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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
[P527]

Seelentränen


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

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


Wilhelm Hermanns
[G001]




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William Hermanns


Poem of William Hermanns

P104

               American Ballad

Winds from the West rejoice, rejoice!
No more drying the tears of our mothers!
Winds from the East blow on with noise,
sweep your red sands on bones of others.
No more Christian soldier graves!

Youth come and praise youi overlords;
they made the olive branch sprout,
with holy tongue they changed our swords
to plowshares, blessing when you shout:
"Back to church, Christ saves!"

Come soldier-boys, each one a priest,
mount the winds and drop the good seed.
Each grain of sand shall bloom in the Red East
to a rose of faith! Who'll take the lead
for Christendom?

Let your conscience be a holy urn
with the water you were dipped in when born,
with the cross they first touched you as a child. So return,
heal the wounds in the East you once have torn.
Arm your conscience, come!

A boy steps forth: "Don't make us the devil's joke
after you made us march and kill
mothers, children with one bombing stroke.
If that is in God's name and will,
you and your God be cursed!"

And another: "We came back to live, to have fun,
to walk in dreams, to forget.
To clutch the Good Book after clutching the gun!
let this joke feed the hypocrite's fat;
dope and women be first!

"You know what you did, Sir Overlord,
you cursed revenge on us.
For the pending doom I'll hunt and hoard
and drink and love and cuss;
a good student, I, of your war."

No one to speak for the Church, no one?
No one to go forth in holy patrol
with the Christian flag to bring love and console?
Is our' land now bereft of its noble son?
Is conscience but a lore?

Young Steve steps forward: "God's will be done.
God lives, he is not dead!
I shall return as Christ's chosen one
and carry the Cross to the Red.
The hand that can kill, can bless!

"I'm a sinner, 0 Lord, felt no pity, no shame.
I was bored by the dead, the yellow dust;
one finger touched the Cross, but nine played the game,
spilled death, spilled with the lucre of lust.
My crimes were ransomless.

"But you came, Christ, into my hut
I'll return to the place of my crime.
On nine fingers I had a slut,
on one you, God; and I put a dime
for you each Sunday in church.

"I offer now to each woman I touched,
to each cradle, each heartbreak — a balm.
Each shell, each bomb, each bullet I clutched
shall blossom as prayer and psalm.
Bless me and my task, my search."

He raced through the shell pocked land in a jeep,
raced to the village he once had to level,
with and goat woman and sheep,
to save the village from the Red Devil.
Go forth, Steve, save your brother!

He found four nails in the ashes of a door,
formed four nails to a cross.
The first woman he met, he knew, a whore;
and he has mixed with this yellow dross.
On her lap a child—she the mother?

She sat in a crater with the child—he bled.
She sobbed and held onto a hand,
his hand, cut off. At her feet, two dead
small boys stretched out in the sand.
Can he change a curse to grace?

"I came back with the Cross, the Cross will provide,
the Christ, you and I, we three!"
She stopped weeping, so stunned, but then she cried:
"The Christ be all yours, want none for me!"
and threw the hand in his face.

                  William Hermanns [P104]

                    

Note:   P104. American Ballad; Stanford; 1978

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

Order Kindle e-book

Order Paperback

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

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