In these dark days

This poem is in response to Peter Bouchier’s comment that we need words of hope of some kind ‘in these dark days’. This week has seen enough shocking, senseless deaths on our European doorstep to make any right-minded human being shout, stop! Whoever is doing it, whyever they are doing it, this is not the way.


Once death reached down from parching summer skies,
Crept into cradles with a spring that came too late,
Strangled with a winter’s grip too hard too long,
Stalked the streets, a pox, a plague, a reason of state.
Death came in many simple forms
Slim blade simple, empty belly or a soldier’s hand
Too little food, a poisoned well, or too much snow
The simple terror of the tyrant in command.
But in these safer democratic days
When science and education shine their healing light
The tyrant is the leader with a poisoned tongue
Who fans the flames and sends men out to fight.
Too quick to heed the words of hatred we refuse
To see the beauty in ourselves, our world and be content
But butcher maim and justify another’s pain
In these dark days of our enlightenment.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “In these dark days”

    1. And we tolerate this violence that is almost psychopathic, because Mr Putin controls the price of gas. As a race, human beings are despicable. The civilised world is Dutch today.

  1. Nice. I often try to put things in perspective, but with the current situation in Ukraine and Gaza I’m a little out of sorts. So many are saying that these are the “end times”, but they probably thought that during the black plague and during WWII.

    1. No, I wouldn’t call these the ‘end times’ either. I think the biblical idea of end times is a handy cop out for accepting responsibility for what we are doing to one another and the planet. The Bible bashers trot out the end of the world regularly, but never as a wake up call to do something to avoid it like stop killing one another and everything else, to share the earth’s resources and stop wantonly wasting them. They just want people to sign up for their ticket for salvation.

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