Friday, 13 May 2016


Two revised poems this post.
I always felt uncomfortable with the first poem's ending. You can read it here. It was too much tell rather than show- if you get my meaning. A good poem infers rather than beating you around the head with the obvious.
Hopefully the revised poem is more effective.


Kinetic. In the blink of an eye,
aggressively named war planes,
take off then land.
We are shown, we are told,
the jets empty bomb racks.
Cut to serious faced politician:
The pilots won't be home for Christmas,
[as if he'd let them be anyway].
Listen to his banal words
prepare us for the long haul.
Show us the newsreader's reassuring face.
Then cut to the Parliamentary vote
that has made all this legal.
Note how much airtime is given to the hawks,
and wonder where the doves are.
Essentially I have removed the obvious ending and taken out my disparaging remarks about the Crime Minister [to quote Peter Tosh]. I am aiming to make the poem universal and such remarks anchor it to a specific moment in time.
The second poem is very brief and some what more personal.

Leonard, she told me, got one thing right.
Women and men are at war.
The war is eternal, and I was a fool to believe otherwise.
After broken peace treaties and numberless massacres I enlisted.
I owe so much to Leonard Cohen without ever having met the man.
When I heard the first 2 lps back in the 1960's I decided that I would become a poet, and I've been trying ever since!
Thank you Leonard.
Here's the video for In My secret Life.
Until the next time.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm not sure about the ending being better or worse. To be honest I'm not always sure about the telling and showing stuff. Do you remember "nineteen" by Paul Hardcastle?
    Now that was "telling" but what an impact it had. So - I think some poems are like self portraits by Rubens - the whole thing is their evolution. Reading the first version I was making the meaning by telling myself that on the body pile only a few die in uniform. The rest die in innocence.
    Yes - how I remember the attenuated dramatic spoken loop of empty bomb rack blues - play it again and again - And there they were gone. Smart bombs dressed in suits for the bulletin gravitas. Full rack, empty rack, full rack, empty rack.Off to the office clickety clack. Guernica showed but was/IS a poster. The power of the poem (either one) is the exposure of the faux media horror at war that glosses over their excitement at the breaking story. All those beams of drama pulsing into their media centre for the beautiful ones to serve with breakfast.