Poetry – THE WALL GOES UP


"Out of our way!"
Armed soldiers penetrate milling masses 
     crowds part like the Red Sea  
stranding islands of confusion.

"Move along!  Break it up!"
Ruthless hands grab 
     stunned individuals.  
Clinging couples wrenched apart 
     shoved aside.

"Come on, come on!  Out of the way!"
Fence-building production line 
     thrusts posts into earth 
          unrolls massive wire
               hammering the divide.

"My child!  My child!" 
     Desperate struggles
          mother in soldier's hands 
     flung down  away from the fence.

"Mother!  Mother!"  
     Trembling  crying 
          little boy stands alone, 
     on the wrong side.

"Hold those posts steady.  Mind my hands!"
     In the soldiers' wake 
          construction team sails on
               purposefully.

"Willem!  Willem!  Go with Uncle Karl."  
     Distraught mother 
          espaliered on wire
     calling  reassuring.
"I'll be with you soon.  
          Can you hear me, Willem?"
  
"Get away from the fence.  
     Go home.  
          There's nothing you can do."
Returning soldier siezes 
          casts down again

"Willem!  Go with Uncle Karl!"
     "Mother!  Mother!"

Turning along the fence
     rushing  rushing 
             to pass fence builders
             to out-strip soldiers
             to reach wave's crest
     prior to breaking. 
Thrusting into panicked herd  
     pushing  pushing 
             through to the other side
                     to the right side 
     bursting into a clear space 
     plunging down a side street. 
             Laughing  crying 
back  back along an alley
             to reach the street 
             to lead to her son.

"Mother!  Mother!"
     Gripping Karl dragging Willem 
across the square 
     towards side-street safety  
 
Emerging blocks away
     she struggles towards 
          the sound of his voice.

        "Willem!  Willem!"
        "Mother!  Mother!"
They clutch  They cling  They weep

Across the square the confused  the sundered
     the lucky  the unlucky 
          comfort each other 
                 and gaze at the wall.

                                   * * *

(C) Copyright   Jud House   23/09/2011

                                 * * * * *

Short Story – THE BERLIN WALL


“Out of our way!”
Soldiers pushed roughly through.  The crowd parted like the Red Sea.  Islands of the confused froze.
“Move along!  Break it up!”
Ruthless hands grabbed stunned individuals.  Clinging couples were wrenched apart, shoved aside.
“Come on, come on!  Out of the way!”
Behind them, like a production line, fence-builders thrust posts into earth, unrolled massive wire, lay it against then fixed it to them.
“My child!”  A desperate mother struggled in the hands of a soldier, who flung her down and away from the fence.  “My child!”
“Mother!  Mother!”  Trembling, crying, the little boy stood alone, on the other side of the construction.
“Hold those posts steady.  I don’t want to hurt my hands!”
In the wake of the soldiers, the construction team moved purposefully on.
“Willem!  Willem!  Go with Uncle Karl.  I’ll be with you soon.  Can you hear me, Willem?”
Clinging to the wire, the distraught mother called to her child.  Returning along the fence, the soldier siezed her then again cast her down and away.
“Get away from the fence.  Go home.  There’s nothing you can do.”
“Willem!  Go with Uncle Karl!”
“Mother!  Mother!”
She turned along the fence, rushing, rushing to pass the fence builders, to out-strip the soldiers, to get ahead of the point of parting.  She thrust herself into the mass of milling bodies.  Pushing, pushing through to the other side, she burst into a clear space, then plunged down a side street.  Laughing and crying, she staggered back along an alley to reach the street that would lead to her son.
“Mother!  Mother!”
Gripped by Karl, Willem was being dragged across the square towards the safety of the side-streets.  As they reached the corner, she emerged a block away, then ran towards the sound of his voice.
“Willem!  Willem!”
“Mother!  Mother!”
They clutched.  The clung.  They wept.
Across the square the confused, the sundered, the lucky and the unlucky, comforted each other and gazed at the wall.

* * *

(C) Copyright  Jud House  April 1997 & 23/09/2011

* * * * *

Article – THE BERLIN WALL


In August, 1961, at the age of 13, I remember watching the black-and-white television news footage of armed soldiers pushing through a crowd of people, thrusting them aside to the left and right.  Ignoring the cries and pleas from those around them, other soldiers unrolled fencing wire and began erecting a tall fence.  When a mother tried to push past them to the other side, they grabbed her roughly and flung her back behind them.  She picked herself up and clung to the wire, on the other side of which stood her little boy, crying and shocked.  I was very angry and deeply upset.

For days after this broadcast, the television news showed people crossing the border, from West to East in a steady stream in an effort to reunite with their families.  But no-one was allowed to cross the other way.  The wire was not strong enough to stop the rebellious ones, so masons moved in and erected a concrete wall.  Those who tried to cross that wall, were shot.  I could not believe that people could be so unfeeling, and could treat people as items.  It was the first of many lessons about the iniquities of oppressors at all levels, worldwide, that I was to learn as I grew.

By the time the wall came down in 1990, the people of Berlin were not the only ones to rejoice – the world, involved via the global television broadcasts, rejoiced with them.  they saw families reunited, as holes were sledge-hammered through the grafittied panels, and people clambered over the rubble in their haste to reach FREEDOM!

After many days the escapees from the East began to make their way home again.  With the wall gone it was not necessary to live on the West side to have freedom.  With the wall gone Berlin was once again a united city, socially at least.  By the time the wall came down the younger people were East Berliners –  only the older people and those dispossessed of family and home remembered how it had been.

Pieces of wall were sold as souvenirs.  A rock concert by Pink Floyd called The Wall was held over Hitler’s Bunker, where the wall was built and knocked down amidst a spectacular light and sound show.  The wall had been placed into History as an EVENT.  How many, I wonder, will only remember the rock concert in years to come.

(C) Copyright  Jud House  April 1997

* * * * *