Sometimes i wish we could turn time backward.|
Backward to when nature went unthreatened,
with human beings in sustainable numbers,
pristine forests ev'rywhere,
the dodo still there.
(Pollution would vanish like snow in the sun.)
Backward to when sex didn't kill whole crowds,
before pixel screens replaced real surroundings,
and long letters on paper were still written.
At such a pensive moment
i hear my mother's voice in a poem:
after countless scenes of carnage, i see
the worldwide rage and fury fade away,
the blood warmed up flow back to the wounded,
the prisoners de-enter the slaughter camps,
dead corpses become living bodies again,
something righteous develop from abhorrence.
But then i realize it would not bring insight.
While people piously ignore a natural
equilibrium which relates to each of them.
While their collective egoism leads
to internal strife and wars with others.
Justice would be dealt no time to rise high
above legal theft and discrimination,
or truth above old lies and prevarication.
More often i wish we could turn time foreward,
faster than it goes.
The poem referred to in the middle of Vincent van Mechelen's poem is
leven (The Life Given Back) by Sonja van Mechelen,
16.CEN or (much) earlier.
Vincent's five highlighted lines are based on and inspired by the
following lines in Sonja's poem, written in Dutch and translated by
me as literally as possible:
... and [i] put time back(ward)
the world rage/fury jumped away the blood fell off the
weapons everybody left the camps (until they were empty)
the dead bodies of human beings became
human beings again from
came something righteous
Note the difference between leaving and 'de-entering'.
When leaving a place, one goes away from it, as a rule with one's back
to the place one leaves, while retaining the memories of that place.
When 'de-entering' a place, however, one goes away from it with one's
back in the direction of where one is going, while immediately losing
the recent memories of that place.
As far as the 'slaughter camps', that is, the
concentration camps, are concerned, not the picture of
someone leaving such a camp in the usual sense but the picture
of someone de-entering a camp is the correct one in the case
of time turning back.
Purely physically speaking this action resembles the tradition or
onetime practice of exiting backward after a meeting with a country's
sovereign on a formal occasion.
Despite the common imagery of a time being turned back, the theme
of Turning Time is entirely different from the theme of
The Life Given Back.