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Peter sparks

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  1. On Letter from Gaza
    3/5/2009 18:11
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    Cease Fire

    19 January 2009

    The tank commander, aiming well,
    ‘took out’ a ‘hostile’ ground floor flat,
    and all I loved precipit fell
    in pulverised procession. Heart
    pierced by rusty concrete bars,
    child-choking through a jagged cleft,
    fire waxing in my waning stars,
    then silence – now a life, bereft,
    has but its own curtailèd span:
    I watch my sanguinary flow
    through mind detached, apart with them
    and screaming at our fate, and how
    dogmatic faith can love condemn.

    Through eddies of consoling dust,
    Aeolus wafts a polaroid
    (three little grins, entire in trust),
    Out of my reach – until the void.

    21 January 2009

    I’ll take your coat. Ehud will fix a drink.
    How was the flight? Few noticed that you’d slipped away?
    The Washington distraction must have helped.
    So good of you to come and help us celebrate
    Completion of our necessary task to fight
    And crush this evil force. We did appreciate
    Your quiet support, as well as generous supplies
    From BAE. Do please sit here and Tzipi, pass
    The red to Gordon. I’m afraid the view just now
    Is rather badly marred by all the smoke but, as you
    English say, an omelette’s only made by breaking eggs.
    Another joke: this dish, our delicate cuisine,
    Is cooked on phosphorous – so have some more.
    There’s plenty where that comes from – it’s from you.
    How are the children? Yours I mean of course…

    Oh! must you leave so early? We had hoped
    You’d stay and see the fireworks soon re-start.
    No, we quite understand. We know you can’t stay long
    And must stay silent for your public with an even-
    handed air of gravitas. Our thanks, and come again.

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