The Chambers

We breathe it in
The smoke from the chimneys
It never went away
There is no clean air here
It blows the same spores
Around the world
Recycled to feed 
Our bodies, brains
The wind carries them
As grains that reach
Our nostrils across
The years of history
A generation's sins 
Can never be erased
Their victims hover round us
Every day of our lives
The particles of 
Their human misery
Their burned bodies
Both buried out of sight
Out of modern mind
Decay decaying
Into grass the time grows over
But the dust of them -
Just as the dust
Of my own father's
Bones was thrown
Onto a garden
Of remembrance - hangs
On the wind we breathe 
In the chambers 
Of our hearts and lungs 
We use them
We breathe-in the mistral
Of our own sin 
In dust and ashes
Of perennial return
Borne on the wings
Of a blowing season
A cyclone of genocide 
Once breathed-in 
Never again 
After that holocaust
Will our air be clean.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem