Sunday, July 08, 2007


We went to war, they said,
to make our world a safer place.
Now everywhere I go,
the bombers are lurking in my head.

Not even in the shadows,
but in plain sight,
in every supermarket queue,
defying the light,
pushing through the scrum
outside the rugby club,
mingling with the locals by the pub,
waiting dogged, patiently
with the walking wounded
lining up in Casualty.

I tried to flee from the maddening crowd,
along a winding coastal path,
beneath a sky where not one cloud
could cross my thoughts,
where not one soul came into view,
and I could watch the sea roll in
at leisure, feel the rise and swell within,
at one with the nature of the blue.

But no, they followed me even here,
spiteful beyond each quivering of grass,
behind each fluttering of wings,
beneath the scornful snorting of a horse,
with unexploded stonechats,
ticking in the gorse.

Picture adapted from 'The Field Guide to the Birds of Britain & Ireland' by John Gooders published by Kingfisher

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