Elly McDonald


Cannon-fodder (1984)

Leave a comment

This is warfare

I could get what I want but it would only

Backfire: this is a doomed

And ignoble cause. In victory, defeat

But this

Is a cold and protracted campaign

More casualties (mere carnage)

More self-inflicted damage

This is my Crimea: a wearying, putrid, recurring

Night horror. We play over

The same sequences, we make

The same moves. Too studied, too

Well-practised: the positions are

Entrenched now.

We are buried

In trenches, our consciences deadened

This battle, weighted no way, is fought out in

No Man’s Land. This is an exercise:

We order reprisals for guerilla attacks

In cold blood, turning violence on

Innocent civilians

We use their wide eyes for target practice.

Author: Elly McDonald

Worked in the Australian rock music industry as a journalist and published widely as a poet before moving to London and spending the better part of a decade in advertising agencies. Returned to Australia and tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also briefly as a high school classroom teacher. Has travelled Western Europe, North Africa, Russia, Northern India, East Asia, coastal USA, some Pacific Islands, and Australia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s