New York Panorama

Life in Manhattan through the eyes of an Englishman

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Real Time War

I am mesmerized by real-time war.
Real time; there's an expression!
What time is there that isn't real?
Passing us by, it's gone forever,
whatever happens in the fleeting moment.

TV news and press are at a loss.
So much time to fill, and so few facts.
How can such uncertain conflict
yield so little that's sensational;
so many light-news days?

I scour the web for tiny facts.
Little hints of time and place.
Where are those young men now,
living dangerously on unknown ground,
knowing no more than I.
The media hover for the human angle.
The worse the news, the juicier the prospect.
Torment some distraught mother,
hoping for anger or real-time tears
as she dreads the worst.

The spin doctors lie through their teeth.
Playing the world's oldest game.
Of course they're not surprised,
nothing surprises them, the enemy is doomed.
What else did they ever say?

After the event all will be clear.
We knew it would be like that.
Another generation knowing what war is;
but they'll never tell, leaving the next
to find it out again.

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