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Skrzynecki Poems (1 Viewer)

goan_crazy

Hates the waiting game...
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Looking for Skrzynecki poems?
Here they are:
Crossing the Red Sea

1
Many slept on deck
Because of the day’s heat
Or to watch a sunset
They would never see again –
Stretched out on blankets and pillows
Against cabins and rails:
Shirtless, in shorts, barefooted,
Themselves a landscape
Of milk-white flesh
On a scoured and polished deck.

Voices left their caves
And silence fell from its shackles,
Memories strayed
From behind sunken eyes
To look for shorelines –
Peaks of mountains and green rivers
That shared their secrets
With storms and exiles.


2
1949, and the war
Now four years dead –
Neither masters nor slaves
As we crossed a sea
And looked at red banners
That Time was hoisting
In mock salute.


3
Patches and shreds
Of dialogue
Hung from fingertips
And unshaven faces –
Offering themselves
As a respite
From the interruption
Of passing waves.

‘I remember a field
Of red poppies, once behind the forest
When the full moon rose.’

‘Blood
Leaves similar dark stains –
When it runs for a long time
On stones or rusted iron.’

(And the sea’s breath
Touched the eyes
Of another Lazarus
Who was saying a prayer
In thanksgiving
For miracles)


4
All night
The kindness
Of the sea continued –
Breaking into
Walled-up griefs
That men had sworn
Would never be disclosed,
Accepting outflung denunciations
With a calmness
That brought a reminder
Of people listening to requiems,
Pine trees whispering
Against a stone wall in the breeze;
Or a trembling voice
That sang at the rails
When the ship first sailed
From the sorrow
Of northern wars.


5
Daybreak took away
The magic of dreams,
Fragments of apparitions
That became
More tangible than words –
Echoes and reflections
Of the trust
Than men had bartered
For silence.

Had we talked
Of death
Perhaps something
More than time
Would have been lost.

But the gestures
Of darkness and starlight
Kept our minds
Away from the finalities
Of surrender –
As they beckoned towards
A blood-rimmed horizon
Beyond whose waters
The Equator
Was still to be crossed.


Feliks Skrzynecki

My gentle father
Kept pace only with the Joneses
Of his own mind’s making –
Loved his garden like an only child,
Spent years walking its perimeter
From sunrise to sleep.
Alert, brisk and silent,
He swept its paths
Ten times around the world.

Hands darkened
From cement, fingers with cracks
Like the sods he broke,
I often wondered how he existed
On five or six hours’ sleep each night –
Why his arms didn’t fall off
From the soil he turned
And tobacco he rolled.

His Polish friends
Always shook hands too violently,
I thought… Feliks Skrzynecki,
That formal address
I never got used to.
Talking, they reminisced
About farms where paddocks flowered
With corn and wheat,
Horses they bred, pigs
They were skilled in slaughtering.
Five years of forced labour in Germany
Did not dull the softness of his blue eyes

I never once heard
Him complain of work, the weather
Or pain. When twice
They dug cancer out of his foot,
His comment was: ‘but I’m alive’.

Growing older, I
Remember words he taught me,
Remnants of a language
I inherited unknowingly –
The curse that damned
A crew-cut, grey-haired
Department clerk
Who asked me in dancing-bear grunts:
‘Did your father ever attempt to learn English?’

On the back steps of his house,
Bordered by golden cypress,
Lawns – geraniums younger
Than both parents,
My father sits out the evening
With his dog, smoking,
Watching stars and street lights come on,
Happy as I have never been.

At thirteen,
Stumbling over tenses in Caesar’s Gallic War,
I forgot my first Polish word.
He repeated it so I never forgot.
After that, like a dumb prophet,
Watched me pegging my tents
Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall.


Immigrants at Central station, 1951.

It was sad to hear
The trains whistle this morning
At the railway station.
All night it had rained.
The air was crowded
With a dampness that slowly
Sank into our thoughts-
But we ate it all:
The silence, the cold, the benevolence
Of empty streets.

Time waited anxiously with us
Behind upturned collars
And space hemmed us
Against each other
Like cattle bought for slaughter.

Families stood
With blankets and packed cases-
Keeping children by their sides,
Watching pigeons
That watched them.

But it was sad to hear
The train’s whistle so suddenly-
To the right of our shoulders
Like a word of command.
The signal at the platforms end
Turned red and dropped
Like a guillotine-
Cutting us off from the space of eyesight

While time ran ahead
Along glistening tracks of steel.


Leaving Home.

My first country appointment
Was the last thing we expected-
Three of us, caught unaware
By ignorance and faith:
Our dull-witted, frog-mouthed obedience
To the letter of the law.

Counting door handles, ringing telephones
And office boys with denture smiles,
I waited three hours
For a two-minute interview;
Watching myself outside in the rain,
My severed head under one arm,
Body upright- best white shirt and tie-
A black suit to outdo
The Pallbearer of the year!
A red-and-white sign at my feet:
“Cabbages for sale.”
The fiddler from Chagall’s village
Was inviting me to dance.

The man behind the desk
Never once looked me in the eyes-
His face the back of my application papers.
Hawk-nosed, crew-cut, with
A Tally-Ho paper skin,
He was the millionth person
That couldn’t pronounce my name.
No more, no less,
The verdict came next day by phone:
“You must go.”

We packed the car
Like a war-time train- clothes,
Books, records, the poems
I’d started writing;
Said goodbye so quickly
I forgot for a moment where I was going.

