Rotten planks shut out sweet smelling innocence
From neighboring yards;
Splinters of ugly silence stand up and say: “hands off,”
Separating “me and mine” from “you and yours.”
A flower climbs over the wall and is snipped …
A family feud begins.

“Peace on Earth, good will to men.”
The boundary lines are carefully drawn
Within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Behold the Sacred Procession of the Mass!
Glory to the Lord! …
Some tallow drips from a Greek priest’s candle
Fall on a Latin cloak …
The Arab police turn their backs on a riot.

The Rhine, the Rhine, the glorious Rhine!
With fields extending to the right
Where peasants sing their Teuton lieds;
With vineyards flourishing on the left,
Where Romanesque chansons are heard.
A bearded Jew finds charm in both;
For expressing his opinions
He needs flee to another land …
On the morrow the world is drenched in blood.