Dulce et Decorum Est -19 by Paul Dunne (Lucent Dreaming Issue 8)

Bent double, like the homeless under sacks,
knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed Johnson’s fudge.
Then on the failing beeb we turned our backs,
and, allowing for the distancing we judge,
we march; asleep though, deceived by brutes,
by callous advisors, bloodied, killing lame and weaker kind.
Drunk are we with fatigue; deaf even as data shoots
up Covid deaths, a sharp remind.

Pass! PASS! Quickly there! A frenzied grumbling.
Fitting the clumsy masks just in time,
but someone is still crying out there. It’s humbling
to witness the flaying of the cruellest mime
through dim and misty panes, in ICU light,
as under a blue swathed sea, we watch folk drowning.

In all our dreams they ignore the Covid plight,
leaving the dying to plunge, guttering, choking, drowning

If in some smothering dreams, they too could pace
behind the wagon, late, that took folk in,
and watch white eyes writhing in the face,
the hanging faces, work of politicians, thick with sin.
If they could hear, at every bed, the blood
come gargling from the Covid-corrupted lung,
obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud,
a vile disease, avoidable at every rung ­–
perhaps they would not voice with such high zest
to voters, expectant of some wretched glory,
the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Paul Dunne, now seventy, born Dublin, flourished in a remote Scottish cottage, ripened in urban Liverpool, mushroomed in a dilapidated Priory, matured in Northwest cityscapes, presently mellows in a small Welsh town. Leaving engineering he attained a Sociology degree in his 20s, worked in colleges and schools, disadvantaged communities, the HIV/AIDs field, as chef-patron and secured a master’s in Human-Relations. He has always been on the edge, an observer. His writing, steeped in wide-ranging life and working experiences, alongside an enduring fascination with cultural phenomena, disrupts the comfortable norms of existence to interrogate meaning, exploring themes including subjugation and sexuality.
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Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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