Poem by Catherine Lydiate
Admiral General Cutter, not too soon
Have you no shame?
Never been beneath the chamber in your life?
Shut up and watch the news
With its pictures of horror and tragedy
In your desperate eyes I think of those flying over
Close to home.
Yours in the Admiralty; and the studios in Kabul;
And the relentless reports of war-tragedy in Gaza
And in the northern provinces of Syria.
You can see all that through the windows of your old C17.
I say to you
Oh do not fear me.
The streets of Karachi will be full of shots
Taken the night before by your munitions
Checking their dangerous effects.
Never think of those people flying low
From bombships thundering towards your country
Just below the blue sky will be the lights of some bomb on the floor
And the whine of their muffled voices
As they tell another war story to the endless audience
Shows you that you are alone.
Admiral Lord Byng
Can even a Napoleonic blood cell make a treaty?
Old gentlemen surrounded your trenches
Despite your mutiny
Oh Lord I don’t care; but let the English believe they can make you unite.
Please invade your own lands.
For when you are done, it will be you, Lord Byng,
‘I take the rough and the tender;’
(Me too; I’m like you)
Three generations waiting for justice.
My blood race wild with the lust
For your war.
Three generations hoping that you learn how to kill.
For, like you, I am a father
Three generations watching your stories.
A bloody codpiece on your head is my greatest gift.
Over there, where the water is boiling
One of the children will just die
This is where a thousand children will die.
Three generations waited together
When you were armed in your brolly.