When Paul Celan met Heidegger

Posted on September 5, 2015 in New Poems

When Paul Celan met Heidegger
in that Black Forest hut

where the philosopher and nature met
in the manner of soiled centuries,

his question hung in the damp air:
what of Jews and the Gypsies?

Blue-eyed Hitler, vegecologist,
anti-smoker and folklorist,

concentrated all wanderers
and earthed them in his fires.

Such was the poet’s right to ask
the philosopher was silenced,

and it echoes whenever a plot’s
patrolled, viz., what

of refugees, aliens,
asylum-seekers, Palestinians?

Celan found beautiful sport in the orchid.
I write in praise of the canine hybrid

that claims its space by hoisting
a leg, no matter who planted the lamppost.

First published 2003