Remember

Don’t forget

Don’t give in

Don’t forgive

Don’t begin

Don’t undo

Don’t redraft

Don’t renew

What has passed

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The Peacemakers

Simple lines are drawn in sand
Before too long a raid is planned
Evading those so underhand
They would presume to claim this land

Off we sneak in battle dress
Such gentle men and ladies, less
To mop and mock the endless mess
Than blow things up, as merciless

To violence we’ve long adhered
We have become the thing we feared
And afterwards may not be cleared
Of careful killings, well prepared

Poor War has wandered far and wide
From hill to valley, mountainside
And sunk such fortunes, fear and pride
To foster thoughts of suicide

Promoting causes, long since lost
He breeds support and hides the cost
Our future terrorists to host
More pointless conflict, until most

If not quite all are lying dead
Two tribes with matching holes in head
Surrounded by twin pools of red
Both died for an ideal, it’s said

And what is left to selfless men
But legends of their struggle, gain?
We heed such calls to follow pain
Our children reach for arms again.

A Head in the Clouds

How ironic it seems
That a selfie of Jen
Has eclipsed other headlines
Of conflict again

It’s as if through a lens
Entertainment appears
To be focused on comments
By anchor and peers

Though our hungriest, game
For a laugh as may be
Under clouds and on Sky
Must disrobe for TV

Where it leads if it bleeds
All depends on the dress:
The front cover of Vogue
For a dazzling temptress

Or a reddit thread, late
Where true fans would agree
Little more than click bait
Will be all that you see

There’s a choice for the viewer
And it’s moral – how quaint!
Pick which story to follow
To see through the paint

While there’s Isis; the Syrian
Conflict goes on
And shells still fall on Gaza
All through Libya’s Dawn

Civil war slowly creeping
Through Ukraine and East
As the whole world sits, watching
Awaiting the feast

We have crackers and hackers
Stampeding both scenes
And celebrities dropping
Like the flies of their jeans

We may be quite discerning,
Pick a view to a kill
Or an intimate evening
With a very cheap thrill

When the freest of thinkers
Chooses girls in the buff
Over lifting their blinkers
To examine the rough

I’m amazed readers make it
This far through a poem
Without pictures explicit
To lighten the tone

So the best we may hope
For a future of peace
Is a world that’s too broke
To afford to release

All the weapons still stored
Under ground, as above
Though it’s MAD to assume
That when push comes to shove

Such assurances mean
There’s a soul in the flock
Still refusing the fruit
That’s created to shock

Here’s an uncivil liberty
Waiting to pounce
While the government votes
For less private accounts

Observations

Explosions of colour
In the monochromacity
Of the modern art room
At the Tate Britain
I sit and stare
As Titian hair atop
A riot of pink and green
Flounces past a
Barbara Hepworth
Pausing only to consider
Her own reflection
In a Modigliani
The shallow curves
Of a polished surface
Echo the movement
Of our livelier exhibits

Bobbing for pips

I am approaching the threshold of my grief
That dismal dawn where words break –
Fast over stale feelings
Like waves on a rock-ridden shore.
This stilled tongue tunes no trills for sorrow,
Sigh-chapped lips, no plosive feasts
But my ragged pen thirsts
For consonants, vowels
Forming words, eyes closed,
Half-asleep, I drift,
Tossed upon the foam
As one who drowns for air
And breathes only memory.