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To My Neighbor

I lift you higher,
lift you out
of your body cells
stuffed with anxiety
of your past -
an evil load that smells.

I'll fill each cell
with love and joy
that makes the
angels dance.
You'll glide through earthly
filth and stench -
a spiritual trance.

From your youth filled eyes,
your hands
and feet,
a holy peace shall flow,
so you and I
be filled with grace -
let us be still
and know.

William Hermanns


Seelentränen sind Gedichte,
rot mit Herzblut aufgeschrieben,
tiefem Menschenleid zum Ruhm,

Lies sie still in reinem Lichte,
frei von Trieben:
Du betrittst ein Heiligtum.

Wilhelm Hermanns

William Hermanns


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Poem of William Hermanns

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                            Walk On

Don't ask his name,
What's in a name?
To call the State 'grey monster' does not help.
We are his feet, we cannot see his eyes;
We cannot see his ears, his mouth, his head.
Anonymous he is - alive and dead.
It is on our feet that he will stalk
Through history because we walk,
We march, we run;
We bear him toward the sun.
If he has light, then we have warmth.
Let's serve him, serve with excellency.
In service man is free.

"I serve no more the state.
No longer shall I be his underbelly,
Shall be his feet,
Shall live and move and have my being in his dust;
Toil for the chosen ones: the sun-lit crust.
The chosen may; the toilers must.
His feet we are today, his bowels tomorrow.
We may soon fertilize his soil as dung."

The State is you.
What others do or do not do,
This hinders not what you must do.
Get up and move and serve.
Let your eyes shine, blur them not with salt.

"I have not tears, my eyes are dry;
Dried out when climbing over hurdles,
Hurdles made of heat and stench, of huts and flesh.
I march no more.
My skin sticks to my bones;
My bones stick to my pack;
My pack sticks to my breath: all this is me.
All me without a God.
Has He no eyes to see? Or has the State
planted His eyes in the police,
And God's order is the State's order ?"

Nothing exists without God's 'yes.'
And it is written, we give Caesar what is his.

"The Caesars have swept God out with their iron broom.
The State gave us the bomb,
The bomb gave God his tomb.
To serve a curse, will curse us more.
My soul is sick, my bones are sore."

You scorn and scoff what has been handed down
Since man began to think?
To put the State on sale, you must sellout yourself.
The buyer is not far: his name is Chaos;
He has his eyes on tentacles, moved by human nature.
Will you betray your fathers and their fathers
Who gave the State their life and limb?
Their mind, their light are part of him.

"If they bequeathed this light with which I am to see today
Then I can only say:
Their light they culled from Hell.
What a birthright fraught with curse!
The State breathes in, the State breathes out
Before he shares his air with me.
The rain, the spring, the sea is his -
It is the State's omnipotence
That condescends to let me breathe.
What a bequest that speaks:
'Let's bow our heads before the State,
That we may live, not suffocate. '"

Remember it is written: "Don't kick against the thorn."

"What a birthright fraught with thorns
That I should use my forebears' mind to think.
What a calamity to have me say:
'Let's bow our heads before the State'
Lest he will threaten me:
'I'll poison my spittle, bespit the rain;
Your tongue be dry, your veins be stones,
I grind to dung your flesh and bones.'
Woe, State! You, image of my fathers.
Woe, fathers! Likeness of the State.
Your preachers say, 'Work makes man free.'
Oh, how these words pulled the skin from hands,
From thinkers' hands, from poets' hands.
Oh, how they slew man's conscience.
Were not these words once painted on the portals
Which opened to Siberia and Auschwitz?
They made humanity march into Hell.
This is the State:
His slogan makes us mortals deadly mortal.
Woe, if we bequeath the mind and light of our forebears
To child, and child, and child!
I visualize the living oath of Hippocrates armed with a syringe,
And white garbed nurses with dolls and cookies lure our children
Into the poisoned stove.
You cannot trust the State."

You have no choice.
Your fate has willed your birth in this, our time;
It is your destiny to prune our vine.
Let us bear witness to the cross!
Your course was planned before you drew your breath.
If you rebel, you perish:
This is the frame in which you were born;
Within this frame you choose your path.

