Friday, August 25, 2006

Beirut comes to Brecon Jazz

The bombs rained down on Brecon last night.
but they didn’t want to fight.
White flags begged the bombers not to stay,
but missiles came down on Brecon anyway.

I heard this young scrap asking why
so many friends and kin must die.
Her father answered with a well worn sigh,
‘We are the chosen ones you see.
These bombs from Israel were marked for you and me.’

‘Those that make and send the bombs have said
no bombs are smart, unless the dead
can testify they work without a flaw,
the more black bags, the higher each bomb’s score.’

There are bodies in the Bishop’s Walk,
the Market Square’s ablaze.
the Cathedral is a smouldering wreck,
the dogs run round half crazed,
the canal is choked with corpses,
where once the Watton stood
and we queued in patient lines,
there’s now a field of blood,
the music’s turned to wailing,
the musicians all have fled,
survivors claw the rubble and
eye the skies with dread,
in the classrooms of the college,
the wounded lie in rows,
the Brynich’s crammed with refugees,
all around us carrion crows
feast from flesh in trees,
and yet the whole world knows
a country’s on its knees,
but should you, like our Prime Minister,
need to staunch this hellish smell,
follow his lead, just shut your eyes
and hold your nose as well.

The main idea for this poem came to me just over a week ago, sitting in the Watton Marquee, enjoying the music, but ever conscious that, as we relaxed in peace, the devastation of Lebanon was continuing.

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