The endless horrors coming out of Aleppo and South Sudan, the inversion of humanity that is ISIS make the Christmas preparations ring hollow sometimes. And when it wasn’t this, it was Eritrea, it was Rwanda, it was Bosnia…and before that, Cambodia, Bangladesh…and before that, the darkness of the 1930s. And back, and back…slavery, colonialism, Inquisition, Crusades, tribal conflict.

I’m normally a highly optimistic person ( I’m aware not all my poetry conveys that! Poetry  is shaded and nuanced, unless it’s a Limerick or a trite piece of shite…note the mini rhyme) but in my four decades the dark dirge of history has played out too many times. Take out the dates and locations and today’s news broadcasts could be those of the 90s, the 70s or the 30s.

So basically I’m with Yeats on the following:


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