Socialist Worker

Michael Rosen: Three Songs of the Dead

Issue No. 1960

The bombed bus

The bombed bus


From Iraq

We have no mouths
We evaporated
You don’t see the holes in the ground where we were put
We are the unfound
We are uncounted
You don’t see the homes we made
We’re not even the small print or the bit in brackets.
You see less of us than you see of the dust
You see less of us than you see of the wind
Because we were somewhere else,
because we lived far from you,
because our minutes, hours, days and years did not last as long as yours,
because you have cameras that point the other way,
because you talk about other people…
…Of that moment when we went
you can’t even say you missed it.

Dear New Labour

If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.
You can call them what you like
You can tell us that our cause is noble
You can tell us that they’re evil and we are good
But the rule remains:
If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.
You can tell us that you’ve flushed out the troublemakers
You can tell us that you’ve neutralised the flashpoints
You can tell us that you’ve sown the seeds of the future
But the rule remains:
If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.

From the three trains and the 30 bus

Thank you so much for lying
when we asked you why.
Thank you so much for not listening
when we said, don’t go.
Thank you so much for ignoring us
when we said, don’t shoot.
Thank you so much for carrying on
when we said, get out.
Thank you so much for taking no notice
when we said, this’ll make things worse.
Thank you so much for making it impossible
for us to go on saying thank you.

© Michael Rosen

A peace flag

A peace flag


A child wounded in Iraq

A child wounded in Iraq



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Article information

Features
Sat 16 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1960
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