Poems from
Naked Shall I Return


Dark thoughts invade my mind
like S.S. high on blitzkrieg.
Good Memories, Positive Outlooks,


meekly shuffle into trucks
shipped off to Auschwitz.

Your Comforts and Encouragement
arrive as heroic Allies

late on the scene


by planning and bad weather.

What was to be a victory parade
becomes a grim hunt for survivors

among the cold flesh and pale corpses
of Happier Days and Promised Promotions.

Those that have survived
are gaunt.

Too weak to eat

the rich chocolaty clichés
and positive affirmations you brought
with you.


Still too young to drive
---she sits by the aisle
----parking a stroller

Hands are bare
-----rocking her baby

Midriff reveals stretch marks
----on a child's body
---------just straining into womanhood

A bottle heats in a cup of hot water

-----she's trying to drink coffee

------------each sip

-----------------------drowning childhood

------------each bite of the donut

-----------------------consuming dreams


Earth calls with cracked lips.
phlegm clouds, all grit and particles.
saturated with the aged.
Oh come children.
come again!

----------------in canopy they travel,
----------------surfing tubes of air current.
----------------not containable.
----------------Break free and fly!

--------bodies for speed. freefall.
--------swirling in dances.
--------skin reflective. radiant.
--------ready for the kiss.

---------------------Earth embraces children,
---------------------pulling to herself.
---------------------colours smearing
---------------------from wet affections.
---------------------giving them hollows to play in.

spectators, allowed into performance.
Children. Cover us too with drenched lips!
sing song. music upon us.
for we are all Naaman.
praying with leperous minds.

--------dance is over. many children remain -
--------our view of heaven, while looking down.
--------Shouldering oily discarded sins
--------on tiny silver backs,
--------to carry away.

----------------Earth weeps, sated at last.
----------------children retained no longer.
----------------bodies like butterflies fly upward.
----------------climbing sunbeams.
----------------in canopy. Rehearse new songs.

All content here is (C) 2004 Martin VanWoudenberg