Garden

'The Garden of the Fugitives contains plaster 
casts of victims still in situ' - Wikipedia

Mountain dripping red-black tongues
Forge of Vulcan, chimney belching in the air,
Hammer Wielder, hear my prayer,
Douse the fire, descend your ladder's rungs,
Drowse yourself in rest so deep
That tired Vesuvius lulls herself to sleep.

	Huddled on the killing floor
	Like the Auschwitz dead
	Neatly strung in rows
	Families forevermore
	Linked in chain-link pose
	In such a gravelled bed.

Mountain dripping red-black tongues
Forge of Vulcan, cease your burning,
Bronze-armed Blacksmith, stop your bellows churning
Out the air that fills my lungs,
Then you may lose yourself in rest so deep
That tired Vesuvius lulls herself to sleep.

	A man from his sleep
	Rises to the final, fiery wind.
	The hot blasts kill -
	The ash layer keeps
	In place this spectacle,
	Decomposing bone and skin
      
	Til all that remains is hollow shell,
	Pompeii's last precious gift
	To a future that cannot help
	But share the private Hell
	Of those who could not step
	Away from death, capricious, swift.
      

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Bodies at Pompeii

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