Gorecki – Symphony N0 3 Opus 36
Previous version was entitled ‘the punishment block’.
Dachau near Munich, 1980’s
I visited this, the first Nazi camp for enemies of the state. as a young man in his 20’s. Although not an extermination camp like Auschwitz, it’s inmates, communists, priests, homosexuals etc and no doubt poets, were imprisoned in a place of evil and pain. I had a camera but felt it wasn’t right to use it in such a place. However, I came across a locked room with a peep hole, the punishment block .
The thought immediately struck me ‘how bad must a punishment block be in a place like this !” I left, but quickly returned, dazed and compelled to take a picture, for what reason I don’t know. It was then I noticed how the sunlight was moving down the corridor.
from love shorn
I feel guilt for disturbing this hallowed place,
this odious time trap of tortured recall,
this bleak vestige of depravity’s sport,
with it’s sharp echoes of misery and pain,
forever etched deep in the plaster’s decay.
Though each door is open, nothing can leave.
I am stunned, I do not feel pity or sorrow,
they ooze from me, but like cheap cologne
fail to mask the stench of all pervading evil.
That someone could inflict such suffering
I cannot comprehend. How could hands
that broke skin, bone and soul then be laid,
with a father’s love, on a child’s cheek.
Did they truly hate that much, felt pleasure
in what they did and could justify their deeds.
I pray just one of them, for even a second,
gave pause, when a flicker of humanity
briefly sparked within him.
It is a hell within hell, an inner Hades.
Purest light, slowly works down the corridor
in a futile cleansing gesture. I stare at it,
for to let one’s mind wander is to absorb
tears and nightmares.
To view this place you must leave
a piece of yourself, that is the price.
I hope the bit I left was
from love shorn.