Business Meeting
Saturday, 25 May 2024 05:26

Business Meeting

Published in Poetry

Business Meeting

October 2023

by Edward Mackinnon

The blood-red carpet's been rolled out again
for the salesman with formidable arms
and a mouth like the barrel of a gun
who knows only too well the source of all terror
in the depths of his atrophied heart

His government will wait a hundred years
before getting to the bottom of the latest blast
but it's losing patience with two million outcasts
who aren't fleeing fast enough from the white fire
of his demanding clients, the chosen ones

He exudes omnipotence, has aircraft carriers
on standby and other powerful weapons, informers
giving reassurance to the doubtful world

but nevertheless he can't help worrying
whether he's striking the right pose, not suffering
collateral damage to his unimpeachable name

and whether there might be a chink in his armour
through which could pass the winning light
of the bereaved fighters for unflinching truth

Gaza burns
Saturday, 25 May 2024 05:26

Eyeless

Published in Poetry

Eyeless

by Ruth Aylett

They bombed other people’s houses
in Gaza, fish-in-a-barrel
so we sold them some more bombs

agreed that those others
were terrorists
so the world was probably
better off without them
agreed that the planes
had done everything possible
to avoid civilian casualties
and sold them some more bombs

agreed that they had every right
to defend themselves against
fish in barrels
who after all were terrorists,
had only themselves to blame
and we sold them some more bombs

But answer me this
what life must you have lived
to be a terrorist aged eight
or an elderly woman terrorist
aged sixty or a doctor
in the clinic that must have been
hiding terrorists
or they wouldn’t have bombed it
would they?

and tell me how fish in a barrel
can swim away when the bombs fall

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