Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Miasmas of the Past"

This poem is spillover from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette.

WARNING: This poem contains graphic descriptions of violent history and current malfeasance that many readers may find disturbing. It includes references to the Holocaust, Nazism and its sympathizers, trench warfare, rotting flesh, lying about historic facts, and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.

"Miasmas of the Past"

There are those who seek,
not to alter history,
but to erase it:

claiming the Holocaust
never occurred, that
millions of people
were not murdered.

They trump up
alternative facts
and try to bury
the real ones,

but the truth
always rises up
from beneath
their booted feet

like the stench
of rotting flesh from
trenches now filled in

where war once waged.

So much of this history
is written by the losers --

the Nazis and their sympathizers,
the Jews who survived it
and their descendants.

They may walk
with heads held high,
but the miasmas of the past

trail behind them like bitter perfume.

* * *


The Holocaust was an act of genocide in which the Nazis murdered about 6 million Jews and many other people. The Beit Hashoah--Museum of Tolerance tells the tale. Stage 8 in the genocide process customarily entails denial of the crime.

Miasma refers to an unpleasant and/or unhealthy stench sometimes appearing as a vapor. The miasma theory of disease was a very close precursor of germ theory which posited filthy air as the cause of sickness. Trench warfare in World War I was notorious for the reek of corpses, contaminated mud, and other effluvia -- but you get something very similar any time people dig holes while killing masses of each other. Similarly, mass graves have been found from the smell.

Never forget
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, history, horror, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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