I was born in 1932. I started writing juvenile rubbish years ago but haven't published anything. I did modern languages and history at school, went into the RAF, learned about electronics and fell into the computer industry. Now I am with the Black Horse Poets of Wakefield and they listen to me very politely once a month. I have been a rock climber and mountaineer, a marathon runner and a mycologist (which I still am). I try to write stuff that says that readers haven't looked at things properly - I don't believe that readers are interested in The Poet, what they prefer is what he/she is trying to say. The poem attached is called 'Newsreel' and was based on an incident in the Vietnam War. It was included in the Black Horse Poets' Anthology 'Full Rein' 2013. The word 'Photographered' is intended.
NEWSREEL War hates to find its survivors whole. In a steel chair on canvas Photographered onto an empty wall The woman held still her own leg-less child; Flesh of her flesh, and her flesh too The bombs took. Her stumps were hid, not to embarrass the war and a nice clean voice told of it. Dirt smudged her cheek, her blouse – If that was sitting she sat proudly, she sat beautifully ... if that was sitting… Neither did the child weep: Some man gave her that and some other broke the pillars of that gate by which he entered – - I don’t suppose he knew. But the war knew. His messengers, with a clear eye are all around you. See – razors, engines, boats and tanks even towns and silence are his, and that deaf smash, that foul silence Ripped off half her life, nearly all her son’s. When should he care who else may go lame? For War has no want of legs, Needs only the generals and the hate; His eye has a terrible sharp sight for the weak, for the artless, the blind. Though now and then he may catch some bloody villain, some politicker, and some big one like a great gut-gaffed fish struggles on his nasty hook – - he can yet be content with these Pretty innocents. Causes and effects there are at last – No Explanations: or perhaps Explanations - but no excuses; Necessities – but no excuses; Rationalities - but no excuses; Politicians, embassies – but no excuses; Creeds, nationalities, faiths, religions, lousy rotten ideologies Starvation, pestilence and famine, Torture and rape But don't tell me excuses, no damn excuses. Now tell the butchers that the soldiers say You never hear the shell that spreads your head like butter in the muddy fields, the dirty, muddy, fields. ATB
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