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The broken soul in my homeland

By Pawel Markiewicz


When I was in the Osuszek-grove for the first time, I was fully grown. I went there on a bike after finding out about it on the Internet, a few years ago. I drove south through my whole town, on the road to Siemiatycze, along with the place, namely: the little village of Piliki. Osuszek was wrapped in a summer mood. This is a forest clearing by a 2km long path into the forest, marked as a small memorial site. There, Hitler-Germans shot about 1000 residents of Bielsk Podlaski and the surrounding area during World War II, probably also my late grandfather's young sister called Leokadia. When I was in Osuszek for the first time, I thought of a story whose witnesses were only the plaques. An angel of imagination had broken his wing at that time. His eyes caught fire. In angelic hands there was the gold of melancholic forlornness.

My muses wept. They no longer needed joyful poems, but poetry of tearful chasms into which the corpses of men, including those of the clergy, fell. There was sadness everywhere. A god was crying. He was sad for humanity's sake. My homeland was on fire. And my sparks were gone for some moments that hurt. A spirit of Leokadia left tears that were never meant to be swept away. I was in this clearing briefly, then I came home.

When I first read about a wartime-labor-camp in Bielsk Podlaski on the Internet, it was an autumn day a few weeks ago. People had been arrested here, forced to work, murdered, and tortured. There were no more witnesses in the form of walls or buildings. The angel of imagination wept tears again, poetically dark Apollonian tearlets. His eyes suppressed fire. In the angelic hands there was silver of sad oblivion. My muses burned like books in Nazi Germany. They no longer need jolly floodplain-like poems, rather gloomy elegies that are no longer able to enchant the world. The sadness unfolds wings. The god left home again. He was angry because of human souls. My homeland fell apart for many moments that cried.

A ghost of a forced laborer left behind the tears that could never be swept away. I thought about it for a long time sitting at home. When I first experienced this, I felt like I was an eternal witness to eastern Calvary.

Now I can't ride my bike to Osuszek anymore. Psychoses return with exhaustion. When I first fell ill with schizophrenia, I was 24 years old. Cause: A bad woman rented a windowless room for me in the basement of her villa. Such madness as in Wes Craven's movie "The People Under the Stairs."


Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is a poet who writes tender poems, haiku, as well as long poems. Pawel was educated in Warsaw (Uni – Laws) and Biała Podlaska (college – German). In 2007 and 2010, he was a participant of Forum Alpbach – the village of thinkers in Austria. He writes from Bielsk Podlaski, Poland.


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