Bangers, jumping jacks, aerial bombshells,
Fire crackers, starbursts, sky rocket maroons.
Most human beings are fascinated
By loud celebratory explosions.
There is no getting past the oohs and ahhs,
Colourful bangs and thunder filled flashes,
We take children to thrill at the crashes,
New Year’s Eve, Bonfire night, party bashes.
In Preseli hills silence is broken
Hunters with shotguns shoot game for their pots,
Across Atlantic they shoot Ocelots,
Wherever they’re fired guns all sound the same.
Balaclava, The Somme, London’s East End,
Stalingrad, Fallujah, Hiroshima,
Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, Yemen,
Ordnance factories build weapons year round.
Atrocities happen over again
We close our eyes to harbingers of pain,
Stay silent as carriages roll through rain,
We pile high bodies, numbers are insane.
Talks break down, watch us start another war,
Another failure of diplomacy,
Clear another giant burial ground,
Compose another solemn requiem.
This year’s war, next year’s blockbuster movie,
Next generational PTSD,
Stiff upper lips never talking to me,
Medallions clink, shiny history.
Peel away thin civilisation skin
Reveal true barbarism, stark, within.
Whilst ever we reach for bombs and guns
Our species can’t claim to be civilised.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom 10th December 2022