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“In the hospitality of war we left them their dead to remember us by” – Archilochus

your black-booted heart

corrupts humanity

heavy artillery hides

in your pockets

along with dead dreams

and scalps

your camouflaged face

betrays intentions

destruction is your friend

secreted behind false

promises smoke

and flames

your khaki-green soul

thrives on fear

singed skin and blood

ambush and execution your

twin companions move

you forward

left behind lost potential

lost laughter lost souls

the silence of lampshades


Kriss Nichol’s poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines and anthologies. She has published three poetry pamphlets, The Language of Crows 2012, Between Lands 2013 and A Suggestion of Bones 2017, as well as two novels, In Desolate Corners Shadows Crouch 2012 and Monsoons and Marigolds 2017. Her last book, a sequence of haibun, Ancient Anchors, that tells the story of the Earth from the Big Bang to modern day is available from Amazon. She is currently engaged in writing a piece of creative non-fiction that links the effects of coal mining from her childhood roots to the world views of indigenous populations.

To read more about Kriss Nichol, visit her Facebook page

The image of the soldier is by 8089514 on


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