And this poem is still so, so necessary!

I am working on a post about 50 translated poets and writer’s everybody should have read before they are 50 one of which I chose to be Wolfgang Borchert. He was a German author and playwright who fought WWII as a soldier and passed away shortly afterwards. He wrote one of the most powerful anti-war poems and believe it is more important than ever.
I have taken this translation by Ryan Wilcox from
“Then There is Only One Thing to Do”. (A very powerful anti war poem, universal in power)
By Wolfgang Borchert
Translated by Ryan Wilcox. (Placed in public domain by Ball State University)
You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If they order you
tomorrow to stop making water pipes and cook pots and start
making helmets and machine guns, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Girl behind the counter and girl at the office. If they order
you tomorrow to fill hand grenades and mount scopes on sniper rifles,
then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Factory owner. If they order you tomorrow, to sell gun powder
instead of talcum powder and cocoa, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Researcher in the laboratory. If they order you tomorrow, to
invent a new death to do away with old life, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Poet in your room. If they order you tomorrow not to sing
love songs, but songs of hate, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Doctor at the sick bed. If they order you tomorrow to certify
men as fit for war, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Minister in the pulpit. If they order you tomorrow to bless
murder and praise war as holy, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Captain on the steamer. If they order you tomorrow not to
transport wheat but cannons and tanks, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Pilot at the airfield. If they order you tomorrow to carry
bombs and incineraries over cities, then there’s only one thing to
Say NO!
You. Tailor at your table. If they order you tomorrow to start
sewing uniforms, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Judge in your robe. If they order you tomorrow to report to
the military court, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man at the train station. If tomorrow they order you to
give the signal for the ammunition and the troop trains to
depart, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man in the village and man in the city. If they come for
you tomorrow and with your induction papers, then there’s
only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, you, mother
in Frisco and London, you, on the banks of the Huang Ho and the
Mississippi, you, mother in Nepal and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo –
mothers in all regions on earth, mothers all over the world, if
they order you tomorrow to bear children – nurses for military
hospitals and new soldiers for new battles, mothers all over the
world, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO! Mothers, say NO!
Because if you don’t say NO, if YOU don’t say no, mothers, then;
In the noisy port cities, hazy with steam, the large groaning ships
will grow silent, and like titanic, mammoth corpses, filled with
water, they will lethargically totter against the lifeless, lonely,
algae-, seaweed-, and shell-covered walls of the docks, the body
that previously appeared so gleaming and threatening now reaking
like a foul fish cemetery, rotten, sickly and dead –
the streetcars will be senselessly bent and dented like dull,
glass-eyed birdcages and lie like petals beside the confused, steel
skeletons of the wires and tracks, behind rotten sheds with holes
in their roofs, in lost, crater-strewn streets –
a mud-gray, heavy, leaden silence will roll in, voracious
and growing in size, will establish itself in the schools and
universities and theaters, on sport fields and children’s playgrounds,
horrible and greedy and unstoppable –
the sunny, juicy grapes will spoil on the neglected slopes, the rice
will dry up in the desolate earth, the potatoes will freeze in the
plowed fields and the cows will stretch their dead, rigid legs into
the sky like upturned milking stools –
in the institutions, the ingenious inventions of the great physicians
will become sour, rot, mold into fungus –
the last sacks of flour, the last jars of strawberries, the pumpkins
and the cherry juice will spoil in the kitchens, chambers and cellars,
in the cold storage lockers and storage areas – the bread under the
upturned tables and on splintered plates will become green and the
melted butter will smell like soft soap, the grain on the fields will
have bent down to the earth alongside rusty ploughs like a defeated army,
and the smoking, brick chimneys, the food and smokestacks of the stamping
factories, covered by eternal grass, will crumble, crumble, crumble –
then the last human being, clueless with slashed intestines and
polluted lungs, will wander alone under the poisonous, glowing sun and
vacillating constellations, wander lonely among immense mass graves and
cold idols of the gigantic, concrete-block, deserted cities, the
last human being, scrawny, mad, blasphemous, complaining – and his
terrible complaint: WHY? will trickle away unheard into
the steppe, waft through the burst ruins and die out in the rubble of
churches, slap against impenetrable bunkers, fall into pools of blood,
unheard, answerless, the last animal-like cry of the last animal human being – 
all of this will come about, tomorrow, tomorrow perhaps, perhaps
already tonight, if – if – if – you don’t
say NO.
I have posted a different translation here in February 2017

