Photograph 51

Let the rabble-rousing führer
practise postures in his mirror,
twisting anthems into drills,
pierced hearts will consent.
Still, industry and toil
win the victory and spoils in the end!

Rosalind, oh Rosalind!
Our fortress walls proudly gleamed.
Each stone polished down to its sheen,
with no filler spread in between.

We researched through the Blitz,
war swung in our favour.
We, who crouched in ashen pits!

That tented labs should prove
to right our wrong labours,
the day the sun leapt through...

Now Rosalind, oh Rosalind!
Our paws may plough the aching snow
for maps buried ages ago,
entombed in the cities they know.

They raced the sinking sands
on half-broken ladders
we uncoiled into strands.

But when their fortunes ride
on unspoken matters
that run their sources dry...

In a bird's eye over tundra,
bastions burst out from penumbrae,
while the trickled thaw of spring
might heal the world's wells.
But ripples in the currents
slowly crippled all our turrets, and we fell.

And Rosalind, oh Rosalind!
Were prayers whispered to our beds
smoke screens to silently tread,
and balms to soothe our severed heads?

The noble savage crowned
after his slaughter,
by plaque on hallowed ground.

Unpublished stays the tract
that swallowed its author.
Her solace crushed to pass...

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