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Image courtesy of vlaaitje,


Stepping into the garden before supper

I was taken with its beauty: swooping

swags of purple buddleia, ungainly

stems of crimson potentilla, each flat

red flower like a cherry rose or avens.

I only went for the washing. Children

later on the evening screen were killed

or maimed or orphaned into refugees,

unending casualties in endless war,

though twice we thought the war was over.

In ’45 and ’75 I thought

the war was over. Children in those wars

were orphaned wounded killed but not as tools

or instruments or soldiers. Am I wrong?

Break the poem open if I’m wrong. Though

some soothe us the world improves, tell me,

if you can, I’m wrong.

The world has turned

towards another summer storm. Children

now are used as instruments of war. Lest

beauty says forget let me remember.

Image courtesy of ArtTower at


This is the century of death by fire from the sky.

Though it is often of starvation children die,

they might all live if it were not for rockets,

bombs and belief in selling them for profit.

Janet Dubé was born in London in 1941, trained and worked as a schoolteacher in England, lived and worked in rural west Wales for nearly 40 years, and moved to Peebles, Scotland in 2013 for family reasons.

She has three children and four grandchildren. She has published poems in magazines, anthologies and slim volumes.


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