When the storm hovered over the house
I read Kazantzakis on Nietzsche. Paris
rain. God’s death. Dionysus embraced.
Good and evil divided. The tree
of life returned to original root,
death vanished, new life the new branch
leafing out as wind blows from off the coast.
Art’s madness curls the skin into paper.
Who says and means the word Auschwitz
who was not there? Or Belsen, Dachau,
Treblinka, endless camps each with a name.
Do not speak poetry, Adorno warned,
Not even prose resurrects the dead
whose agony was more than words can mean.
So many have died since, who can say what
would have spared them, save the dead god . . .
In the night the sounds of falling things.
I read myself to sleep. In the morning
I learned of his illness in Vienna,
I wondered if only Buddha could cure
humanity. Before I read on
I went out to gather the fallen
and wear my skin proudly, still naked
so very far from original birth.
(31 May 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander