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“The Betrayed” and Other Poems

The_Cenotaph,_Whitehall,_London_SW1_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1417690 [1]440 words

The Betrayed

England asked us and we answered. Without
A second thought. We had no fear, no doubt,
No worries; we were English, we would go,
We’d fight for her—for glory, not for show—
And for love of our own people, our stout
And sturdy race. Our folk is worth about 
All a man can give. So we gave it. Lout,
Farmer, gentleman, every type you’d know,
England asked us,
We said yes. And we beat the bloody Kraut.
Some of us got home; some are buried out
There where we fell. It was so long ago
It feels like myth—but we were there. Below
Our names, the words we’d like our stones to tout:
England asked us.


Somme July 1915
(An Allegory For The Awakened)

Have you ever seen what crawls
On the flesh and shattered bone
That pile up against the walls
Where the bits of men were blown,
How they scamper, one and all,
On the lifeless and the prone?



Woods, jagged and dark against a chemtrail
Whitened sky, begin at the farm’s back edge—
Behind them, looming hills, before them pale
Flat fields divided with fences and hedge-
Rows: here fallow, there bursting with lush green.
These trees are younger than the farm, a bit
At least–second growth, maybe third. They’ve been
Here long enough though, grown tall and fat, fit
Together as a forest, in rain and
Shadow, with deer and voles, foxgloves and moss,
As if each alder, each lodge pine, was planned
And planted there. They grew up from loss—
Springing from hidden seeds left in logged ground;
Each tree a future reborn, and refound.


Heal Thyself

“I do not obey any intention, system or trend; I have no programme, style or pretention. I love uncertainty, infinity and permanent insecurity.” –Gerhard Richter

“Would you explain what you think about ‘fascist symbols’ ‘right wing politics’ or ‘Nazi ethics’ just so I can understand if you’re a free thinker or a hater” — a reader

And just what am I supposed to say to
You? You bring up words like ‘fascist symbols’
‘Nazi ethics’ and then ask ‘What do you
Think?’ What do I think? I think that it smells
To high heaven. I think it’s none of your
Business. I think that the type of people
Who worry about who hates who are sure
To find somebody to hate. Typical,
Really. The psychologists would call it
Projection, this putting onto others
The ‘bad thoughts’ that you think make you unfit
So that you can lie to yourself, rather
Than face the truth of how you really feel.
Stop asking me questions. Ask yourself. Heal.