Monday, 26 November 2012

Poem: Plantations


Would these placards 
bend so feebly in febrile hands
if the song of Gaza 
was a chant of "Tiocfaidh Ár Lá"?
If the rockets Hamas fired
landed in Brum pubs 
     or Shankill shoppers' streets?
When Sands was starved
or the blood ran down Derry's Walls
did these opportunists goose-jerk
their English knees in protest?

Not that some of us remember.
Irish names, Irish blood,
Irish bombs and bullets
ballot boxes, Bogside battles
     between saints and scholars

seem and smell not the same to you

Not the same struggle you see
here in a Holy Land. On television.

It was too hard
for your heart to turn
to see any truth in your own tin pot
troops taking casualties
Shoot to kill, shoot on sight
all slid by when it was
for your protection.
'Sniper at work here'
the sign warned in a sunny 
section of Ulster's pleasant 
Orange and Green land.
You were shocked
because the sign was a warning for you
     who doesn't even know what 
     a Philistine really is.

One man's freedom fighter
is another's terrorist,
whether on rainy sod or desert road,
crowded camp or green lane.
If you choose to choose sides
then you have to take your share
of the burden of blood.

How does the heft of a rifle feel
in your hand?
Care to carry one home?

Pacifists praying for peace in these plantations.
Failing to see 
conscience creeping out of a killer's eyes.
Swords only have double edges
when the devil doesn't live next door.


Copyright Zack D. Wilson 2012.

Zack Wilson's  debut novel 'Stumbles and Half Slips'  is out, from Epic Rites Press. Also available from

No comments:

Post a Comment