As Milton Cohen fought on the battlefields of Italy and northwest Europe during the Second World War, he received cigarettes and other precious items from his hometown of Montreal thanks to high school friend, Sam Borer. In return, Mr. Cohen sent back poetry. His poems were rediscovered decades later by Mr. Borer's son, Leonard.
Here, beside this winding forest path,
This quiet pool reflecting all the silence of the trees,
And the fluffy-clouded heavens…
Here, in this green wonderland,
Where the sands of time stop dead,
Death seems far away.
The rushing, roaring tempo
Of a world gone mad…..
A sick and bleeding earth
Where steel grinds flesh,
And youth is lost in trenches
And madmen laugh at maps –
Turning cities to blackened ruins
overnight, as Death is born.
The genius for death seems great,
Yet here in the wooded shades
of your hour’s paradise
and hidden solitude, you find
That all these devil’s miracles-
These bloody wonders of destruction-
Cannot create a sunset
Nor a blade of grass.
The Earth Weeps
The Rule of Tyranny
A brute, which lives on massacre
The Earth Weeps,
Trembles in her fear,
Clutches her dead, distorted children
To her bosom, and prepares to die.
Little nations choke
Within a cloud of misery
In this gigantic nightmare
Of the Jungle…
Ant the white-faced millions
Plod into the slaughterhouse of War!
Offerings of sacrifice to the Gods of death…
And the machines of Hell!
The wells of blood run deep…
The world has lost its soul
And found a gun.
I worship no man. But the thoughts
and deeds of many, I do.
For men do not create the truth.
They merely discover it,
as an explorer discovers a new land.
It has always existed before him, and will continue
To exist after him. Men change-
The truth never.
Let us not personify any one man as symbolizing
Truth. For should he turn traitor to the truth,
he would make traitors of us all.
I dreamt I stood on the edge of the world,
Gazing into Eternity -
The sky was a song of sunshine,
And sparkling brilliancy -
Laughter abounded everywhere
In joyful symphony –
Fear and hate had disappeared
In the dust of time’s debris -
War was just a yellowed page
Of forgotten history -
Rainbows shouted to the sun
That the Universe was free!
Oh the Bald-Head stepped on the balcony
Things were pretty soft you see -
Good old Mussolini
His six chins trembled in the breeze
His stomach fell below his knees