Poem of the week by Catherine Lydiate

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…

Poem of the week by Catherine Lydiate

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.

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