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was it out there
that I became a ghost?

I may be an unreliable witness
the constant stress does that to you
the days spent outside, unprotected
with a local population
that won’t look you in the eye
or when they do
they have the look of hate
that you are even there at all

if only the locals were less hostile
to my cause
if only I could count on my military team
to back me up
if only I had a squaddie’s breakfast
to get me on my feet
every bleak morning

if only I had been so beautifully
camouflaged as I am now

if only they cared as much for my life
as they do for their freedom

was it, in fact, here
that I became a ghost?

if only
the snipers
had guns
instead of

I could deal with that


Inspired By: photograph by Richard Nixon (c) Rich Pictures




◄ The Crooked Beast At The End Of A Crooked Path

kraken ►


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Dave Carr

Sat 13th Sep 2014 08:26

I like the ambiguity in this. Good luck with Diggers. Dave

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Laura Taylor

Thu 11th Sep 2014 13:02

Yep - as said on FB, this is a cracking piece. Hard-hitting, flows so well, and a great commentary.

I wonder about the inconsistency with the punctuation though, but the meaning does make itself known. If, say, this were in a book, I would aim for consistent punctuation. ;)

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David Blake

Tue 9th Sep 2014 20:42

"if only I had been so beautifully
camouflaged as I am now"

Stunning, striking line. And then the end does it again. Another great entry in the canon Mr Whiteley.

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Andy N

Tue 9th Sep 2014 12:44

piece has a really good circular affect, ian. i really enjoyed this. top stuff m8

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Tommy Carroll

Mon 8th Sep 2014 20:54

Another gooden Ian. Keep em coming. Tommy

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Ged the Poet

Mon 8th Sep 2014 20:54

Real Snipers... do you really see them? The photograph you have used... if you saw him in the street, again, would you really see him?
Another great work Ian. I like the end of the poem as it kind of creeps up on you and gives you a reality check. Nice one.

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Shirley-Anne Kennedy

Mon 8th Sep 2014 19:45

Great write, Ian.

The title is very apt.

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