Friday, 14 June 2024 15:33

Whose Name?

Written by
in Poetry
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Whose Name?

Whose Name?

by Mike Jenkins 

Whose name on the bomb?
Is it yours or is it mine?
Is it the men & women on the lines?
The factory owner or the shareholder?

Is it that genial politician we voted for?
Or the one who only cares for his own future?
Is it the madman calls himself a ruler?
The pilot, tank commander, drone controller
With their coordinates & radar?

Is it the trader , the dealer ,
The captain of the ship which carries it?
Is it the people who cheer,
Or the reporter who fails to trace it back?

Is it the names of everyone who let it happen?
A bomb the size of our planet.

*

Mike Jenkins writes:

This is one of the poems in For Gaza, a new collection of poems. "How can you write about an atrocity of such enormity?" some ask about the genocide in Gaza since last October. To which I'd reply - " How can I not write about it?"

It has consumed my waking ( and dreaming) thoughts and visions since Israel began its merciless assault on the people of Gaza. When I have found most of the mainstream media appallingly biased and ready and willing to go along with the Israeli government line, we sought out Al Jazeera, the only channel with reporters on the ground , many of whom paid for the truth they told with their lives.

I have been here before and wrote several poems about Palestine for my book Nobody's Subject over a decade ago. I have marched for Palestinian freedom for many years and especially recall the time thousands of us marched towards the Cardiff City stadium when Wales were playing Israel in a Euro qualifier. I stood with protesters as both family and friends passed by on the way to the game and I stood alone outside afterwards listening for sounds of us scoring. For a member of Y Wal Goch, this was hard. But the constant suffering of those people of Gaza, the daily tales of utter brutality by the IDF fully sanctioned by Western governments leaves my sacrifice looking tiny and trivial.

As with all my work , the oppressed people are at the very centre of my concerns and particularly the boy Mohammed with his kite-making, the poet Mosab Abu Toha and the small girl Hind Rajab trapped in a car and surrounded by Israeli tanks. I also wanted to include poems about other war experiences: the effect of the Troubles on my wife and, from our visit last year to Krakow and Auschwitz, my reactions to the sheer horrors of the past there.

I was very much influenced by reading the great US anti-war poet Brian Turner and his book Phantom Noise. The wars live through us and around us and, if we do not speak out then they will surely suffocate us. For many , the whole myth of the democratic, civilised West has been torn apart by the realisation that our so-called reasonable politicians and commentators could actively condone a modern holocaust. I experienced this on a smaller scale in Northern Ireland, where security services killed civilians with impunity.

I never thought this pamphlet would happen; I had so many knockbacks. But I was looking everywhere except in front of me and I'm wrth fy modd (as we say in Welsh) that For Gaza is a Red Poets publication. It is available from Mwnci Coch / Red Monkey on Facebook, or directly from Mike Jenkins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All proceeds go to Medical Aid for Palestine.

Read 372 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 June 2024 15:57
Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins is an award-winning Welsh poet and author and unofficial poet for Cardiff City FC. His new book of political poetry, Nobody's Subject, is published in Summer 2016.

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