Iraq Occupation Focus logo US troops face Iraqi demonstrators in Baghdad, July 2003
Iraq Occupation Focus : Campaigning to end the occupation of Iraq
2004 competition
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Iraq Occupation Focus
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2004 competition: Highly commended (2 of 11)

A dream of war

If the red slayer thinks that he kills...

Two partisans about to die
suck on dry rags
and call for water
more bullets for their store

And if the victim thinks that he is slain...

To the north
Ganesh dances carefully
swinging his dusty blue trunk
above a child.
lucky beginning

they are mistaken...

To the south
two policemen
in best community manner
casually distribute letters and pleasantries,
as if to say
“Why not turn your muzzles to your mouths
save us the time and trouble?”

for the eternal in man cannot die...

But they have earned their choice of death
out of a lifetime’s oppression
and in this film that changed into a dream
they wait out their last few minutes
bounded by unforgiving grey walls, litter
broken glass, and outside, to the north,
the elephant headed one,
to the south, the emissaries of their death.

The spirit of Christ...

Just now, they’re sails becalmed, swinging, useless.
Waiting for the onslaught of noise
that gives them point and purpose,
turns on their power.

The heart bursting of the mothers son
their enemy, this strange love,
rod to rod until they feel the numb red comfort of nemesis
thudding into their flesh
to wake them from the dream of life.

...will never move us

It all began a while ago,
in dusty, endemic, common callousness
played day by day, the way it always does. fight and war against any man with outward weapons...

Richard Lawson