Read Poem: BACK HOME, Michael Lawrence

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

(Poem for Don McCullin)

Back from the wars, a veteran
of ten thousand images of massacre,
rape, disease, despair, every horror
known to and devised by man dutifully
recorded in every dung-heap, shit-hole,
rat-infested pocket of the world:
the fly-pestered faces of wide-eyed orphans,
naked screaming babes,
gaunt cadavers in shallow graves
uncovered by the rains, soldiers
pirouetting over trenches for posterity,
women in rags, the old, the middle-aged,
the young – some, in these perfect compositions,
as beautiful as fashion models for other cameras,
back home.

Back home,
an old stone house, darkroom down the path,
a different kind of perfect composition:
moody studies of tumbling English skies,
the rain and sun on English oaks, sane,
controlled, serene – yet haunted, scarred,
smeared by all those gritty, grainy years,
the stench of burning flesh,
the empty eyes that never knew tomorrow,
the tortured, the savaged, the sundered;
that other…

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