Napalm death

It’s 1972

She runs down the road

Her naked body

Casts a shadow

In Sunday supplements

Not her Sunday best

The times

National geographic



T.V screens

Behind her napalm death

Burning in smoking colour

Lighting up her village

Her picture cast across the globe

In black and white

A young girl less than ten

Fear written across her face

Flaming clothes torn off

Running with her brother

With her friends

A picture referred to as iconic

Standing proud in all it seeks to confer

Propound and confound

To bring gravitas and authenticity

To a hungry and carnal world

Ready, demanding to feed on the very best

That is exotic

Considered to be news

Brought into people’s living rooms

In regular reports

A continuing stream

So much so that nobody is any longer disturbed

Shaken or stirred

Now anesthetised


And distracted by the price of petrol and of beer

How many green shield stamps will I get?

How much will it cost?

To fill my avenger, Hillman imp or Cortina

What is the cost of life on the six o’clock news?


Today the burns still mark her back

Testament to her past

But in her mind

In her heart forgiveness stays

Very much alive

Remarkably her life has changed


And yet for some

Napalm death remains

Sticking to them

Sticking to me

Sticking to you

Sticking like glue

◄ Church of stone

Trees ►


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Sat 19th Dec 2015 22:39

A very fine rendition of the human condition Martin. I recall that photograph, full of frozen motion and horror.
Unfortunately, there is a curiosity in the nature of humans that says - thank God it was not me. I think that is the gut reaction - then to try to civilize the reaction . That is the true horror as I see it. More than that I can't honestly say.


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Martin Elder

Fri 18th Dec 2015 08:11

Thanks for your comments guys. It struck me some years ago how desensitised we become about events that are happening around the world. This was brought home by the Vietnam war which was the first war to be so widely reported, warts and all right into our homes. How easily we switch off!

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Stu Buck

Thu 17th Dec 2015 09:55

very good. cant really add much to davids comment. as a society we consume news in much the same way we consume the x factor or strictly and, sadly, it is created for us in much the same way.

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