An earlier version of this poem was published in the online magazine I am not a silent poet (edited by the late Reuben Woolley) in 2015.
The wind stands fair for France. Look,
here’s a troop ship, battle-grey.
filled with cattle: young bulls trained to charge.
Here’s some barbed wire for the Boers
in a British concentration camp.
Here are the genes for violent rage.
Here is a culture to switch on their expression.
We handed out paper to mop up the blood.
It dries to poetry: take it to heart.
Here’s the vote for those who have survived.
Here is your hidden hate. Wear these blinkers,
these polarising lenses, to see the world
in black and white. We export
the other lenses to our enemies
so they see us in white and black.
The Nobel Peace Prize is exploding.
Here is the Physics Prize for war:
here a neutral engineer is working
in a factory. Here are arms shipments.
Look! Our economy is growing.