Canto 10: Barbarossa


With the same spirit which governs our actions at home
We wish to establish our relations abroad
Adolf Hitler


Fog of War

Stalin tosses this despatch in the fire,
“Hitler prepares invasion, screams London,
They only want to plunge us in their mire!”
Molotov reads a note from Washington;
The twenty third…”
“When will this nonsense end?
Attacking is absurd, Herr Hitler is our friend!”

Good company kept Khan Stemmler
For the conquest yet to come,
Singing songs all thro’ Silesia
Of Moscow & Lebensraum,
Bearing the blessed Swastika
Hung upon labarum,
A battle-banner beaming & unfurl’d,
Full flying to defend the Western world.

Thro’ frontier gaurds passes freight train
Honouring the treaty,
Loaded with grain from the Ukraine,
Unaware completely
Watching it trundle by them some stormtrooper company!

Poland
June 21st
1941


 

Diplomatic Breakdown

Gunflash invigorates the Eastern dawn
& onset marks of dark Barbarossa,
A thousand miles of battle-lines are drawn,
Scale dwarfing the grandstanding of Wagner;
Molotov hears
A hammer at his door,
What arrogance appears? The Reich Ambassador!

“…acts of Russian terrorism
We shall force to pay the cost,
Our rapport with communism
Is sadly forever lost,
Due to Jewish bolshevism
The Nieman hath been cross’d!”
A flabberghasted laugh… a look… a pause…
“& so, at war, our country is with yours.”

A flapping fish caught in a net,
Molotov moved closer,
“Our armies et to meet your threat,”
We shall see… Heil Hitler!”
A click of heels & strutting out Earth’s fate changed forever.

Kremlin
June 22nd
1941


 

The Agony of France

The Gauls welcome the Nazi supermen,
Preferring peace unto resistant pain,
Yet still, rare alters midst occupation
Bare, secretly, the cross of lost Lorraine;
Shining spirit
Of old Ambriorix
Repugnant in the spit of one imperatrix.

“Nazi batardes!” Veronique curs’d,
Stubbing out her cigarette,
“They rape our country & what’s worse
Les cochons fou raped Annette!
Somebody has to be the first
To challenge such mind-set,
We must form an arm’d group for resistance!”
“Domain…reviens dormir,” whispers Constance.

Slippin’ grace’fly to her lover,
Tongue-probing lust to share,
Under cover, like a glove her
Man thrust his must down there,
Where tho’ her panting sweet still did she long for dear Pierre.

Orleans
June
1941


 

Endless Leagues

An explosion – & a friend dies.
And so death passes you by this time.
Next it will be my turn
Semen Gudzenko

***

Scenery steam’d in sepianic sheen,
Battles of manic annhialation,
The greatest march the world has ever seen,
With it comes its greatest devastation;
Each Kesselschact
Tannenburg remembers,
Admonish’d pockets pack’d with desp’rate prisoners.

Like some destructive Tsunami
Upon the shores of Asia,
The spearheads roll relentlessly
Beyond Pomenaria
& the Ukraine down the Black Sea –
Pitiful defender
Builds bastions from a friable glass,
Crush’d effortlessly as the Panzers pass.

The granges growing less & less,
All round the brown steppes band,
Vast & endless, vapid, friendless,
Idaho feindesland –
Stalin’s colossal empire in the palm of Hitler’s hand.

Byelorussia
July
1941


 

Death Squad

Buscher flavours mincemeat work with relish,
Hunts down the local Party Kommissar,
Whips him, strips him, rips him like a catfish,
Aufklawrong face of burglarizing War;
Penn’d in Juden
Made sad, Schutzstaffel slaves,
“Follow me you vermin, we go to dig your graves!”

Nazi bestiality pours
Oer conquer’d territory,
Sanguinarius Quaesitors –
Einsatzgruppen – kill for glee,
Clipboards notch numbers for the cause
Quite meticulously,
Impressing Himmler with the murder’s pace,
“I must observe a mass shooting take place.”

The bullets whizz, his shoe-shine spit
Splatters with blood & brain;
Edge of death-pit, close to vomit,
The dying squirm in pain,
“These methods are too crude… we must use something more humane.”

Byeloruss
August 15th
1941


 

Orphans

Mister sleep misses Kenny & Mavis,
Kept awake by the rumbling punishment
Shaking the distant cottonopolis,
A dull, red glow its full blitz testament;
While down the stairs
This letter is discuss’d,
To share it with their cares or censure it in trust.

They wentout as a family,
Spending the odd, spare shilling,
The ribb’d sands of the Irish Sea
Green pilots bore for drilling,
Quarter’d in ev’ry B&B;
Oer the pack’d proms milling,
Young Mavis points out an exciting sight…
Two fighters lock’d in sense-spilling dogfight!

For half-an-hour they fought anon,
Falcons all a-flutter,
Their duel done, all petrol gone,
Engines fail & splutter,
Both crash into a crush’d station, folk die all together.

Blackpool North
August
1941


 

Subjugations

Buscher rode to the gorge at Babi-Yar,
Black conduit to extermination,
Stripping Jewesses of dress, slip & bra,
He lined them in naked degradation;
Life’s last moments
Wailing in extremis,
Machine gunner opens, delivering death’s kiss.

He rode thro’ warm Autumnal rain
To a solemn city square,
Men strung up in a greivous pain
Dancing short-time upon air,
Nearby Dosia waits in train,
Voluptuous & fair…
Buscher trots slowly all along her line,
Dismisses the rest, “This von shall be mine…

…Send her to my house in Bremen!”
Beady eyes undress her;
Young Konstantin boil’d up within,
Sprinted home to Mother,
With tear-streak’d eyes she splurted out, “They have stolen sister!”

Kiev
September
1941


 

Commander-in-Chief

Striding relentlessly Der Fuhrer breaks
The shackles of his vaulting ambition,
Drunk on stunning success he calmly makes
A crucial & game-changing decision;
“First we shall throw
A cloak round Leningrad
&, ignoring Moscow, swing south to Stalingrad.”

Map after map mural’d the walls
With all of his massive gains,
Whose obsequious generals
Wet as otters in the rains,
“We must mount, soon, the broad Urals,”
Their supreme chief explains,
“& with my duty to this world complete
The world shall ever tremble at the feat.”

Stood representing each army
A six-inch swastika,
From which sat free the Czar’s city,
“For that peasant Mecca,
Let her vanish from Earth’s face, berseigtigen forever.”

Wolf’s Lair
September 9th
1941


 

Imperial Japan

Sit amidst the shuku-kei of Basho,
Nibbling upon delectable sushi,
Observe a most engrossing game of Go,
With cherubs up-topping cups of Saki;
Chrysanthemums
Scenting Septembral air,
Gorgeous rainbow pom-poms in riot ev’rywhere.

In their casual Wafuku
War seems very far away,
Geisha passes round rich tofu,
“What of Britain?” she did say,
“Her empire sickly thro’ & thro’,
They won’t survive the fray…”
“True Kido-San,” said Basho, “but, for me,
America our one true enemy…

Such crude embargo set in place,
Forbidden to buy oil,
We feel disgrace, that haughty race
Has set my blood aboil!
Friends! we must win an empire their machinations to foil.”

Kanazawa
September
1941

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