Friday, 8 September 2017
Off The Wall
Our next open mic has a theme "Off the Wall", this poem arguably uses this phrase in three different contexts! In addition Poets United gave a midweek motif prompt of 'Reunions'...
It is interesting to think that the Berlin Wall stood for 28 years (August 1961 - 9 November 1989) and this year marks 28 years since the momentous events described below.
My apologies for my German, I hope you like the poem.
Off The Wall
"Runter von der Mauer"*
the order barked to no avail.
Victoria atop the Quadriga **
looked down at the multitude.
Water cannon fired, then stopped.
Confused guards stood agog
as gates were thrown asunder.
The stunned crowd
emboldened, found Freedom!
They surged through the gates and danced.
Hands reached high grasping pulling
feet scrabbling, as people climbed
to dance on the wall.
Shouts, cheers, and tears of joy as
revellers wielded hammers and picks
to tear down, to reunite.
Cameras rolled; the world marvelled
as amidst the melee
this symbol of oppression,
where so many lives were lost
was breached by a crowd
of cheering, dancing, Berliners.
One generation on and
barring a line of stone
you'd hardly know it existed,
A nation reunited and
the wall's been well and truly off'd.
John Carré Buchanan
07 September 2017.
* Runter von der Mauer is German for "Get off the wall"'
** The goddess in the Quadriga atop the Brandenburg gate was originally named Eirene, The Greek goddess of peace. Following the victory over Napoleon (and her repatriation) the attribution was changed to Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory.
If you click on the link below you can listen to me read this poem.
This poem is linked to Poets United.