The sky is like a blue jellyfish.
And all around are fields, rolling meadows –
Peaceful world, you great mousetrap,
Would that I might finally escape from you.. O if I had wings –
One plays dice. Guzzles. Chatters about future countries.
Each person puts in his own two cents.
The earth is a succulent Sunday roast,
Nicely dunked into a sweet sun-sauce.
If only there were a wind… that ripped
The gentle world with iron claws. That would amuse me.
But if a storm comes… It would shred
The lovely blue eternal sky into a thousand pieces.
Prayer before Battle
The troops sing with fervour, every man for himself:
O God, save me from rotten luck.
O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, please
Don’t let any shells hit me,
Or our enemies, those bastards,
Take me prisoner or shoot me.
Let me not kick the bucket like a dog
For my dear country.
Look, I’d really like to go on living,
Milking cows, having sex with girls
Beating up that low-life, Sepp,
Getting pissed a lot more times
Before I meet my blessed end.
Look, I’ll say my prayers well and willingly,
I’ll say the rosary seven times a day
If you, O God, in your mercy
Make my friend Huber, or maybe Meier,
Die, and let me live.
But if I’ve got to take it,
Don’t let me be badly wounded.
Send me a minor leg wound
A little injury to an arm,
So I can come back home a hero
And with a story to tell.
Alfred Lichtenstein was a German expressionist poet. He was born August 23, 1889, in Berlin and died September 25, 1914, near Somme, France.