Introduction to War poems


From mid -March to April 2003, I wrote a poem a day (instead of watching or listening to any media about the war beginning in Iraq). And from this beginning I started reading and writing about war, all wars and violence, about phenomena I have no direct experience of, and find, if not inexplicable, very weird. I had already written about the death of my Great Uncle in WW1 and battle sites I had visited from Hastings to My Lae.

I write poems these to investigate, highlight and confront war and violence (from a position of safety) at a time when spending on arms and defence is at historically high levels and more growth is predicted.


Father’s Day is being advertised

. . . listening to Michael Nyman on the BBC’s Hear and Now discussing War Work- 8 songs with film of shell shock . . . post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a huge problem a century later – and what of civilians, and what of Aleppo?

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Views from above, balloons, planes, art

Views from above, balloons, planes, art Balloons The historian serving the King of France, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier enjoyed ballooning and began to experiment with a mix of hydrogen and hot-air he discovered posthumously that hydrogen gas is explosive. He was the first person to die in a balloon. From the telescope (Galileo and the […]

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Don’t Mention the War, March 2003

War is an artist, a writer
a concatenation of stories – dramatic, pitiful, exciting,
dedicated to death. So I listen to the sea’s wash.

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Poets Against the War (in Iraq)

Poets Against the War On March 5th, 2003 governments all around the world received a copy of the largest anthology of poetry ever compiled. Over 10,000 poems were collected from poets around the world, opposed to the war on Iraq. Australian Poets Against War presented the Prime Minister Mr Howard with poems for peace by […]

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I am continually aware that this country is at war in Afghanistan, that young men and women are fighting a ridiculous war, as all wars are, but this one never had an end as a possibility givne teh history of this area. I was in Kabul when the first Soviet troop entered the country and the city was placed under curfew and that was the start of a bloody war which I followed on the news. And here we are in 2013 with violence permeating the planet:


War and conflict                        (as of NOW;

Asia                 15 countries and 101 armed conflicts

Africa               24 countries and 115 conflicts

Europe              8 countries and 61conflicts

Middle East       8 countries and 94 conflicts

Americas           5 countries and 25 conflicts.