Journal For Poetry Challenge# 15/04/2012

Michael Brett

Michael  Brett was born in Accra, Ghana in 1955. He was educated in England at Cranbrook School and the University of Reading, where he read English. He worked in the City of London for over ten years, has a background in financial journalism, and continued to write throughout that period.

During the Civil War in the Former Yugoslavia, Michael worked in the Press Section of the Information Centre of Bosnia-Herzegovina in London, promoting US and NATO military intervention in the Civil War in the Former Yugoslavia. He believed in the ideal of a multi ethnic Bosnian state and that it would stop the widespread massacres of civilians that were taking placing at the time.

He is currently Head of English at a school in South London. More information at Michael Brett

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DEAD MACHINE GUN CREW

The gunners’ green faces are crowned with flies
And their grey arms flung, across the barrel of the gun,
Like drunks around some girls.
They lie sliced like lemon into strands
By holidaying shells and rockets.
They are brothers in arms, in decay, mingled
Next to their brassy, live and gleaming bullets.
You cannot tell which foot, which hand
Goes with which dry and tearless eye
Filled with dust and scraps of leaves.
Around them, tracers lace the upper air.
Raindrops drum on helmets, hearts and broken glass.
Shells plod their way across the street.
Some soldiers looting beers from the shop next door
Spare them no second glance.
For now they are neither friends nor enemies.
They are part of a different army,
Whose drill is stillness, whose bond is silence.
Their new country is the greatest secret.
It is more secret than their map that lies beside them, still,
With its scribbles in red, its lines and times of attack.
The clouds burst. Naked, face uppermost, dead,
Its paper crackles in the rain.

Michael Brett

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The war in Bosnia between Neighbour and Neighbour from 1992/1995 split the people apart. Those who and for years lived amicably alone side each other suddenly, Muslin, Christian, Serb, Croats and Bosniaks all turned on each other.

This Poem again shows how low humans will go in the name of what they see as right. The sad pointlessness of a machine gun who’s crew are dead. It is just a piece of metal rusting in the rain. Draped in dead bodies and slime. It is stilled and no longer dangerous and is so ignored by looting soldiers .

It shows that again nothing is learnt in war. The old, the ill and the young are thrown out of their homes or made virtual prisoners in them. Shells and bullets trying to rip them in two. Starvation gnawing at them, cold nipping at them disease waiting on every corner to claim all, soldiers and civilians alike!

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 16:12:27

    WOW ..this was powerful….
    its hard to push the like button when its so much agony and heartbreak
    but I did like it..it speaks volumns of our war that most think is holy and justified….
    and it makes one think and feel with their hearts
    you did very well here..
    Thank You for sharing….

    Take Care..
    )0(
    ladybluerose

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Apr 15, 2012 @ 16:30:13

      Thank you ladybluerose, you are right we all think our wars are just and right………… how sadly deluded we all are. I am glad you found it good. XX

      Reply

  2. eof737
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 19:08:29

    Powerful poem… and a handsome bloke. 😉

    Reply

  3. granbee
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 22:02:42

    You know, willowdot, reading this post (thank you!) reminded me of the very much older, wiser and sadder face I saw of a member of our U.S. armed forces who was on 2 week leave from the Afghan warfront and came to church yesterday with his wife, a close friend of mine. They have only been married since August and only able to be together a total of about 3.5 months since. She did not recognize the change in him; but he knew that I did, having worked for the U.S. Air Force during theVietnam War and doing RedCross work at the large Air Force Hospital at that base. It seemed to me there were maimed dead bodies shining back at me from the backside of his eyeballs!

    Reply

    • willowdot21
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 22:08:33

      OH! granbee this moves me to tears. The pain and grief that our soldiers, men and women have to suffer is beyond believe the things they see affect them much more then we or them can ever know. I am so sorry to hear his wife had not seen the change in him. I hope that this will not affect their relationship.XXXXXX

      Reply

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