Few hours have passed since we concluded our plan
And as their mother, knew that it was mine to task,
For we have only one goal left, in death we stand
With our most noble father, this he need not ask.
And were the children old enough to have a voice,
We know with little doubt they would support our choice.

I lay them down and rested up their weary heads,
(They had been so exhausted from the shell shocked streets)
Their little eyes stared fairy like from tiny beds.
Their golden hair in ribbons fell upon the sheets.
But I had no anguish, and felt no need to weep,
For I was sending them to their most blissful sleep.

By now the potent potion had taken its course
And drearily they slipped into their peaceful rest.
I looked upon the cyanide without remorse
And lent before them, one by one, upon their chest.
Their little teeth I opened up a fraction, then,
I slipped the capsule in and brought them down again.

The slightest crack and within moments it was done,
They did not suffer, here I was most merciful.
I then repeated this and quickly, one by one
Your six sweet siblings no more had to fear our fall.
I covered up their faces most respectfully
Knowing I had done my motherly duty.

You are my blood and know that you will see me pure,
That only by my love did I perform this deed.
A mothers love is complex but I must assure
That mine is no lesser than others embodied.
They will not grow and age will no more sully them,
Their future is no longer such a vile burden.

But far greater a tragedy happened last night,
(I do not know that I can write this woeful tale!)
Our dearest father, architect of our great Reich

Had locked himself with lovely Eva in his jail.
And though I begged I could not stop their wretched plot,
A double silence followed but a single shot.

We are bereft, our misery is all too rife,
But do not grieve, for this is how we choose it all.
I want to give to you what I have learned in life;
Be loyal to yourself, loyal to the people.
Stay loyal to the Fatherland, to your country.
Be proud of us and keep us in dear memory...

My son, my game of patience now has reached its end
And with it too my life, my soul, will now ascend descend. 

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin


Magda Goebbels - 'The First Lady of the Third Reich'
Pictured with Joseph, Harald (son from her first marriage)
and her six youngest children, whom she murdered on April 30th 1945.
 

Johanna Maria Magdalena 'Magda' Goebbels was the wife Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A prominent member of the Nazi party, she was a close ally and political supporter of Adolf Hitler. 

As Berlin was being overrun in late April 1945 by the Red Army at the end of World War II, Magda, along with Joseph and their 6 children moved into the Führerbunker underneath the Reich Chancellery, along with Adolf Hitler himself and his closest supporters and advisors. There they awaited the coming Russian army and when it became apparent that there would be no victory, Hitler chose to remain in the complex with Eva Braun, whom he married just 40 hours before he and she committed suicide.

Joseph Goebbels was one of Hitlers most loyal and trusted allies and refused to leave Berlin or Hitlers side, resolving to die also. Magda supported her husbands decision, and on the morning after Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide, Magda drugged her six children, aged between 5 and 13, and then murdered them by crushing a cyanide pill in their mouths whilst they slept. Her and Joseph justified this act in that they believed had the children been old enough, they would have made this decision also. They were found 2 days later, still in their beds, in their nightclothes with ribbons (which the name of this poem is based) tied in the girls hair.

Immediately after she had murdered her children, Magda was then said to have sat and played a game of patience, before her and her husband left the Führerbunker, where Joseph then shot his wife, before turning the gun on himself.  Their bodies were then burned in a shell crater, where they were discovered only partially destroyed the next day but the Red Army. 

This poem is based on the letters that Magda sent to her eldest son Harald, whom was a prisoner of war at the time, and letters sent to her sister in law clearly divulging her and her husbands horrific intentions to both themselves and their children. It shows how unbelievable the depths a woman, a supposed mothers, is capable of plunging to in the name of fanaticism and misplaced loyalty.  

I finished the poem with the crossing out of the word 'ascend' and replaced it with 'descend' - Magda believed that what she did was truly for the right reason (and therefore assumed that she would ascend to heaven - her words '... and a merciful God will understand me when I will give them the salvation') however as a reader, and as a humanitarian, I have scored this out, replacing it with 'descend' - symbolizing not just the common belief that the soul of a murderer or suicide will be thrown into Hell, but also represents the inevitable downfall of the entire ideology of Nazism and evil.  

