Garmisch, Summer 1936
Above us, dwindling into fiction,
One self-repeating crucifixion.
Inconclusive, bright-lit air;
Sailplanes it will part and pair–
Now omens, now the runes of order.
But in these fields, whose vagrant border
Still is what cold stream, no pain
Exhales from the dividing grain
Save that we read into it. Neither,
In our wingless lower ether,
Has any sign its high import;
Nor, in the symbols they distort,
Is evil fixed, or good endemic.
Sung words, in echo, bring their comic
End to Movement and to Youth;
As if its marchers, who, sheer faith,
Pass yet with banner raised, with quiet,
Steady tread, in meager riot
Broke step once and then were mute;
As if the staid life they refute
Held nonetheless; and they, stout sutures,
Had only peace-filled, farming futures;
Where Jew and where Mercedes-Benz
Have each their star and each their rents,
And where in fleeting, local visions,
A total state has its omissions.
War has its compensations, Kreuz
Its variant the Hackenkreuz.