Home is here (one of the “Lost Souls” poems)







Angry woman ~ Poem at Night


I am
a very

she said

No one

she got
the shotgun

Black Hole/Schwarzes Loch



Black Hole

This black hole
in front of me
is like a well

I jump and swim!



 Schwarzes Loch

Dieses schwarze Loch
vor mir
ist wie eine Quelle:
Ich springe und schwimme!

Another E: The Empat


This was first posted in March 2013
The Empat is a Malay poetic form related to the Pantoum. It is used in popular song today.

il celo in una stanza

il celo in una stanza (Photo credit: .Bambo.)

It has four stanza with four lines each where the first line of the first stanza wanders through the others: It is the second line in the second stanza, the third line in the third and the fourth in the fourth stanza. The rhyme wanders with it as well: the first line in the first stanza rhymes with the third. The second line in the second rhymes with the fourth line. The third line in the third rhymes with the first again and the fourth line in the fourth stanza rhymes with the second building a rhyme scheme like this:

A. b. a. b.
c. A. c. a.

a. d. A. d.
a. e. A.
(info taken from The Poets Garret)

In modern day it has changed and The Poets Garret says about it:

“Ideally the Empat should have the same rhyme scheme with every stanza (Abab,
bAba, etc) when singing folk type music; but because of English and (later)
American influences the rhyme moved to couplets alone (Aabb. aAcc,etc),(Abab,
cAcb, etc), (Abba, cAac, etc) and now in modern music there is no rhyme scheme
and only the Repeating Line remains (Axyz, dAfg etc). ”

More information about the empat:

Poetry Forms

Let's write some #poetry!

Boston - Back Bay: Boston Public Library McKim...

Boston – Back Bay: Boston Public Library McKim Building – Les Muses Inspiratrices Acclament le cenie messager de lumiere (Photo credit: wallyg)

This is another post from February 2013. Maybe it inspires you to try and write a decastich too :-):

Not enough C so there we are at D: Decastich 

There is not a lot of information about the Decastich. According to The Poets Garret it is a poem of 10 lines and you can do with it what you want. Rhyme or no rhyme, syllable pattern or no pattern….. you get the gist.

That one should be fun then :-)!

Here is my take:

Writers block

Those words don’t come easy anymore

My mind hard as a rock!

Being poetic became such a chore

Where’s that muse of mine?

I need this little something now

That creative sparkle

Can hardly take those words as a pow

They would not bloom.

Tomorrow maybe there’s more words to come

and a new one shines!

Poem at Night ~ a haiku?


bare branches hiding in mist


thoughts are wandering

to shells on a sunny beach



Just a poem a night



on my mind

take me back


push me ahead

Poem at night ~ Soul (Wo) Man


Soul (Wo) Man


your soul out

Soul Man.


my soul out

Soul Man.




life back.


love back.



Human or



after all:


your soul out

Soul Man.


my soul out

Soul (Wo) Man.




Two years ago on this day!


January 8th, 2015

#221 of #365 A Prompt A Day For Bee ~ Bread & Poetry

Twitter may help.

My versing is very sluggish this week. I can’t get into it. Don’t know how or why. It just is like that. That’s how it is sometimes but I just get on with it. Not that my best poetry will be created this week (neither my best blog posts) but there will be others. And then I’ll write THE poem 🙂

Oh, for today I searched in Twitter for a poetry prompt and that’s what the bird came up with:



Bread and circusses/ Brot und Spiele

It’s a doughnut I know and no bread but well, you have to spoil yourself sometimes ;-)!


Bread & Poetry

a life




bread & poetry


how scarce


January 2017
Again I feel this way so my old posts have to help :-)!