May she, and so many other thousands like her in those dark times, never rest in peace.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Moth

The moth, she knows the flame will burn
But back again, again she comes,
Her velvet collisions dress the air,
Sparkling against tempting embers
As she throws herself again, again
Upon the flickering fascination,
Senseless self-immolation
Strips her to a carapace,
Scorched, naked, undressed, undone,
Against the tragic unraveling of her world.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Forlorn

So easy to be drawn,
Then thrown upon the rocks,
For I am but forlorn,
And begging for the scorn,
To fall before the morn,
Upon the waiting stocks.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Inkless Pen

I watch you burn above the pyre,
Emasculate upon the fire -
What use are you to me, to them?
A pointless weapon, inkless pen.
This waste of space, this waste of time,
Thrown to another, but still mine.
I want it used yet want it gone;
My loving lyrics hate the song.
A hole filled heart in endless pour
Upon this virginity floor,
I will not plug it, will not try,
I'll let it run until I'm dry.
In my despair, and mine alone,
A soul of ice and heart of stone.
I hate this night and long for dawn 
But hate the light and loathe the morn,
So let me burn and be it done
Before the rising of this sun.
I was once loved and loved deeply
But squandered such a love as we
That thought there better, more advanced
And wasted yet another chance.
I am but lost, and wander so
And now have nowhere left to go,
So stop the world and let me off,
I cannot stay, it is too tough
For I am done, so let it be,
This love for you, a vacancy
That shall not be written again,
For all the ink has left my pen.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

That which is unwritten, remain it so.
 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Saturday Night Bow

Poorly propped in the corner of the room,
His head, spinning the waltz, faults.
The thumping sounds liquify his ears,
Fears allayed in clouds of vodka and rum
Succumbing quickly to their potent beauty -
Mutiny on the dance floor!

He stumbles to his feet, behind the eyes
The heat builds to a crescendo
And sends him crashing back to his chair.
Somehow, the innuendo of the situation evades him
And without a care in the world
He stares blindly at nothing,
Whilst his skull swims.

Odours of overworked bodies muddy the air.
Heads of blonde and brunette
Wildly flick their matted tips his way
But his gaze drifts, thoughts of her return,
Burning the back of his throat
Where the hate for her rumbles up,
Following the cheap whisky to his mouth;
He swallows the lumps back in disgust -
Fucking bitch.

Bass merges into inane turbulence
But the urgency of the night is on.
Checking his phone, unknown numbers laugh
At his desperate thoughts. His sight, cracked.
His mind lost under intoxicated sheets;
He peers our from underneath them
And that's when he suddenly sees them.
Who is that?

Across the room, not fifteen feet,
Through the gaps of cheap juvenile ravishment
(Like peering through greased branches caught
In a drain) he catches a glance.
A chance on their face suggests they're aware;
Perhaps the stare came the other way first?
He snaps his head back, but like rubber
His gaze bounces back through the bodies
To the other that is no longer there.

A panic sets in. Is it the gin
(Or the wine, or the rum, or the shots)
That brings a sweat to his brow?
Somehow he is worried, a hurried jump to his feet,
Staggering forward through the neon darkness.
Balance forms in his mind, but unconvinced legs
Send him crashing to the glutinous floor.
A haze of stars in his path,
Belly laughs above the cacophony confirm it;
He's down. 

His shirt drinks the dirt from the floor, drop by drop
The grime binds to his skin. Grim and groped
He slams his hands forward,
But drunk elbows bend unsympathetically
And he bows further into the filth.

Confusion sets in, the direction has been lost.
Up isn't up anymore (is it?)
Trapped by an avalanche of points and jeers
He sneers at his own state -
Fucking loser.
Resigning to fate, he does not move,
His flooded skull now full,
Sure enough, it expands
And he plummets into catatonic bliss.

But suddenly, he's up - lifted to his feet,
His chin no longer friends with the filth.
Arms clasped under his own, the unknown saviour
Nothing more than an opaque outline,
The flavour of their scent, a distant comfort
That closes in quick, the obvious discord
Masking the subtle questioning;
'Are you OK?' comes sarcastically.
He clumsily grasps at his liberator,
The baiters have gone and in one swift move
He intentionally pulls her to him.

