Hope No Hope


Flies like death’s tears bubble round his eyes
grown moist and massive in his starving face,
squatting in dust, buttocks but flaps of skin,
he waits on the rubbish tip of a stinking war
an insignificant dying cry for peace.

Terrified behind a stout church door
families implore blue beret’d guards to stay
knowing that massacre waits out in the night,
yet at dawn a snake of dust reveals
that last fragile hope marching away.

An old blitzed mediaeval town awaits,
survivors rise like ghosts from cellar tombs
kick dust in rubble-mounded streets, seek
water where once the sniper’s bullets sprayed
praying the guns will keep their fragile peace.

Squat in my easy chair reeling the pictures past
knowing the hate that festers in men’s hearts,
the will to kill to keep their tribes apart,
and fearing the nuclear menace in the wings,
I wonder at the hope of peace, mass murder brings.


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