Monday, July 24, 2006

Target Acquired

The cockpit is as cosy in a B52
As the inside of an egg box. Everything,
Every egg in its place. The rows
Of dials you face stare back
Expressionless, bathed in the spectral glow
Of night vision glasses. Altitude
Thirty five thousand feet. Air speed
Six hundred miles per hour. Snug
Within her black belly tonight
The cruise missiles lie listening
To the business like banter of the tireless crew,
As time relentless passes.

The virgin bride, in the arms
Of her one and only love, lies.

A baby, safe in its cot and world
Of dreams, gurgles and sighs.

The nurse, at the death of a numbing shift,
Pauses for one moment to dry her eyes.

A fireman stares blindly, remembering
Last night’s red and bloody skies.

The teacher, with a pile of unmarked books,
Leans back, wonders how he missed the prize.

The torture victim remains incarcerated,
Where none can hear his cries.

The birthday girl shifts, restless with thoughts
Of how slow the dark night flies.

A nomad smiles, whose face still fills
With wonder, as the sun begins to rise.

A tousled goatherd hears the clouds thunder
And looks up in surprise.

Target acquired!

Another poem dedicated to the practitioners of precision bombing. Written in 2003 as the B52s carpet bombed Afghanistan and 'destroyed the Taliban'. I should know better by now, but still can't understand how politicians trot out the same lies over and over again and still seem to get away with them. Today Lebanon and the Gaza strip suffer under their relentless hands.

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