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Iraq Occupation Focus : Campaigning to end the occupation of Iraq
2004 competition
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Poetry
 
2004 competition: Third prize winner (4 of 4)
 

A wood in Somerset, Iraq

Stone still in opalescent air
trees wait supportively.

Light splinters on new leaves.

Sun for the seventh day
blesses an English spring.

Two thousand lives away
this anticyclone fires up a storm
that drowns a nightmare world
in ochre light.

The peace I feel
leaning against the powerful fist
that grips the earth, cushioned with moss,
back shaped, kind as an elephant,

finds its reflection in a furious world
of men who sleep walk,
fall on their mother’s skin,
give screaming fire,
act and react,
but cannot take it in.

While birdsong fills my head,
sharp as the sunlight
sparking on those tiny points of green.

One hammer headed woodpecker,
knowing no better and no worse,
fires off his rounds.

I should be suffering,
but the world is folded at my side,
its front page images of death
have left off stirring
in this gentle air.


Richard Lawson