16 February 2011



Poppies red as blood spatter the sun baked Afghan hills like the stained tunics of Flanders fields. The heavy headed opium sleep of death visits misplaced youth camouflaged for martyrdom in this barren foreign quarter. Fat generals and zealous mullahs sprinkle cardinal petals over the recumbent forms of collateral flesh while they intone a mordant litany of necessity and sacrifice. Tears stain the ground where mother’s sons and daughters shed their last full measure in the cause of freedom. They are confined now in the cool earth, the consecrated champions of a grateful nation. The placebo of patriotism will not heal the pain, nor dry a mother’s tears. The harvest of poppies is acrid, black and bitter.