Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Poetry Thursday 209 - What man maketh

I was brought up with the phrase 'manners maketh a man' ringing in my clipped ears when I forgot to give up my seat on the bus or failed to open a door for a lady. 
I was inspired to write the first poem, which reminded me of the above, by the fact that a section of towpath by the canal in Marsden in Yorkshire has been dubbed a 'polite section'. 

Image result for canal towpath



Manners

It costs us nothing to show respect
and to pass the time of day.
A kind word can give cause to reflect
on the manners of olden ways.

In a materialistic world with little time,
one’s place in the scheme under question,
you are not exactly putting life on the line,
by a nice comment or polite reflection.

So as your day passes look for opportunities
to express kindness as you are able,
worry less about your own sensitivities,
and make someone’s day more palatable.

© David L Atkinson April 2016


Image result for auschwitz today

Made by Man

The walls are made with bricks,
the fences of post and wire,
an arena for human tricks,
the treatment from poor to dire.

In One there are places for tests,
rooms filled with wires and knives.
A playground without fun or jests,
but for stretching the human lives.

In the bright sun are shady places,
not for relaxing or somewhere less hot,
not to indulge in sporting races,
no – somewhere for them to be shot.

One is the place for non-workers,
where bodies are put to last use,
not a haven for idle shirkers,
but for evil to extract final juice.

The memorial display of possessions,
the barrels filled with teeth’s gold,
humanity brought down to life’s blessings,
extracted from the young and the old.

Image result for birkenau

Then Two is a different matter,
a vast acreage with a legion of sheds,
cramped places to house hosts of workers,
rooms filled at three to the beds.

Two is a place made for choices,
arriving in the sidings they’re sorted,
some go to One,
some to the showers,
the lucky to the sheds - workers billeted.

Then showers held many poor lives,
but not the place for a cleaning,
not for washing the children and wives,
but providing a poisonous ending.

Yet this hell was constructed by man,
terrified and jealous of difference,
arrogance that they have the right plan,
imposing cruel intentions on innocence.
© David L Atkinson April 2016