"You want me to bear witness to the cross?
Alright, I shall. Behold, the cross the preachers bless.
This cross - two thousand years handed down:
Each generation made it bigger,
And now it is so big
A million soldiers can be nailed upon one cross.
They die not innocently, though -
A man who wears the uniform becomes a Cain,
And may well ask:
'Am I my brother's keeper?'
Consider what the State does with the conscience.
He swallows it and puts obedience in its place.
Obedience speaks: 'Feelings you have not
What feels is weak, what's weak must rot.'
And conscience speaks: 'Do not obey
Where life is cheap and sunlight gray.'
Tell me, companion of my fate:
Where does obedience stop and conscience start?'
We give humanity our thoughts to mold to plowshares,
thoughts to The State beats them to swords."

Call him Leviathan or Superman.
Call him illusive or demoniac.
And call his top Lucifer's sun-lit crust.
We can't escape our mission on this earth.
We must not strike, let's heal and change.

"Can you pull out the wormwood of decay?
No one ever said, 'Let's stop the wormwood.'
Everyone saw the shavings.
No one cares
As long as Caesar gives them bread and games.
The State is not above the law of nature -
What wants to fall, is pushed by nature.
It is my fate and yours to fall with it;
Our fate to bear these times!
The chaos is not wrought by evil men,
But through complacency of all good men.
Silence feeds the wormwood."

We will pour light into the caverns of decay.
All the shadows of the world cannot put out
The smallest glint of light.

"Two thousand years the State had preachers;
They didn't stop the wormwood of the State.
Two thousand years they washed their sermons
With soldiers' blood and blessed the crosses on the battlefield.
To save the State from itself
Means to save human nature from itself.
Means to save human nature from itself.
No longer shall I walk in the strait-jacket of tradition.
Is there no way to slay the beast?"

Don't you know the history of the State?
You cut off one head
And he will grow nine more.

"I'm done, no fear can pull me up.
With gall, the State has filled my cup.
What I am today
Or do tomorrow
Has a number painted gray
Camouflaged by somber dust,
Name and number both mean 'must.'
The State has a thousand heart beats but no heart;
A thousand brain cells but no brain;
Each cell a minion, cruel, corrupt.
Each cell with a thousand eyes, a thousand teeth.
The very shadow of free will
He roasts until its red or black,
Then dyes these colors on his flag.
My free will, captured in the cloth,
Is waved above the marching throng.
A million men the State chews up.
His stomach as vast as feet can march.
Their blood is changed to wine and fills his cup."

We have one mission in this life: to help, to save.
If the State has light, then we have warmth;
Let's see the State, whatever he is,
Through the window of our soul.

"My soul has gazed into the dark too long; it is too late.
How I once loved the State!
I gave him my youth, a volunteer's bloom,
Reached for the sun to fill the State with light,
Marched my feet for his glory, marched to my doom.
Who woos the State, woos gory blight.
It is enough, I'm Cain no more.
My soul is sick, my bones are sore.
Here is my pack, my gun,
I march no more.
Better is an end with terror than a terror with no end."

I'm not allowed to leave you; come, my friend.
The worst lies behind;
I care for you, I mind.

"How long still must I walk, must I keep on?
I am so empty, dry; all hope is gone."

You'll walk until your grave, however sore.

"Then let's go on; I'm tired no more."

We'll walk together for a little while
like trusting children without guile.
The military-industrial complex thrives.
The scientist, its brother of greed,
invented a system - no god can exceed
that cleverness - one finger touch drives
the breath from this planet. All lies still.
You, too, and I: It's the State's holy will.

                                               William Hermanns [P094]

Note:  P094. Walk On; (Don't ask his name); Palo Alto; January 1973; ; ; C850508; W140518

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William Hermanns


Published Books

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 for it's webpage:

    Einstein and the Poet - In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns -  cover
Available at Amazon

Order Kindle e-book

Order Paperback


   The Holocaust - from a Survivor of Verdun by William Hermanns - cover
Inquire on out of print books



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