Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Fools rush in

Move him into the sun —

Gently its touch awoke him once,

At home, whispering of fields unsown…

I sat in the sun to drink my tea this morning, listening to birdsong and the sound of children playing on their way to school. I’m back in the desert oasis of Broken Hill, where the almond tree has blossomed and the tomatoes, broccoli and sugar peas are all sprouting thanks to a welcome burst of late winter sunshine. It’s good to be home, if only for a few weeks.

But the winds of war are blowing. News reports on the radio speak of the growing likelihood of military intervention in Syria; Barack Obama is garnering support for military action and last night the British parliament narrowly voted against intervention. They’re planning another vote once the UN weapons inspectors submit their report.

Hold on. Why is anyone voting on anything before the weapons inspectors have finished their job? Have we learnt nothing from recent history?

We rushed into Iraq believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was in a position to launch an attack on London within 20 minutes. It was wrong, on every level.

I can’t help thinking that people in Syria are threatened as much by the growing civil war as they are by the prospect of military intervention. Millions are fleeing to seek refuge in neighboring Lebanon, and no wonder; the main casualties in any war are always civilians.

Always it woke him, even in France,

Until this morning and this snow.

If anything might rouse him now

The kind old sun will know.


Think how it wakes the seeds —

Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.

Are limbs so dear-achieved, are sides

Full-nerved, — still warm, — too hard to stir?

Was it for this the clay grew tall?

— O what made fatuous sunbeams toil

To break earth’s sleep at all?

Wilfred Owen


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


11 comments on “Fools rush in

  1. monsoonwendy
    August 30, 2013

    Ah Deb. Thank you. I think our politicians need to become more familiar with Owen, Sassoon and those other WW1 poets. A poignant, powerful post. Again, thank you.


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      August 30, 2013

      Couldn’t agree more. Those poets were writing from experience and our politicians sit in comfort when they make their far-reaching decisions


  2. Helen Devries
    August 30, 2013

    I think that our politicians, voting for war, should be sent to the front themselves together with their children.


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      August 30, 2013

      I agree with you Helen, anyone voting for war should be prepared to go to the front and fight. Not sure that children should have to bear the sins of their parents though!


      • Helen Devries
        August 30, 2013

        It might make the filth think twice if their own children were to be involved as opposed to the children of the poor.


  3. debhuntinbrokenhill
    August 30, 2013

    Good point


  4. wendylockyer
    August 30, 2013

    Powerful and thought provoking post Deb.


  5. rubytheblacklabrador
    August 30, 2013

    Nicely put – As we saw in France today the general community have little appetite for getting involved…again


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      August 31, 2013

      Thanks Ruby, I think the average person on the street is urging caution, hope you are having a good time in France?


      • rubytheblacklabrador
        August 31, 2013

        No – I’m in Sydney (having a good time though) but read the world papers every day!


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This entry was posted on August 29, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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