Saturday, 16 July 2016


The picture is by Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari, and expresses grief over earlier attacks in France in Paris; it is called "Paris Cried". I used this with my poem because it is ordinary people, many of them Muslim, who were caught up in the atrocities in Nice. It is important to say this, because there is a narrative of fear and xenophobia which will be lit by those who want to ferment distrust.

The poem is called "Inheritance", and yet it is about those whose inheritance has been stolen, lives taken away, children who will never grow up. But it is also about a darker side of our genetic inheritance, the potential to destroy in a measured calculated ways, for reasons which have nothing to do with hunger and food, but everything to do with the way our brains, so clever, can also go so wrong.


Darkness over the face of the earth
Mourning now where once was mirth
And joy at fireworks, brightly lit sky
But now a time to weep and cry

The black horse is out, rider stalking
The promenade, bringing grim death
Where once was laughter and talking
Dead lie around, others draw last breath

Children caught up and killed, future days
Stolen lives, scattered and broken toys
Fates snap the thread, people in daze
A time of evil partings, an end to joys

What a wonderful world, proclaims the song
But so scarred by us, so full of wrong

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