Above: the Vaulted Sky – John Edward Marks (JEM)

Photo by Amir Kh on Unsplash

4th August 1914

Germany invades Belgium

Great Britain declares war on Germany

Millions die. The roses of Picardy

Bloom red like blood,

The sun shines on. The yellow wheat

Drifts and flows in the summer breezes still.

This quiet landscape will soon explode,

Shot through with the bloody gore of war.

We swore: hands bloody, burnt, raw.

Sweet Christ, what was it all for?

11th November 1918

Jack’s terraced house knocked down, gone

Like the kids he didn’t have:

Women who never wed

Married to the dead instead.

After four years fighting in mud

He was broken, gone.


4th August 1964

Time spread-out like the AIDS

Quilt, of decades later,

A besmirched bloody innocence,

Blooms like cancer cells….

Now only this strange music

Echoes of boots clumping

Through the bloody mud.

3rd August, 2014

Daesh launch a genocidal attack

Against the peaceful Ezedi people.

Thousands are murdered or enslaved

For remaining loyal to Tawûsê Melek,

The wisest of the peacock-angels,

And refusing to convert.


Fear grips her heart

The heart of a prisoner

As evening approaches

Her blind-fold slips.


She begins to shake

Another rape.


She remembers Mount Sinjar

And the wicked Salafists

Mocking the life-giving sun.

Now so many Ezedi women

Enslaved by the Jihadis’ gun


And still the west does not come.

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