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A pawn in an incomplete game of static insanity
Your blood-letting, tongue-tied grimace has you blind
While humanity’s serpents serp and singers sing
Of all the reaping things.
Madness’ descent pauses on this: it had no reason to exist
Until now, when it persists.
After spending too long in the half-life, you reach out and Geiger-count your blessings
Tick-by-tick-by-tick-by-tick

Click
By
Click.

So you reach the total sum of zero
A clickless life, a tickless existence
Bricked up in the wall of political persistence
There’s to be no saving of your soul – it’s only morose code for you
This is a remorseless dry, brown experiment
White helmet knights would save you from the rubble
But trouble is, they’re under it too.

Where the Heart Is

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So what will all those children do?
~Don’t worry child, they’re not like you.

And what will Syrian children wear?
~Forget it, son, they’re over there.

But what will those poor children say?
~You cannot hear, they’re miles away.

It’s Christmas soon, what will they get?
~I’ve told you, kid, you must forget.

But why, and how, what can I do?
~You can’t, it isn’t up to you.

But maybe I can teach my friends
~Oh here we go, you’re off again…

Perhaps I should just start with you
~What do you mean? What did I do?

You turned away, you shut it out
~But we can’t help – we don’t know how.

And you gave up without a fuss
~But son, we need to care for US.

Oh, Father, won’t you ever learn?
~It isn’t us – it’s not our turn.

It is! They’re us – and we are they
~You don’t know half the things you say.

I know I’ll never learn from you
The things you let this planet do
You make it hard to love and trust
With all the lies you spin to us
You say we’re different, us and them
But what if it occurred again?
If we don’t help them, save them soon
Humanity will go to ruin
We need to stand up, take them in
As refugees washed clean of sin
For if we don’t, then when it’s us
Then who’ll be here to make a fuss?
If we don’t help the folk oppressed
What happens if it’s our turn next?

~Just calm yourself, child, take a pew. This will not happen, not to you. We’re fine right here, in Blighty’s arms; our King and country won’t be harmed. Now settle down and go to bed, and sleep away what’s in your head.

What’s in my head is in my heart
And when I wake, I’ll make a start.

~Not everything is black and white, you can’t win every single fight. I’m sure you see in monochrome.

Tomorrow, Dad, I’m leaving home.

It’s Great

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It’s great that the battle is over
And there hasn’t been fighting at all
There’ve been no guns or bombs
Since the days of The Somme
When we learned our first lesson through war

It’s great that there’s nothing but peace now
And everyone just gets along
There’s been no shed of blood
Because everything’s good
As it’s been since the days of The Somme

It’s great that nobody is dying
And everyone’s treated the same
Since the days of The Somme
We have really moved on
Since our soldiers were pawns in a game

It’s great that we sit and remember
The red fields in a place called The Somme
We will have tea and cake
Reminisce of the waste
Of our men who died over the top

It’s great that we keep still in silence
And be thankful we weren’t at The Somme
For two minutes we’ll hush
And remember the pushed
After that we will just Carry On

It’s great that the world is now different
And it never will happen again
And the things that we know
Mean we’ll Sing As We Go
Since The Somme, since the war, since back then.

It’s great that it’s all in our history
And the slaughter is back in the past
Since the death at The Somme
All the horror has gone
So what’s wrong? Take a pew and relax.

It’s great that our royals lay wreaths there
And the PM will always pull through
So relax, have some wine
And just wait for the time
That they bring a new Somme straight to you.

Sonnet 119

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Sonnet 119
————-
Across a pond a televisual church;
Displaying Armageddon unforeseen;
Our continent with theirs united: merged;
When British eyes ‘came glued to godless screens.
We fell at once into our chairs and pews;
As unbelievability unfurled;
A sermon painted in horrific hue;
An unprophetic evil unforetold.
A pestilential fever plagued glue-eyes;
Whilst fire and brimstone spoke destructive psalm;
And as this story true yet not devised;
For us to bear: a cross, to offer: alms.

Yet as not concrete-steel nor God protect;
So hopeless was each prayer and genuflect.

Sonnet 911

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Two planes: our past and future would converge;
One outcome proving difficult and rare;
Four aeroplanes took flight while death emerged;
A five-walled building torn apart by air.
Into a field appeared the scythe of woe;
Aluminum and alloys razed a pair;
And those who should be allies proved the foe;
With perpetrators underground in lairs.
Political decisions at the root;
Retaliating badness’ voice was spoke;
And heard: a falling body, found: a foot;
Relations parted hearts – forever broke.

Horrific by the number, lies dispersed;
Impossible to sum by mournful verse.

Wilfred’s Men

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A poet’s shattered soul reacts to crumpled men with words intact

Recalling lies as glory folds, one verse – yet many stories told:

Our Wilfred said they’d cursed through sludge, towards their distant rest they’d trudged

And Wilfred’s men had lost their boots but limped on, blind, deaf to the hoots

There, Wilfred saw a hanging face – as death came to his writing-place

So we could read -at every jolt- of gargled blood to our revolt

If Wilfred knew – if he could see -dead men survived by poetry

What would he say – and would he be surprised his words adored by me?

Adored by age, revered by youth, for hitherto-unspoken truth.

If he were now – if he were here, would Wilfred to the world endear?

Or is it likelier he’d see: the sale of arms, cash weaponry?

And then the fight to stop it all, this great divide as countries fall?

Perhaps for now, hypocrisy – humanity’s mobocracy:

And as he rhymes of this or that, he’d write: Manus Manum Lavat.

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