Saturday, May 9, 2009
Treblinka - Kripa Nidhi

At this station no one
arrives by train 
The rail-tracks disappear
in to the quiet woods 
where birds of a new generation 
above a pile of rocks 
carved with ‘Never again.’ 
Not a leaf stirs in the silence - 
a silence that doesn’t 
want to wake up 
and remember.  

This was where they all 
disembarked - 
the ones who would never 
board another train. 
This was where, 
the fathers and mothers 
who ran 
scared and unashamed 
before their children 
to board a train 
in stations far away,
This was where the children
too afraid to travel alone 
before their mother tearlessly
consoled them, 
‘You’ll be safe’ 
And this was the path 
they all walked - 
this dirt trail 
once devoid of hope. 

This was where they 
shed their last 
strand of dignity 
and stood naked, 
packed skin-to-skin 
hoping waiting praying
for the trickle from the showerhead. 
Before their doors were sealed 
and the guard yelled 
“Ivan, Wasser!” 
and the terrible engines 
roared to life. 

Standing on this 
quiet cold earth 
generations later - 
a tourist with a camera 
from a land that almost slept 
peacefully though it all - 
instead of singing like the birds 
I think 
I get it. 

posted by Kripa Nidhi at 4:32 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Why I Need the Birds - Lisel Mueller
When I hear them call
in the morning, before
I am quite awake,
my bed is already traveling
the daily rainbow,
the arc toward evening;
and the birds, leading
their own discreet lives
of hunger and watchfulness,
are with me all the way,
always a little ahead of me
in the long-practiced manner
of unobtrusive guides.

By the time I arrive at evening,
they have just settled down to rest;
already invisible, they are turning
into the dreamwork of trees;
and all of us together —
myself and the purple finches,
the rusty blackbirds,
the ruby cardinals,
and the white-throated sparrows
with their liquid voices —
ride the dark curve of the earth
toward daylight, which they announce
from their high lookouts
before dawn has quite broken for me.

Why I Need the Birds by Lisel Mueller, from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems © Louisiana State University Press.
posted by Kripa Nidhi at 3:56 AM | Permalink | 0 comments