Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Hatto Fischer


Poets and all other people should contribute towards human reasoning. We need to find the right words so as to touch off reflections and a soberness, rather than mistake moral condemnation with politics.


After 1945

Nach 1945

After all those strange thoughts

about times filled with war,

there prevails now the hope

what lies ahead will instead

be soft like melodies in the mind

or as if a touch to the body

when lovers kiss to make love.

Or a life dipped in colours of happiness

means going to the end of the rainbow

to join in the frolic when she chases him

and lets him feel he belongs to her.

It was so different in his childhood days.

Then he had to tag along with his parents

on a militant like Sunday walk.

The pace was a relict of marches in the past

his father had made during the war, and even

his troops dreaded when he was leading.

Now wounded in the head, he was angered

by the unwillingness of his son to comply

to his orders but still out of a habit

he wanted to enforce a family unity every Sunday.

Consequently he did'n see the imagination

passing by and nodding to his son

as part of the next generation

that there is a chance to find new paths,

provided the old trodden ones are left behind.

While such a break with the previous generations

is always painful, it does clear the way ahead

and makes possible walking in own thoughts! *


* In memory of Thomas Bernhard, 'Gehen' (Walking)

Nach all diesen seltsamen Gedanken

an Zeiten bestimmt vom Krieg,

besteht nun der Wunsch

das was jetzt bevorsteht wird statt dessen

sanft sein ähnlich zu Melodien im Kopf

oder gleich einer körperlichen Berührung,

wenn zwei Menschen aus Liebe sich küssen 

oder das Leben tunkt ein in Farben des Glücks

und dabei einlädt zum Ende des Regenbogens,

um am fröhlichen Treiben teilzunehmen wenn sie

ihn jagt und er es fühlt ihr zu gehören.

Das war ganz anders in seiner Kindheit.

Damals war er gezwungen mit den Eltern

zum militärisch ähnlichen Sonntagsspaziergang.

Das Tempo war ein Relikt vergangener Märsche

die sein Vater im Krieg forcierte, und selbst

seine Truppen stöhnten wenn er vorne war.

Jetzt verwundet am Kopf, ärgerte er sich

über seines Sohnes mangelnder Bereitschaft

ihm gehorsam zu folgen doch aus Gewohnheit

wollte er Sonntags die Familieneinheit erzwingen.

So verfehlte er bei diesem Tempo

die Fantasie zu sehen als jene vorbei ging,

und nur seinem Sohn zunickte,

um verstehen zu geben

es besteht die Möglichkeit neue Wege zu finden

vorausgesetzt bereits ausgetretene Pfade werden verlassen.

Zwar schmerzen die Brüche mit Eltern,

doch es ermöglicht ein Denken im Gehen. *


* In Erinnerung an Thomas Bernhards 'Gehen',



Things washed ashore

What is it like to ride inside a hurricane

when the earth is in upheaval and not merely rain falls,

but oceans spill over shores to leave behind devastations?

Asks the child, who has never seen the ocean become so angry,

if Odyssey could outwit Poseidon to return to Ithaca,

what cure have then the men since now without Gods,

they face alone a world wishing to ban peace forever?

Relentless feelings seem to have whipped up that storm

bending trees to the ground and smashing windows.

Now that all the glass is gone, the beach can be seen

as being cluttered with many things washed ashore,

including shoes and diaries never finished by drowned sailors.

Many just wait for something coming out of nowhere

like an ambush of love to make up for all the loss of time.

But by high noon silence curls up like the black cat gone sleepy

over waiting for an answer from the men who had gone

to face the wars tearing apart fragile human beings

for no other reason but to mock mankind's vulnerability.

When will they return, asks again the child, now perplexed

by silence having become adults no longer speaking truthfully

why they failed to prevent wars from ravishing again earth.

If the answer lies forgotten amongst the things washed ashore,

then much more has gone missing since the boats left

in search of a new fleece, but what to do if not back in time?

For images are conjured up of fierce men about to hang peace

by putting a noose around the neck and the rope over a naked branch

swayed by a wind of rumours coming in from a now darkened sea.

Again the voice of the child can be heard saying, it wants to help

those who are stricken and forsaken, but because it cannot see blood

detours in the studies are needed before becoming a psychiatrist only

realizable, if not estranged from timelessness peace needs to prevail.



In Search for Peace


Vanquished in the mind,

no, just numbed

by a powerful speech,

which says peace is something

which transgresses

almost everything holding life

as dear as the child just born,

or was it the touch of her hand

which let my body quiver

even though I pretended

to look out the open window

to see the blue sky

promising a kind of eternity

I had forgotten about

ever since grandmother told me

about the days when the sky went first dark,

and then lit up as bombs hit the city

to let the earth tremble out of fear

not to be free from the yoke of time.


She touched me again.

I could not resist.

Some birds sang outside

a blue note to invite

us to go for a walk

right into the sunset

so that our figures

would blend peacefully

together forever

in love with life.



Return to the very beginning

Due to rough weather, a spillover prevailed,

with not only tables turned over

for when looking at the harbour

it could be seen that many boats had capsized

with the strong wind still rolling in waves

meter high to smash against walls

holding onto inscriptions forever

as to what marks the ends of times

when no can say any more what happens

when war never ends and only the wounded return

with bandages around their heads

and their souls traumatized by what they had seen.

Their eyes can no longer look straight ahead

out of fear the next bullet could stray past them

like those roaming dogs amongst corpses

they had to leave behind after their vehicle

had exploded to become a mere jumble of twisted metal

once the anti tank grenade had hit dead on.


Who would think now of the smell of wood,

or of a feather floating in the air

with sunlight filtering through the leaves?

If only such beauty could return

to fill the eyes with a longing for nature

welcoming the spring with open arms.


It was a twist of irony for the poet to say

when the men left for war their mothers sang,

but when they returned the girls now grown up

had become the women who sang those songs instead.


As if continuity leaves so much in the shade of silence.


No one speaks about what those men left behind

or notices how much they have changed once back.

Out of these losses of humanness peace can never be

something to hold onto since evasive as love itself.


How to face the music of reality

now more a growling of dogs

gone astray near the cemetery

where silence reigns

as if wishing to catch up

with all those non-lived times.


Men and women search for some shade

so that they can rest a bit after all the chase

brought upon them as if nothing had been settled

right from the start when one angry word ignited

a fire that spread so rapidly in front of their eyes

that no one could really flee to escape from hell

now an earth becoming one single cemetery

and silence covering everything which still breathes.



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