Three hundred miles
Up the New England Highway, I stopped;
Unloaded my bags for the night;
Swore that Head Office
Would not see my face again
Unless I became my own Scipio Africanus…
Dreamt of three headless crows
Flying in a room
Whose walls were silently burning.
Bald, toothless faces
Stood at a window, laughing in the rain,
Clapping to a fiddle’s music –
Their naked, hairless bodies
The colour of sour milk.


Migrant Hostel. Parkes, 1949-51

No one kept count
Of all the comings and goings –
Arrivals of newcomers
In busloads from the station,
Sudden departments from adjoining blocks
That left us wondering
Who would be coming next.

Nationalities sought
Each other out instinctively –
Like a homing pigeon
Circling to get its bearings;
Years and place-names
Recognised by accents,
Partitioned off at night
By memories of hunger and hate.

For over two years
We lived like birds of passage –
Always sensing a change
In the weather:
Unaware of the season
Whose track we would follow.

A barrier at the main gate
Sealed off the highway
From our doorstep –
As it rose and fell like a finger
Pointed in reprimand or shame;
And daily we passed
Underneath or alongside it –
Needing its sanction
To pass in and out of lives
That had only begun
Or were dying.


Post card

1
A post card sent by a friend
Haunts me
Since its arrival –
Warsaw: Panorama of the Old Town
He requests I show it
To my parents.

Red buses on a bridge
Emerging from a corner –
High-rise flats and something
Like a park borders
The river with its concrete pylons.
The sky’s the brightest shade.

2
Warsaw, Old Town,
I never knew you
Except in the third person –
Great city
That bombs destroyed,
Its people massacred
Or exiled – You survived
In the minds
Of a dying generation
Half a world away.
They shelter you
And defend the patterns
Of your remaking,
Condemn ypur politics,
Cherish your old religion
And drink to freedom
Under the White Eagle’s flag.

For the moment,
I repeat, I never knew you,
Let me be.
I’ve seen red buses
Elsewhere
And all rivers have
An obstinate galre.
My father
Will be proud
Of your domes and towers,
My mother
Will speak of her
Beloved Ukraine.
What’s my choice
To be?

I can give you
The recognition
Of eyesight and praise.
What more
Do you want
Besides
The gift of despair?

3
I stare
At the photograph
And refuse to answer
The voices
Of red gables
And a cloudless sky.

On the river’s bank
A lone tree
Whispers:
“We will meet
Before you die.”
 

sospecha

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Thankyou so much!. When i first read this post i thought ' this is pretty stupid, why would anyone need the poems, wouldn't they already have them???" and then i LOST THEM!!! so thanks...you got me out of a very stressful situation
 

hopeles5ly

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hey erin, good luck with it ! i have class at 7:30 so i think ill be leaving soon lol.
 

b-o-r-e-d

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thank you soooo much i left my poems in my locker and i have to write a report on crossing the red sea...lifesavers
 

Kat_321

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Thankyou so so so so much for ur help in supplying the HSC poems on bored of studies site as i hav a multi text essay on all Skrzynecki poems due 2morrow and the use of ur poems helped with quick referals back and forwards to the poems...
thanx again ur a champ :)
 

letsplaydoct0r

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hey there. thanks for that.
i have my half yearly english exam tomorrow and my friend took my book after we were studying !!!! so i was stressing cause no websites had them that i could find !!! :D
 

Dr_Doom

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letsplaydoct0r said:
hey there. thanks for that.
i have my half yearly english exam tomorrow and my friend took my book after we were studying !!!! so i was stressing cause no websites had them that i could find !!! :D
How did you go in your half yearly?
 

kia.humphrey

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Hey thanks a lot, i kind of misplaced my set of the poems when my 1/2 yearlies are monday!! and for some reaon the immigrant chronicles isnt published on the net!!! someone should really sort that out anyway, your a lifesaver. x :)
 

chappo1988

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Thank you so much. Trust my luck i lose my book the night before the exam! ur a life saver if i'ver ever met one!!!!

Thanks so much!
 

__hellyes

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Oh thank the Lord. I just got out my Journey's folder to read over my notes for trials and discovered the flipping Skrzynecki booklet had disappeared. You saved my life.
 

rickn

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hey thanks alot for the poems i just lost my set that had notes all over them! Does anyone have A Drive in the Country on their computer cos im using it and i noticed it wasnt up there. Thanks heaps
 

Dr_Doom

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A DRIVE IN THE COUNTRYby Peter Skryznecki

At Blue Hole
I stood by the water’s edge
And watched how swallows swam
Through the air –
Wild ducks moving away
Into the weeds
To their nests in the hollows
Of blackberries and reeds.

I stood on a rock
By the roots of a willow –
Saw how leaves
Bent their ears to the ground.
Gum trees shed
Heir bark to the wind
And she-oaks dipped their hands
In the shallows.

A chain and rope
Hung down from a tree –
Over the water for children to swing from.
And I thought of a gallows
To which dead men return
At noon or in darkness
To wait for a crowd.

And still I kept looking
Back to the road –
Away from Blue Hole
And the miles yet to go:
Thinking of the room
Where an alarm clock was set
And tomorrow was already there.

But only the soft call
Of swallows and wild ducks
Replied to my thoughts
Through the streamers
Of blue light.

I spoke to myself
Like a man who is dying
And walks away from a road
That runs only one way.
 

09285whyzr9uh43

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you saved my a** i really needed these.. i lost them amongst all my other papers thank u so much! *high 5*
 

shadyz_gurl

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OMG I LOOOVEEEE YOU GUYS
i needed a drive in the country as well n immigrants at central station u saved meeee thanks:wave: :) :) :)
 

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