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A Thursday in July - A personal reflection by Chris McDonnell


The news gradually filtered through last Thursday of the loss of MH17, blown apart in the sky, high over Eastern Ukraine, carrying 298 passengers. There were no survivors.

Since then recriminations, claim and counter claim, have been made. I will not add to it. Enough to offer the words below, written that Thursday afternoon and on the following Friday morning.

May they rest in the peace of the Lord

(i)     Consequence

                         Scattered in fields
lay the torn and broken memories
of short-lived lives.

Argument and intent
         are questioned
beyond the haze of smoke
as small, spot-fires burn
through a tangled, shattered frame.

        A bag and book thrown clear
remain in soft grass by a pathway,
                         A small oasis
          in a place of utter grief.

(ii)    Late afternoon

This is not a neutral space,
This debris-strewn dark land
open under a vast pitiless sky,
in Passage from West to East
they passed.


An impact moment came.
Serenity was torn to shreds
in violence.

                  Myriad fragments
twisted, burnt-black, formless
                                 fell to earth.    
Irredeemably lost.

It is quiet here now,
just the sound of rain
falling on grassland
in this distant place.

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