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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015


Ken Jones
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

Twilight of the Gods

Ducks on the Rhine
this side and that
the same quack-quack

At first it looks like any other big municipal park, the friendship footbridge which joins Germany and France. But where else can you take the dog abroad for a walk?

In 1870 Bismarck's gunners bombarded Strasbourg from what is now the gemütlich little town of Kehl. Forty-five years later the pickelhaubes swarmed across the river again. And in 1945 De Lattre de Tassigny's armour crashed across the other way–"from the Rhine to the Danube"—and put an end to it all. Each side's triumphal memorials remain—on their own banks, of course.

Secured to the footbridge
a sturdy little padlock
"Marianne & Wolfgang"

And the cheesecake tastes equally good at the cafes on either side. But as we gaze over the river, there comes looming beneath the bridge a reminder that the curse of the Rheingold is consuming anew our global Valhalla.

A great black barge
low in the water
with crushed scrap

Author's Note:
gemütlich: cozy
pickelhaube: Prussian spiked helmet



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