Chorus Of The Saved

We who are saved,
out of whose hollow bones
death has already fashioned his flutes,
on whose sinews death has already drawn his bow –
our bodies still complain
with their crippled music.
We who are saved
still see the nooses looped for our necks
hanging in the blue air –
our dripping blood still fills the hourglass.

We, who are saved,
are still gnawed by worms of fear.
Our star is buried in dust.
We who are saved
beg you:
Show us your sun, but slowly.
Lead us step by step from star to star.
Let us learn to live again, but softly.
Otherwise, the song of a bird,
the bucket filling at the well,
might break open the weak seals of our pain
and foam us away –
We beg you:
don’t show us – yet – a dog that bites –
we might, we might
crumble to dust –
crumble to dust before your eyes.
What holds our web together?
our breath is gone
out of midnight our souls fled to Him
long before our bodies were saved
in the Ark of the moment.
We who are saved
hold your hand
we recognise your eyes –
but only the farewell holds us together
the farewell in the dust
keeps us together with you.

Chor der Geretteten

Wir Geretteten,
Aus deren hohlem Gebein der Tod
schon seine Flöten schnitt,
An deren Sehnen der Tod schon seine Bogen strich –
Unsere Leiber klagen noch nach
Mit ihrer verstümmelten Musik.
Wir Geretteten,
Immer noch hängen die Schlingen für unsere Hälse gedreht
Vor uns in der blauen Luft –
Immer noch füllen sich die Stundenuhren mit unserem tropfenden Blut.
Wir Geretteten,
Immer noch essen an uns die Würmer der Angst.
Unser Gestirn ist vergraben im Staub.
Wir Geretteten
Bitten euch:
Zeigt uns langsam eure Sonne.
Führt uns von Stern zu Stern im Schritt.
Laßt uns das Leben leise wieder lernen.
Es könnte sonst eines Vogels Lied,
Das Füllen des Eimers am Brunnen
Unseren schlecht versiegelten Schmerz aufbrechen lassen
Und uns wegschäumen –
Wir bitten euch:
Zeigt uns noch nicht einen beißenden Hund –
Es könnte sein, es könnte sein
Dass wir zu Staub zerfallen –
Vor euren Augen zerfallen in Staub.
Was hält denn unsere Webe zusammen?
Wir odemlos gewordene,
Deren Seele zu Ihm floh aus der Mitternacht
Lange bevor man unseren Leib rettete
In die Arche des Augenblicks.
Wir Geretteten,
Wir drücken eure Hand,
Wir erkennen euer Auge –
Aber zusammen hält uns nur noch der Abschied,
Der Abschied im Staub
Hält uns mit euch zusammen.

You can hear this poem here. and here


2 thoughts on “Chorus Of The Saved

  1. I found this poem very interesting when I first read it. The first paragraph I think talks about what happened to them. Even though they escaped, they still have to carry the horrors of what they saw or experienced with them. This burden is hard to bear and will affect them the rest of their lives.
    The second paragraph talks about what happened to them after they experienced the horrors of their escape. It says show them the goodness of the world but slowly. They want to forget and actually live a normal life but slowly get there. If they are given the goodness of the world very quickly they will be overwhelmed with all happiness and scare them even more.
    In the rest of the poem it says “Don’t show us – yet – a dog that bites” I think this means not to remind them what happened to them or anything else that could relate to what they have been through. They could very easily let go. They could just give their soul to the Lord and be done with everything and just fade away. But they want to stay. They want to live again, they want to get better.

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