John Rabe

John Rabe,
Crys alone,
At the dining room table.

His back is hunched but,
He wears his jacket with pride.

Before him,

In the brown paper bag,
On the dining room table,

Is a package from China,

One rice-cake,
Some dried fruit, and
A letter from sixty-thousand people,
Asking him to return.

His back is hunched and he is crying because,
His nation doesn’t love him,

They want to know,
why in Nanking he,
Bothered to keep the farms going when,

The railroads were fixed and,
Nazi coming in,
What massacre?

Light from the window,
Lifts dust from the surface and,

John Rabe,
Cries alone.

When he died,
Died hungry,
The Chinese came and took him away,

They took him to Nanking and,
Laid him to rest,

Swastika, jacket and all.

‘…a living buddha in China, an outcast in Germany…’ he wrote in his diary

-visit two beautiful German poems by Han-Magnus Enzensberger

photos – and  John Rabe at Widipedia

12 thoughts on “John Rabe

  1. This is very haunting .

  2. indypubnews says:

    Very interesting about someone I’d never heard about before and now want to learn more.

  3. Thanks so much! You’re helping me to discover something news today.

  4. penpusherpen says:

    Wonderful poem, dedicating a wonderful unselfish man, who did his best at a time of atrocious events. So much is owed to such as he. People who step up to the mark and make a stand for what they feel is right. xx

  5. Julie says:

    Hi, kolembo. I saw the Nazi flag, and I almost ran away. I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t know much about John Rabe, either. Your poem makes me want to learn more, which is a great thing for a poem to do. Thanks for the information and links, too. Have a beautiful day.

  6. giulas41 says:

    You have quite a way to develop your subjects into poems my friend…They are fascinating!!!

  7. Brad says:

    Your poetry continues to amaze and delight me 🙂

  8. Tilly Bud says:

    I didn’t understand this on first reading so I googled John Rabe. Your poem honours him.

    Thanks for helping me to discover something new today.

  9. Agree with Chexmax…an excellent read.

  10. chexmax says:

    This one quite gets to me. Piercing, excellent read.

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