This was written as an reflection on the people who died when a surface-to-air missile fired from a rebel-held area of Ukraine brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The Fallen Sky
How can we count the cost, one by one,
Of lives lost in an instant from one gun?
Fired in haste, so many lives were lost,
And now the mourners count the cost,
Of the rocket sent by fighting men;
And explosions came, a dread amen;
Such petty games of life and death,
And now the world will hold its breath;
The plane destroyed, and fell to earth:
All that conflict, was it really worth
The suffering caused? And in the sky,
Fragments fall, the innocent pay a price;
No conflict is worth this. Let it suffice
To teach a lesson, and bring forth shame,
For those who battle like a game;
Oh, they are so proud, so firm, so strong,
Or so they think. But they did wrong,
And all the right cause of their belief,
Will never, never, expunge that grief,
Of those who mourn, and those who weep,
And lay flowers, light candles, vigils keep;
There is the real strength, not in display
Of posturing and power. And one day,
There will come justice, for those who cry,
And reckoning to those who caused to die;
Some bodies found in sunflower fields:
Oh what red harvest this now yields;
White flags blowing where dead lay:
The living turned to lifeless clay;
But some still missing, some still lost,
And here is the final, dreadful, cost,
As names are all we have. A roll call
Of the dead. No bearers of this pall.
Empty coffins processing down the nave:
For men, women, children, an empty grave,
Gone, lost for good, they are not there,
But carried in the wind on prayer.
The commercial imperative. - Things are now slowing down notably in the field. My greenhouse staging is full of stuff not quite ready to go out - broad beans, peas , celery and wi...
7 hours ago