for the love of a Nazi tea service

For the love of a Nazi tea service
I hear he gave a large slice
Of his barrister’s fee

And suddenly I see him
Hastening his tailored step
To bring the rustling paper package home

At last, to place its treasured contents
On the table and unwrap an empire
Of porcelain, the most expensive thing he owns.

The elegance is simple
White, smooth, soft under the fingertips.
A small black circle holds each swastika intact

And after reverent lifting out and cleaning
Cup by cup so gently, breath held,
Not to mark or chip, or God forbid to drop
A single item of the perfect set,

He thinks, how could he have resisted
The silver teaspoon, tenderly engraved
Worth thousands since its lineage could be traced
Right back to Himmler’s breakfast tray?

But one day he assures himself
The spoon will find its way
Into his soft boiled egg

Till blackened with the sulphurous yolk
It can evoke his vision of the Volk

As uniformed in black like him
Their lips would close on branded rim
Where stands reversed the sign of life..
He reaches for the butterknife.

With tea, his toast becomes the host
His mind’s communion is engrossed
In bodies as the blood of millions
Surges under dark Dominions
Who have ruled both lives and fates
While resting cake forks on their plates.

For carnage is a primal vice.
But tastes much fuller
When it’s nice.

Part II

For the love of a Nazi tea service
I hear he gave a large slice
Of his barrister’s fee.

But here I see him
Labouring his step
To bring his bundled papers into court

On time, to share its dismal contents
At the bar and there unfold a history
Of subterfuge, the only thing he knows.

The argument is simple
Bright and smooth, upheld by fingerprints
The clear signs leave a trail of undisputed fact.

A gangland villain, stolen car and gun
Has been out robbing art and having fun
And in his garage Marilyn Monroe
And Superman in Glitter, in a row
Worth thousands for the prints can all be traced right back to Andy Warhol’s studio.

One day he’d overreached himself
And sits inside the dock
Attempting to disclaim all ownership

The barrister assures the court
The man will find his way
Into a nice safe cell

His antecedents marr his name too well.

The public need protection from such deeds
Such actions were not prompted by his needs.

It’s clear to see from his demeanour
He could not look any meaner

The casting person from the Bill
Could find no face
More apt to kill.

The judge and jury are agreed
The crime is proved and urged by greed
The defendant will be finally seen
On the day that follows
the birthday of the Queen.

Committal for sentence is duly set
And all is well and targets met.

For the love of a Nazi tea service
I hear he gave a large slice
Of his barrister’s fee.

Sarah de Nordwall May 5th 2004