Jim Aitken

Jim Aitken

Jim Aitken is a poet and dramatist. His last play 'Leaving George', explored the Scottish Referendum and was produced by Spartaki Theatre at last year's Leith Festival. Jim also tutors in Scottish Cultural Studies in Edinburgh. He is a member of Scottish Pen.

Diptych of Drones: a Brechtian poem
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 21:32

Diptych of Drones: a Brechtian poem

Published in Poetry

Diptych of Drones

1. Convenience Killing

Over eight thousand miles away
from where the devastation was
a zap-happy, kapow-cowboy
yeehah'd from his computer screen.

A funeral party had died
in the same way as the deceased
they were assembled to honour –
zapped at the press of a button.

Pacman and Super Mario
and later Sonic, the Hedgehog
may have been the apprenticeships
for today’s Killer Drone cowboys

Who sit, as they have always sat
when playing games on their consoles,
enamoured by technology
and lost to life’s great mystery.

They sit somewhere in Nevada,
yeehahdists killing jihadists,
the new dialectic of rage
that fails to think of consequence.

2. New Medal

They award medals now for remote-controlled
killing. This has nothing to do with gaming
consoles and their stages or levels reached.
It is much cruder than that. Much cruder.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal for button-pressed
killing, thousands of miles away from the carnage
created by the pressed button, honours ‘the extraordinary
actions that make a true difference in combat operations.’

But there are no medals for the burnt funeral parties,
none for the burnt children – all are collateral damage.

Calgacus, referring to the Romans, said they created
a desert and called it peace. Now they seem to create
a high-tech hell and they call it freedom. Freedom!

Neptune's Staff
Thursday, 25 February 2016 17:44

Neptune's Staff

Published in Poetry

Many-headed monster
encased in thick dark metal
as it sails the silent seas
its existence an outrage
a deep immorality
fathomless in ignorance
and the thought of replacing
this monster with another
more gruesome than ever
as the oceans rise
and refugees flee
and hungry children cry out
seems to stink to high heaven
that can only rebuke us
and say it may cost us
the earth.

 

            Stop Trident March and Rally 12 noon, Saturday 27 February, London, see www.cnduk.org