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Matthias Rüegger

Rear Window

At night
I look out
Of my bedroom window
I see
The blue light of a TV screen

Some addict
Within his world

Ozymandias (II)

The dunes of time
Will have covered
Even your lips,
Great king.

Ozymandias (III)

The royalest
Of worms will be allowed
To dine on you when you are cold.
What a feast!

(Ozymandias is a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley)


Now try
To catch them in
The market-place, where you
Could only buy the fish, before
The rain

Hiroshima, 1945

All the windows of the city
Were suddenly
To the wind.


The moment
He desired
Were already

Laocoon (III)

How Precise
To have captured
The moment
When Life and death
Are still
In the balance

Although we know
Which way the scales
Will tip
In a moment,
We can not yet
See them

To a Dachau SS-man off duty

When you come home
After a normal day’s work
And stroke your cat
Lying on the heated window-sill
Do you never wonder why
It does not shrink
From hands that bear the traces
Of a pain
You could not wash away
Even if you tried?

And when you later eat your favourite dish
For dinner, in easy conversation with your wife:
When – unsuspecting – she looks you in the eye
Do you never feel the need
To drop the mask
And tell her
What you really did today?

At night
When, at last, you sink to tired sleep
After a sip or two, maybe,
Of finest French cognac,
Do you really never fear
The monster
No longer hiding underneath
Your bed
But on it
All night long?

(after a visit to Dachau in September 2000)

homo homini lupus (1933-45)

You have become
A wolf

A year
Or less
Was all you needed
To invert
A thousand years
Or more
In which
It seemed
You had become
Little by little
Less ferocious
More controlled.

As we can see
The change
Was not
Only Varnish

(after a visit to Dachau in September 2000)

On the ten o’clock train

The elderly couple
In the neighbouring compartment
Sit face to face.
Both look out the window, rarely at each other
And when they do, their eyes meet only briefly.
Now and then,
When the silence they have grown into
Over the forty years they’ve been together
Turns too awkward,
One of them,
Usually he,
Drops a comment
Not expecting an answer,
Rather exhaling, making room
For another breath
Of a silence
That for both
Is worse than words.


Although I really don’t think
The child deserved to have the lollypop
He had just bought with his pocket-money
Taken from him
Right in front of the newsagent’s
By a passing stranger
Am guilty
And amused

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The Showcase section features writings by several workshop participants. The following authors all have their separate pages:

Anne Buerki

Milena Diviani

Alan Greiner

Lucy Hay

Matt Kimmich

Nicolette Kretz

Margret Powell-Joss

Sripriya Sitaraman

Hans-Jürg Suter

Brigit Zogg