Poetry 6

The Death of the Red Guardist

It was in Munich on the first of May,

a matter of life and death.

The whites were raging, the lead was flying,

grenades spat death and ruin.

Manning the machine gun at the Stachusskiosk,

a red guardist shot in all directions.

The bullets rang all around him.

He was bleeding from many a wound:

Just shoot! I’ll serve until my death

— the revolution!

What does the bought soldier know

of the struggle of the oppressed masses?

Our blood is spilt for our freedom and future,

those who fall die for their class.

And nearer, ever nearer comes the white mob.

Already the bullets are running out.

Take up the Browning! What’s death and danger!

Just shoot! You won’t see me be a coward!

Here stands and falls a red guardist of

&mdash the revolution!

Grenades hit the Charles Square.

The church windows shatter.

The red soldier stands there alone, bleeding.

He greets the enemy without trembling.

Then a blow from a rifle butt makes him keel over,

and in dying he threatens the whites:

You cannot take my beliefs from me,

even though I myself am lost:

I die but it lives on

&mdash the revolution!

Erich Mühsam

who fought in the 1919 Munich soviet – was murdered by the Nazis on 10th July 1934.

I Want to Believe!

I want to believe

All that is good is out there

Sleeping in hearts that live in dark valleys,

About to blossom like some magic woodland,

In spite of war, in spite of greed

The essence that is humanity struggling to be free.

All around death arrives in many guises,

Silent as the frost poverty kills,

The ruthless march of war

With every drum beat seeks God’s blessing,

While the God fearing kill the God fearing,

Slaughter in the name of the greater good.

I want to believe

All that is good is out there

Sleeping in the hearts that live in dark valleys

About to blossom like some magic woodland,

Not just as the dream of poets.

There Will Come a Time

There will come a time when the hordes remember,

who bound our grand-parents to the yoke of oppression,

who sentenced our parents to deprivation,

who bid poverty sink its teeth into our heart,

who teach our children, greed is a noble art.

Who sent our sons through the gates of hell

to a litany of cambist brawls,

crammed coffers with blood-stained gold

while laughing in Ares’ halls.

“Who does these terrible things to us?” they will ask,

and when they remember,

they’ll bring an energy that is endless

to drive a fist that is fearless.

Then this merciless market-driven world will crumble

under an insurrection of integrity,

the poor will emerge from the dark husk of capitalism

to live in the light of social justice.

There will come a time when the hordes remember.

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