Despite my grief, bereavement and my pain,
And how your passing left me so distressed,
Perhaps in passing when you did, dear father,
You were blessed.
And although I miss your ego-less humility,
Now you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil,
You never witnessed the killing that had no connection
You were spared the horrors on the TV screen,
The splintered skull with brains poured out
And Iraqi children discovering there were limbs
They were without.
You were too sensitive, too kind for such a time,
Your keen intelligence never drove you where
Your ambition and "integrity" almost forced you
Not to care.
And driven are those men who authorised
The use of force to deal with Iraq
Who dared to trade its oil in Euros. "Impertinent!
"Weapons of mass destruction." " Sexed up dossiers!"
You never used such hyperbolic terms.
You lived for painting and the garden that you shared
And now another man of simple dignity, like you,
A scientist almost thirty years your junior, has died
Because we do not value the sacrifice of vanity
Nearly forty years ago, dear father, you wrote a play
In which there were no actors playing any dark games.
We children then, perhaps, were sheltered from their cruelties
Geoff Davis © 2003