Thoughts of 'the bitch' fade in an instant,
A distant reflection, only the acidic stain in his throat
His reminder.  Replaced with another,
This rescuer, this minder
Grasping him as if trying to stop glass
Tumbling down a staircase.
His intoxication, utter and complete;
Feet sway to a new beat
And without concern he leans in,
Stealing a kiss from the lips of his heroine.

It's odd.
Soft skin and cherry smiles do not greet him.
The sweet nectar of perfume - absent.
Slim hips and magnificent breasts
Do not push up against his chest.
Instead, his head greets the chisel of jaw and rock;
He looks up, not down, on his liberator.
The flavour is hard spice, spliced with oaky notes.
Arms that keep him afloat, not lacy
But blatantly solid, cut from stone;
They alone hold him aloft from the scene
Where he broke.

Oh fuck - it's a bloke.
Taxi. 

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin
 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Conqueror

He crossed the seven oceans, brought the seven tides
But did not bring the mercy in His rippled wake,
The loss was His to gain, was His to cast aside
And yet, to pillage, plunder, was all His to take.
The comets and the stars above could not lament,
Or cease the rapid odyssey of his ascent.

His armies were immeasurable, immense in size
And none amongst the ranks did dare question His cause,
For they had once been men of freedom, men of pride,
For they had once been men that fought in grander halls.
But challenging His tyranny that knew no bounds.
Was but to dig their own grave in the waiting grounds.

The earth itself rose up and split itself apart
As He traversed the ruptured scars of its remains.
He strode across the bleeding magma’s of her heart,
Across the glass-like ashes of her blackened plains.
His glare was limitless, surveying without pause,
Ensuring all succumb to monocratic laws.

The fires parted ways like oceans drawn by moons
And though they licked at He, His flesh was left untried,
He strode across the roaring chasms without wounds
And laughed upon the faces of the gods defied
The very cosmos could not halt His forward march
And burnt as though but fabric in His aftermath.

But still between He and that which He seeks to hold
His stature riding high as death himself looked on,
He, utterly aware of those that were so bold
To challenge such a thunderstorm, a maelstrom.
His wrath alone diminished quick their measly gains
And cast their tortured carcasses upon the flames.

The sky above turns black from ceaseless firefight,
As blood begins to pour out of the cracks of earth,
An endless age of men fall down in wasted plight,
Then buckle into piles of ashes, mounds of dirt.
But He rides hard and fast upon His blackened horse,
Crushing foe and follower without remorse.

Millennia draw on but his defenses stand, 
As millions are notched beneath His brutal laws,
The waves of those that could not serve before His hand;
Devoured before uttering's of His great jaws.
A thousand years of immolation whispered in
And countless souls annihilated at His whim.

Until no more was left, and nothingness endured,
His domination absolute and ever long
The mountains, crumbled wastelands to his fate immured,
The oceans, barren canyons of oblivion.
And as the ceaseless winds rage on across His lands
They pour the scattered wastes through His triumphant hands. 

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

Sunday, 2 February 2014

I, Defined

You may judge me
On my successes
But I am defined
By my mistakes.
For it is these
That have truly made me,
Me.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

You may judge me on my successes but i am defined by my mistakes for it is these that have truly made me me
 

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Reader

She read many books,
there were few she did not like - 
for six years they burned.

 Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Shortcut (Keep Off the Grass!)

Excuse me son, you can't walk there,
It's strictly out of bounds.
Please come back here, there's a good lad
Just turn yourself around.
What were you thinking, can't you read?
'Keep Off the Grass' it says.
It's not that hard, should I worry?
You alright in the head?

I'm sorry mate, I really am,
I clearly missed that fact,
I thought this was the way to go
Though I'm quite high on crack....
I'll take the longer way around
I'm really not that fussed
As long as I'm there just in time
To catch me final bus.

Alright there love, where you off to?
You can't just wander here,
That aint a public bridleway,
So get your self back here!
You brainless girl, there's clearly many
Signs that say 'Please Stop' -
Am I the only one around
Whose lights are on up top?

What is the problem, honestly
It's just a patch of grass?
I walk real quick, don't worry mate
Just loosen up your arse!
It won't get damaged, Jesus Christ
You'll barely know I've been.
It's such a wicked shortcut
And I'm really fucking keen!

