Daily Archives: July 1, 2016

Istanbul 28-6-16 by Veronica Marjon Van Bruggen

I am not a silent poet

The eight o´clock news bleeds out of a black frame
a rectangular, perpetual lying noisy beast.

“Could have been worse”
words drip out of the reporter´s small hole
where one crooked tooth shows itself.
He cannot be trusted.

Responsible. That is a wonderful word.
For a second the whole sordid slaughter
seems less important. Who did this?

Who´s mind is twisted enough to
blow himself to smithereens,
killing fourty three and injuring hundreds
of innocents at the blast, changing
the color of the airport in crimson red.

“Could have been worse” Oh, please shut up.

A woman crouches crying next to her dead husband.
They were only heading home to their village
where now the chickens and the mule will starve.
The poor black bundle on the floor
doesn´t think it could have been worse.

Are we supposed to forgive? To understand?
Sorry, but not me.

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from ‘Nowhere To Stand’ by Barbara Donne

I am not a silent poet

Sebastien was killed on the first day of the First Battle of the Somme. So were 59,999 other sons, husbands, fathers. 60,000 butchers, bakers, blacksmiths, bank clerks, farmers and fishmongers, turned into dead soldiers in the space of one day. Lay them side by side. Look from an orbiting spacecraft and you wouldn’t even see a dark patch; but looking out of the window seat as your plane descended, I know your stomach would lurch, your heart turn over. If it were possible to recover all the bodies, parts of bodies and scattered remnants of parts of bodies; how many innocent green fields would be filled? Don’t ask me. I’m not a mathematician or a statistician.


An excerpt from the novel Nowhere To Stand, which Barbara published in 2013.

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All Those Thoughts by Donall Dempsey

I am not a silent poet

that vacant stare

the here-not-here

thought gathering
these few seconds

of a world
of little or no


a glance capturing
a bird in mid-flight

the dance of sunlight
through lime green leaves

a memory of her self
being all of four

the yellow pencil sharpener
held steadily in her hand

paring all the coloured pencils
down to the last shavings

a swirl of frocks
dancing with each other

all these thoughts
scattered upon the air

all these thoughts lost

the bomb goes off.

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Centenary by Nick Cooke

I am not a silent poet

Announcement. War. Consternation. Speeches.

Excitement. Buzz. Duty. Country.

Empire. Speeches. Recruitment. Medical.

Training. Cameraderie. Lee-Enfield. Bayonets.

Ruthless. Farewells. Pride. Speeches.

Lucifers. Boat. Brigade. Oath.

Tradition. March. Bombardment. Counter.

Kill. Thrill. Nightmares. Ambush.

Retreat. Snipers. Vigilance. Extreme.

Trenches. Rats. Tetchy. Itching.

Temperature. Fever. Infirmary. Shelling.

Constant. Hallucinating. Nurses. Angels.

Recovered. Back. Greetings. Delight.

Victory! Christmas. Football. Surreal.

Resumption. Hostility. Endless. Crazy.

Meaningless. Orders. Decamp. Reinforcements.

Anniversary. Intensification. Terror. Secret.

Verdun. Speeches. Courage. Rally.

Together. Push. When? July.

Where? Somme. Jesus. Time.

Flying. History. Letters. Home.

Pray. Orders. Fix. Bayonets.

Madness. Surely. Insanity. Duty.

Flags. Screaming. Go. Go.

Go. God. Help. Us.

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