Tuesday, February 2, 2021

brought back home in body bags!

                                                                                    Author:User: W.wolny
Image: Fallen Newsman - Hiding but not Hidden (here)

staccato bursts of gunfire
intimidating to those in the vicinity
and bombs in the distance
frightening to those under siege
melodious to the marauders
embedded with a detachment
seeing action before his own eyes

the newsman and photographer
unarmed, untrained, unseen 
unaccounted for when fallen
but who could only sigh and hope
that the next sniper’s target
would not have him at the crosshairs

as did some of his colleagues
who had been there earlier
unfortunate enough to be seen
and later picked up still in camouflage
but wet, bathed red with his own blood
unsung, unknown, unidentified 
but just another to add to the growing number
forgotten victims of human conflict
who were not supposed to be there
they who dared to be in the front
just so for the benefit of those
back home sitting sipping coffee
comfortably in front of the idiot box

waiting eagerly for the latest
from those with pads or cameras
whose numbers are increasingly
brought back home in body bags!

when civilian casualties
are the prize called for and termed
as collateral damage
by the powerful and the price
to pay for as a consequence of
human conflict it reflects
the intensity of intentions the
insensitivity of emotions and
sadly the failure of conscience
of humanity

Bjorn at d'Verse Poetics - war poetry


  1. Strong Hank, very powerful write!

  2. You went in a different direction, paying tribute / remembering all of the fallen who were not in combat but reporting it. Idiot box is perfect.

  3. The pain and ugliness of war and death seen through a journalist/photographer's eyes. Wonderful poem!

  4. The best has already been said, so I'd just say I really loved this take. Very powerful.

  5. The witnesses are so important, and give their lives too.

  6. You have captured the pain, the angst and horror of war so well here, Hank!

  7. I really love the perspective of those war-reporters who are increasingly being the victims of war and murders... it seems to happen all over the world... telling the stories we crave has become part of every conflict. But truth is the first causality of war

  8. War is ugly and hurts all it touches. Those brave souls, the journalists, are our eyes, ears, and feet on the ground, our witnesses, like Kerfe said. The enemies probably take them out whenever they can. Just like medical personnel. You've written a powerful poem here.

  9. They see things in a new light in such areas and all on the idiot box await it.

  10. yes, they too die and are traumatised by what they witnessed ...

  11. The movement and juxtaposition of words in this is powerful to me....for example, in the first stanza, the staccato, the bombs to melodious for marauders (and good alliteration there too!). And then the reporters on the front lines and what they see to, at the end of the poem, the people sitting sipping coffee in front of "idiot" boxes. The word "idiot" is choice....idiots for being in, causing, and going to war....idiots for lapping it up and wanting to see it in the news. Just an added note: I've always hated the word "casualties" when describing the numbers who DIED in war. Casualties makes it softer, also strips away its gravity.

    1. Lillian, Ma'am, this is terrific! You are one of a rare kind, giving your all in your comments! You picked even those Hank had not even thought of. Appreciate it!