Tuesday, May 20, 2008


For use in MK-84 Guided Bomb BSU-37-B”

Safe in your sister’s arms,
Shielded from the blistering heat,
Safe in your mother’s embrace
At one with the rhythm of her breath,
Safe from the random bullet,
The stray delivery of death,
Safe in a womb of your own,
Out of sight of the pilot above,
Safe here, where miracles are made,
Where water turns to wine, as an act of love,
Safe because of your innocence,
Safe because you are only a child.

This ten second news story,
This modern parable,
What lessons does it hold?
My fingers splintered on rubble.
My blood ran cold,
As the last stone moved,
Revealed the first disfigured limb
And I knew the colours of her dress,
Recognised the pattern, doves on a dusty hem.

This comes from Robert Fisk’s account of the bombing of Qana in southern Lebanon. 56 innocent civilians were killed, victims of Israeli ‘precision’ bombing. 34 were children. The sub-heading refers to the markings found on a fragment of the bomb that slaughtered them. I don’t know whether to thank Robert or to curse him. He reveals so much that others would prefer to remain hidden, but it also means I can’t sleep at night and I haven’t even seen these horrors for myself. I don’t know how he can return, time and time again, often risking his own life, to the scene of one massacre after another. I don’t understand how he himself can sleep, having seen what he has seen. Qana is reputed to be the biblical Cana. Welcome to Bangladesh! I have replaced the image I originally chose with the Ben Heine cartoon that was added on Palestine Think Tank thanks to Mary Rizzo.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Today the bulldozer crawled
Into my village.
I watched the trees’ resistance,
Heard them groan and shake,
Hoping beyond hope
They could not break and after the trees bowed,
the stones ground their teeth in impotent fury,
Before they too tangled with the bones
Of lost tomorrows, in unmarked graves,
Corrupt foundations
For a shimmering, empty city,
Destruction in the myth of creation
By architects stripped of any pity.
What still remains that we may save
From the ruins left by an alien nation?

The bulldozers did come. A local farmer just sent them in to clear the cutting in front of our house. We were outraged, but then I began to put things ina different perspective....