Dante's Gate
By Gerry.
Published: May 28, 2008
Updated: May 30, 2008

 Dante's gate

Son taken from father

Daughter taken from mother

Brother taken from sister

Family destroyed like many other.


Not too far really

But might as well be a million miles away.

There is no way back

For child, adult, doctor or lawyer.


Provision brought over to sustain life

And left at fortress door

No chains or bars but no escape

The only life is a new one.


Marriage is allowed - but any child

Is removed immediately never to be

Seen again, agony on agony -

In this endless pain, both  physical and mental.


Dante’s gate is the point of entry with no return

For these pitiful creatures, and is aptly named.

As they are directed through the dark tunnel,

All hope is abandoned.


The invincible German army, hell bent

On world domination, stopped three hundred

Yards short of  hell. This is their bridge too far.

No occupation here - their courage lost.


What is the crime that warrants such

Inhuman  treatment?  No crime at all

Just the misfortune to have the awful tag of

Leper attached to you.


The island place which housed those wretched souls

Living in these isolated conditions until the late fifties.

Holds lepers no longer­­ -

But its name will live forever

The island of Spinalonga.