Can you hear it?
Gushing out of each TV?
It’s the people’s innocent blood.
Out of the collars of crisp suits
pouring down the streets.
Parting around the cenotaph
and meeting again the other side
the gurgling, murmering, tide of blood
drowns patiently the shoots
and budding flowers of peace.
And the gears of war begin to laugh
as the blood returns their grinning noise
the dark, unwitting, furious and dull
use their teeth and tongues to supply
hecatombs of glorious red grease.
And in exhausted disappointment, stand
the faded dead, in memory’s faded land,
and the blood brings with it the visions they saw
when murder wore the mask of law;
“will it always be made to wear it once more?”
but how can the dapper war-mongers,
with their cartoons of liberation,
reading blood soaked scripts
be blamed? It’s not down to them.
They can’t see names that were never written in their papers.
Names not flown home in once-folded flags,
names with no glory, who win no honours,
names of the peaceful, who would not kill,
names that flow by, submerged in blood,
and the latest civilian death figures.
They can’t be blamed for death,
it would happen anyway – what were they to do?
And miles and miles away, too – let them have their fun.
Doing Their Job. And blood continues to pour
out of each victorian, or cut glass door.
“They have no care for human life.
And will attack women and children
our bombs are lying fallow,
why else do we have them?
One life or two are no cost, to a civilised nation.”
(Art by Akram Zaatari, Centre Georges Pompidou)