The Art of War

by Gill Nicholson

Dispatched to our recycle bins
the women, children and their plastic bags
to be composted images and bulletins.
 
A naked napalm victim’s peeling skin,
arse-kicking goose-steps and salutes to flags
dispatched to our recycle bins
 
with flattened cities, shrapnelled bodies sinking
into mud, the queues of refugees in rags
to be composted images and bulletins.
 
A hundred severed heads an oligarchy’s whim,
the last remains of sons beneath white slabs
with flower trim, dispatched to our recycle bins
 
and Armageddon in a backpack, hiding
legs, an eye, death to your daughter or your dad
to be composted images and bulletins.
 
There’s buzz enough – devising battles we can’t win.
Our super weaponry’s recycled tragic acts
are caught before dispatching to the bins
to be composted images and bulletins.