Beauty and the Labour Camp

I have had this picture waiting on my laptop for 2 years. I just didn’t know what to say. The picture is from the Military History Archives of Slovakia entitled the ‘Enrolled camp worker Dalma. Apparently, Nazi propaganda took many pictures of women projecting an image of a well looked after, progressive and beautiful woman in services to the Labour camps. I still don’t know what to say about it. The curly hair, the warm V-neck and the barbed wire with the eyes swimming into the unknown.

The angel of Charing Cross

This angel touched down to the tiles of Charing Cross –

yellow and dirty ones,

right by the wall he seeks the rest.

Above the ground, the Trafalgar’s hangovered.

St Martin glistens with frost blinding the doubledecker buses

‘Sightseeing in the morning, anyone’?

Our angel occupies a tent in the colour of blue,

so blue that it’s almost black

as black as his shoe sticking out.

Holy ghost may come from any direction but so far, there’s no sign of it.

Our Angel can fly out any way he wants,

but he decided to stay.

Let’s call him Daniel.

The Angel Daniel ate raspberry jelly and sandwich yesterday

and complained about the state of his tent.

For example, the tiles, they never shine as they used to,

Londoners have soiled shoes

and now look – his white duvet is all yellowish grey.

Duvets should be dyed black in London.

Inside his tent there’s vast Transylvanian sky peppered with stars

and Uncle Valera has calls to him:

‘What are yo doing down there son?

‘I am sitting here, by the creek with the weepy willow as always’, Daniel says. ‘But instead of the blackbirds, I hear clop-clop of women’s heels.

The train rattles every 6 minutes.

Uncle Valera looks around, ‘the same stars keep following you’, so much I can see. ‘You used to be a handsome man, almost as handsome as those at the National Portrait Gallery.

Angel Daniel thinks about it: ‘the other day a woman came. She said: ‘I want to draw you’.

‘Draw me into the light’, I replied. ‘Make me a moth with dusty wings’.

And so she sat on her yoga mat and silver pencil case made a screetchy sound.

She didn’t mind the stench of the duvet that is nearly as ancient as the Turin shrewd.

Pendolino, Pendolino…

This angel touched down to the tiles of Charing Cross.