Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Saturday, 10 January 2015


The terrible events in and around Paris over the last few days cannot fail to have saddened all but the most callous observer. We in the peaceful Channel Islands, with our proximity to and cultural links with France, were perhaps more shocked than others in Britain and Europe who have already been exposed to terrorist outrages in their cities. As someone with first-hand  experience of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, however, I am well aware of the inhumanity that man can visit on his fellow man but this knowledge has not desensitised me to it, in fact, rather the opposite. 
The following poem was written as a response to the horrors of the last few days.   

(Paris, January 2015)

Ice petals on the blackthorn bow,
in twilight, masquerade as white
but it will never blossom now.
The world is slipping into night.
Weep for the last-extinguished light.

For generations to be born
into a world without birth-right,
for darkness, fast approaching, mourn.
Weep for the last-extinguished light.

Grieve for the final, breaking wave
that slips away, the bird in flight
that falls to earth, the hungry grave.
The world is slipping into night.

Tears in the grey, relentless rain
resemble signatures we write
on farewell notes imbued with pain
Weep for the last-extinguished light.

Lament the sharpness of the blade,
the flesh, so vulnerable and slight,
the future plans so rashly made.
The world is slipping into night.

We must stand firm, repudiate
the bullet in its ghastly flight,
the torrent of extremist hate.
The world is slipping into night.
Weep for the last-extinguished light.


  1. This is a superb poem, sadly the issue it addresses affects us all, where ever we live.
    Whilst I abhore what happened in Paris and my sympathies go out to all of those affected by the murder of 17 innocents, I would like to point out that whilst this was happening in Paris, some 2000 people were killed by terrorists in Nigeria and another 30 were killed in Yemen, it would be nice to see the world's media put as much emphasis on these much larger tragedies.

  2. Fair point, John.