peace and freedom verses
Bring me my jets of burning gold,
for whom the bells ring
It would ring the bells of heaven
that have not rung for years
If nations lost their powers
and people came to theirs
And everyone together
Rose up with fearful prayers
for wild and blinkered war-men
and maddened Bulls and Bears
and wretched bogey newsmen
and the mad, marching hares.
written on a journey in Britain
After a meeting describing the bunkers for important people built in the Grampians, Scotland - but none for the rest of the people.
Batten down this earth and its trees
before the hurricane
Cover the farms and the forests,
net over the streams,
Butterflies and insects,
shield - how? from this flame.
But none of these
is in a bunkering scheme.
Bury the books deep,
make cellars for your heritage.
Is there a deepfreeze
you can bank grandchildren in?
Dustcovers for democracy -
a military entourage
will come to take the scenery,
when the war begins.
(And must all countries bear that wrath?
And must this landscape die?
What flesh can barricade their path,
What blood unspilled can cry?)
Beyond the screens of lies and smoke I see
One Fate still spins a spider thread -
that it need not be.
facing the mirror
Humankind that cannot bear
very much reality
is unaware of our duality
with enemies we share
the evil that we see
only in the foe we know
the mirror to our greed
the glass to our fear, the seeds that we sow.
We cannot see it near and close
but over there, we know.
And name the evil - in our foe.
Napalm, napalm burning bright
In the forests of the night
How can mortal hand or eye
Dare frame this fearful way to die?
What the factory, what the frame,
In what enterprise thy name?
What the profits that were sought,
Named in the company's report?
What workman dare to take his part
To pour that poison in your heart?
By whom the formula complete?
Whose the carrier, whose the fleet?
On what distant mouths or eyes
Burns this outrage from the skies?
Whose the hands that dare desire
To touch that key and drop that fire?
Stars throw down their lightning spears
to quench those deserts with new tears.
Now does He smile when this He sees,
That what He made,
should now make these?
The Vietnam War
( Tune" All that I've got is a troubled mind')
Dress me in khaki
wave from the shore
I'm leaving you fellows
I'm sent to the war.
Don't promise me glory
That meaning's unsure
It's kept for the dead when
They're sent to the war.
Don't promise me freedom
There's none any more.
It's not for a fellow
That's sent to the war.
Don't promise me love
It's not worth a straw
There's none of it lasts when
We're sent to the war.
Don't promise me Country,
Peace, Justice or Law,
You've sent them upriver
And me to the war.
Just bundle all up
that you've valued before,
It won't need a label
Just send to the war.
Tomorrow it's your turn
You'll cry and implore,
Then remember all us folk
You sent to the war.
Devil and Us
Devil and us is having a fight -
Devil is wrong and we are right-
Right don't know which way to turn-
Got to fight on the Devil's terms-
! If the right should want to win-
Got to fight gainst sin with sin-
Fighting the devil you can't stay true- Glory hallelujah!
Devil's feeling mighty gay-
Devil's winning either way-
(following a UK news-item about reduced budgets for missiles)
Five little Tridents for a nuclear war.
One dropped from the estimates
and then there were four.
Four little Tridents launched into the sea
One wasn't fail-safe,
and then there were three.
Three little Tridents sailing in the blue,
One had an accident,
and then there were two.
Two little Tridents hiding from the sun,
One failed its logistics,
and then there was one.
One little Trident sitting like a bunny
A satellite had know-how, and
Pop goes all our money.
If you put £7.5 billion into four baskets,
don't expect chickens.
Children play and shout
"Bang Bang you're dead!"
Behind the fence
"O God," his mother said.
Adults play and shout
Their TV blood is red
Its drama news tonight,
"O God" a mother said.
Generals play and shout.
Move missiles up ahead.
Bomb what? Those towns below.
"O God," five million said.
Devils play and shout
Their dice has rolled ahead
and blows apart.
"O world," God said.
Star Wars Star Peace
At the last moment the missiles
Saw the trees in the field
And the wild things that run
In the woods and the streams,
From the ricks and the barns,
The town roofs and the weather vanes,
Faces on people in the streets,
And history that had lain
Six thousand years.
They were poised, hung above this
It was a theatre, a war theatre.
The scenario of the sky
was black around it.
Within the sky shone, white,
Those stars already dead.
See the dragon clanking towards the abyss.
The children cheer,
For their nursery stories
Are full of dragons.
Its scales are of gold, of bronze,
And of plutonium.
Its eyes are blind. It has breath that kills.
Each joint is articulated to move with
And to move its whole social carcase.
It has a belly like a sex-shop,
It has a voice like a howling mob.
In its stomach
Are three million undigested unemployed.
Scattered behind like memorials
Lie its stone eggs.
Britannia holds her Trident and laughs.
A horrified voice calls,
"St. George of Merrie England!"
For a dead demonstrator - Nance Walsh SOS
She walked among the good and bad
in tidy coat and shoes
a placard in her tired hand
which never made the news.
She asked the cause and not the use
to join the patient queues.
There was not any scarlet splash
although heart's blood is red,
No barricades, no headline clash,
No body-count of dead,
No photos framed, life-stories sold,
No panegyric said.
When liberty still has a price
to all this may be said,
some pay it with a traitor's flags,
some with their blood's red.
A housewife paid a quiet way;
She walked, and is dead.
Friends, you will break your hearts to build.
Its easier to smash,
to kill the evil with the good,
bring all down in the crash.
Sodom you may condemn,
without its ten just men.
This land, with its good and bad,
The bird is in the egg,
while the bomb is in the shell,
the child is in the womb,
the souls are in hell.
Fresh blows the breeze over new ruins.
Flowers with the weeds
are in the seeds in the cracks
that brought down these empires.
Take away the syringe from the brain,
gun from the head,
horror from the eye of the children,
soot without the fire,
pitch without the road,
offer no god's flesh
when the communion is dead.
Tell the young children
the bomb is in the egg,
the bird is explosive,
that the infant is monstrous,
the man born raging.
that cities lie vacant,
winds carry the plague.
In the cracks waits a hope,
waiting for a movement of will.
Turning from that screen,
from the images, from the wall,
let your small hands, as the tendrils,
reach for the sun.
Listen within you,
there's silence, there's music,
Look now. Life's done. and again begun.
matriotism - love of all my countries
This is the land I was born in, grey-leafed and grand,
These are my sunny skies over the red sand,
and the canyons dropping down from the strewn plain.
I love this land where the dust swirls in the rain.
This is the land that I lived in, hills with green leas,
among islands interlaced with the deep seas,
I would live and die for my country of summer trees.
This is the land I have come from, with spice in the street,
and singing with drums where the rivers meet,
my pulse beats with them, and the rhythms sway
to a northern marsh where only the reed pipes play.
These are the great cities that gave the earth light,
These are the lands that are my birth-right,
This is my earth, and yours, it is rich it is dear.
God of our fathers in the past
Far-called our bombers melt away,
For heathen heart that puts her trust
Earth cannot pay our awful price,