Dandelions — on the bombing of Syria, 14 April 2018

To bomb or not to bomb?

That is the question.

But I have no answer.


I can barely manage ‘Tea or coffee?’

sitting in my sunny cul-de-sac

(neat and tidy, one tree each).


On drives and verges cars stand by,

ready for the Tesco run, lunch with Grandma,

and the Five-a-side we’re bound to win.


Through tiny lawns

ready for their first Spring cut,

weeds push skywards to a sure beheading.


But they’ll be back; for, never rooted up,

other mornings, other lawns

will see them loitering golden, green.


On screen, the Dementer-in-Chief,

strutting like a thrice-crowed cock,

showered and pink stands furrowed by the flag,


his gameshow grin internalised

(see Power for Dummies, page 13);

a man at last, a blooded warrior.


Now bridesmaid Britain, kitten-heeled,

does its favourite Churchill voice

and waves young airmen off to war.


And while they rocket overhead,

families beneath them shelter in the caves

of their own arched backs and bloodied arms.


Is every prayer a prayer to stop the bombs?

Or is the hell of some no hotter in these flames?

I have no answer, none


but that these old tales set out in hieroglyphs

can never be uprooted by a fire.

Only patience can renew the land,


or else the great round clock moves on,

seeds take flight

and where they lie fresh hatred grows.


Wealands Bell

14 April 2018



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