The gavel and the gun

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In the courtroom

a murder of lawyers spluttered,

arguing, debating their hourly rating,

the state of an unbalanced mind,

war cluttered.


Eventually concluding

when they un-flapped their gowns,

they’d little comprehension 

of acute combat tension

in South Asian border-land towns.


Whilst out on the street

banners waved and horns sounded,

family membe...

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JudgementJudicial incompetenceJusticeTraumaWar

Systematically Explicating a Narrative and Descriptive Poem

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By Alem Hailu

The poem below decrying war was written by Lithuanian poet Salomeja Neris when her country was invaded by Nazi Germany. By way of showing how it is possible to explicate a narrative poem and invite readers reread the poem and grasp the meaning I will explicate her poem Spring as follows.


I Spring

Once again will lilac sing,

And brooks will babble, brooks, w...

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Soldier's Box

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Soldier’s Box


Wooden box




Brass bullet casing


Flakes of tobacco



Grains of sand

Sepia tinted photograph


And pith helmets


Soldiers Service

And Pay book

Will unwritten

Will not needed


Nib encrusted

Fountain pen

Brass button

Coloured ribbon


Yellowed letters

Ink a faded blue


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Adagio of the Heart

I went to an extraordinary exhibition last year called "Spirit of Anzac" which was touring all over Australia. It came closer than anything I've seen in capturing the daily experiences of those who fought, and died, in the First World War, and especially in trench warfare on the Western Front. I have tried to express something of that experience, as I understand it.


Adagio of the Heart


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Worlds Apart (v3)

The real world is different for those born within strife,

if they are lucky they may grow to become husband or wife,

but for many, boy soldiers is what they were forced to become,

only eleven years old, yet their burden is to be carrying a gun.


How many live long enough to know that there are other ways,

within another country they wouldn't have been made military slaves.


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one worldslaveswar

How Evil Is The Mind Of Man

How evil is the mind of Man,

To do the things, as we all can,

Our evolution and history to refuse,

With inhuman profanity and abuse.


The nazis, to the Poles and Jews,

Set a raging firestorm loose,

They laughing, gay with callous calm,

Teased and tortured with unremitting charm,

Destroyed race and ravaged life,

Gorged upon others agony and strife,

To plant their o...

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War and the Universe

and when you look up and

watch the carmine sunset riding the clouds,


know that those are the blood

of the universes that fought so valiantly


to have our constellations vibrant and incandescent

in their boundless mausoleums.

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