Oi over there, listen, get back
I'm watching you darling
This aint your private prominade
...and pack that spitting in!
I'm sure you're far too busy
To notice your mistake
Come listen here, don't make me shout
(I'm getting a headache...)

Oh my god, I so cannot
Believe you just said that!
I'm so aint doing nuffing wrong
You massive, massive twat!
I'm well telling all of my mates
That you're a right pervert
I bet it's coz you wanna stick
Your fingers up my skirt!

Stop where you are, don't move an inch
You gone too far my friend
The rules aint written for you
To just, at your leisure, bend
What did you think? Did you intend
To get across real quick
Before I'd even noticed - well tough luck
(...you little prick).

Jesus man, what's got your beef?
I'm fucking walking here!
So what if it says 'back up bitch'
Ain't noones bitch, you hear?!
So jog on mate, I'm on my way,
Aint nothing you can do,
Unless you want some beatings
From my proper well 'ard crew!

I really wonder why I stand
And take this everyday.
You'd get less grief on the front lines;
I'm off, sod this I say.
I'm jacking in, I need a change,
So stuff the little gits,
Let them take that shortcut there,
I couldn't give two shits

In all fairness the only loss
Is slightly flatter grass,
So your job, frankly, Mr Boss -
Go cram it up your arse.

 Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin

 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Four Floors

Her face was peppered with white powder,
The prouder part of her slender frame
Lay still, a weary head on a pillow
By an open window four floors away.
Eyes of glass catch hazed reflections
From the direction of London lamps
Lighting themselves one by one,
But she does not smile at their amber gleam
Whilst the seams of her soul come undone.

Vague melt solidifies natures crime scene.
Unheard screams echo through empty streets
And disperse amongst absent crowds,
The watershed of their witness long past.
Her mould cast in contorted limbs,
Thin bones buckled in defeat
Rise up to breach a weakened shell;
It splits in parts and dashes her contents
Across the immaculate canvas.

Her hair coiled into tight twirls,
Billows and unfurls in a fashionable way
And tickles her almond dipped skin;
She is still lukewarm within it.
Arms in dissaray clench absent railings,
Their flailing sealed fast against the frost,
Partly lost against the fresher dusting,
Their trusting gape embracing nothing more
Than the floor that does not grasp back.

Arctic air dances with the sequined dignity
Now slowly slipping from her back.
The cause of her silence tracks down her neck
Into rockpools of cracked liquid almandine;
Corruption in sanguine against velveteen flesh
Enmeshes with all that she was.
As her decency begins to rapidly fold,
The city as old as the river that bore it
Throws a desperate brume for her pity.

White facades shudder in the prolonged night
Iniquitously enveloping the dim scene.
The ironic beams of their iron balconies,
Open falconries of birds that could never fly;
Four floors beneath they lie shattered,
The tattered remains of their short lives
Scattered for those left behind to uncover,
A mere puzzle whose many pieces,
Fit together no more.

Depraved pavements shoulder another layer,
The willing slayer, its slain rests awkward,
Her frigid body alludes no more life
Lying jacknifed in her concluding pose.
Unable to make a final amend, ending
Not on a reminisce of a remarkable course
But a nameless remorse, abrupt and unsolved
Condemning an unsettled soul to history,
In a finale four floors long.

Copyright © 2014 by Simon Austin



Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Fool's Lament

I seek you out -
Where do you hide?
You drew me out from my dying place
Like poison from a bite,
Just the sight of you, thought of you
Will make this worthwhile.
My vile existence is void
If my persistence in finding you
Pays off.
My loss, but an ash pile in the wreckage of history,
I wistfully, desperately beg of you please,
Show me you, just come through
And let not it be true
That you were merely a myth
All along?

These songs were for you
And I banished those who, now suddenly seem
So much more than before -
My god, I implore you, please
Do not let this be real,
That you were never there from the start?
I appeal, my heart will be broken; a miserable token
Of a life that I had all along.
I cast out the dawn
As I fall, but to mourn
On my knees under a blistering sun.
And through vomit and tears,
Beyond these artificial years,
Cry in agony -
What have I done?

Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

In Infamy

Yesterday, a day which now, will live amongst us for all time,
For history has changed its path
And we must fall in line.
For we at peace, with guarded arms, we chose to watch this from afar,
But we, deliberately attacked,
Must no more stand apart.

An Emperor, through wicked lies, convinced us of continued peace,
But sickening deceit was this,
As they slipped underneath.
For yesterday our countrymen were hunted down in harbour walls,
A naval fleet which, moored offshore,
Sent fighters to our pools.

Unprovoked and unprepared, our heavy losses were assured,
As battle ships became the graves
Of men within secured.
We scrambled a few dozen souls and got them to the skies again,
Though airfields were wiped from the map,
We took the fight to them.

We manned our guns, our boilers lit, we breathed those battleships to life
And fought against our enemy
Into the afterlife.
Relentlessly they sent their bombs, and struck the Arizona true.
She, mortally, took to her wounds
And sunk beneath the blue.

Yet still our bravest battled on, and clambered through her flooding shell,
Too quickly though she did succumb
And they soon lost as well.
One thousand men, one thousand souls, aboard that ship that fateful morn
But still their brethren stayed the fight
Until they too were torn.

But little could our heroes do when faced with such a secret pact,
Two-thousands souls were sent away
So now it's time to act.
I therefore ask, most verily, that Congress share in my abhor;
Against the empire of Japan,
Declare a state of war!

For yesterday, the 7th day, of this December, forty-one,
A declaration such as this
Came from the Rising Sun.
My kinsmen and my countrymen, respond to this atrocity
For this day now, and for all time
Will live in infamy. 

And let it live, remind us all, that abstinence from world affairs
Cannot assure security,
Nor reassure our cares.
But we are strong, and we are proud, and now we stand upon our might
And we will show them, air to air,
From sea to shore we'll fight!

Do not forget what happened here, in Pearl Harbour, upon this day,
In their honour we rise anew,
And join the global fray.
This land of opportunity, of hope and utmost bravery
Will stand once more with our brothers,
To vanquish tyranny.

Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin


The USS Shaw explodes after a torpedo strike from Japanese planes ignites her forward magazine stores
Pearl Harbour - December 7th 1941
Pearl Harbour is a United States Naval base, situated on the island of Ohahu, Hawaii. On December 7th 1941, the harbour was subjected to an unprovoked and unexpected attack by the Japanese Imperial Navy, commencing at 7.48am.  Over the course of the attack, 2,402 Americans were killed, the majority of which (over a thousand men) were aboard the USS Arizona, when it was struck by a torpedo causing its magazine store to explode and quickly sink.  The majority of men killed were trapped within the hull when it sank, causing them to drown. 

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8), the United States declared war on Japan, with previous reluctance of the American people to join the war all but vanishing after Pearl Harbour.  Germany and its allies quickly declared war on the U.S. also, which was reciprocated and the American entry in WWII sealed.

This poem is based on the speech given by President Roosevelt, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbour, now know as the 'Infamy Speech' - which has become one of the most famous speeches in world history.  The attack on Pearl Harbour also became one of the most important turning points in world history, extending the scale of WWII, opening the Pacific Theatre and ultimately, leading to the creation of the Atom bomb, which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 4 years later and bringing an end to the war and beginning the Cold War, which lasted until the collapse of the Soviet union 46 years later.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pride

Beneath my dim pride
many thoughts poison my soul -
drink up and be done.
 
Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin

Monday, 11 November 2013

Scars

My poor hands,
Sore,
Raw and weathered,
Tethered to the hate
Of myself.
A wealth of pity
Undeserved
Scarring my knuckles,
Buckles at the loss
Of control.
The soul wretches,
Stretches the skin
And in they go
Slow.
The tears come,
Fears undone
As the revoltion
Burns with acidity,
The loss of lucidity -
Instant.
Stars fill my eyes
And I cry at the scars
That have opened
Like a door
Once more
Upon my poor, 
Poor hands. 

Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin
 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Clarity

I will never see
the wood for the many trees -
burn the forest down.

Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trick?

Happy Halloween -
May all the knocks at your door
Be without bloodshed.

Copyright © 2013 by Simon Austin



Halloween or Hallowe'en , also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other academics maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day). In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.