wordsout by godfrey rust

Screwed up HATE


When all this trouble started
I wrote a poem about you, Beirut
It took me a very long time.
It was done with the utmost sensitivity. 

You weren't grateful.
Politicians on all sides denounced it.
Militias ignored it.
Despite the support of many Western governments
the poem never had a chance.
Olive-skinned fanatics
with immaculate moustaches
told American newscasts
they would never recognise the poem
and all the time
plotted its annihilation. 

When I finally got through to the poem
I could hardly recognise it myself.
Not a stanza was intact.
Shelling had been especially heavy
around the adjectives.
The bloody words just lay there
pleading for their pathetic lives. 

It was over in seconds. 
I hit the wastebin
without a ricochet.

Godfrey Rust 1985, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.