Watching The News written by Rick Howe at

Watching The News

Watching The News

written by: Rick Howe


Watching the news
Watching the news anchors
with their
solemn            dispassionate

Hearing the disclaimer

‘Warning, this report  
contains images
of the aftermath

of a chemical attack
a bombing

Of a massacre’



by            rote
for the fourth time this hour

And then the repeated report


by a correspondent out in the field

dust on their flak jacket
their face

‘PRESS’ marked in white on blue helmet
like some futile ward 
against bullets, shrapnel


Camera operator crawling at ground level
down amongst the limbs
and bile

to drive home the impact

But not too much

Images are frozen, blurred 
before any reality too grotesque
is presented obscenely

on our HD LCD wide-screen 4K TV’s

Four times removed 
from the wrecked bodies
we watch all this

dinner plates on knees

sipping wines

drinking beer, whisky

Coffee, tea

eating breakfast


Despairing gently

how awful

makes you sick

As a limp child is pulled from rubble
as mute shocked people stand staring
as human beings convulse in burns 
in targeted hospitals

all captured for posterity
and renamed 

‘stock footage’

Then the news moves on
to impotent institutions
where statesmen pontificate in vetoed meetings
at huge expense for a conclusion of cynical impasse

As distantly the sharks still froth blood over their kills

And we, in our guilty helplessness
maybe throw a coin or two towards a charity appeal

Because we are not desensitized

We still feel

As a traumatized child is everyone’s responsibility

And fear and pain is in every human genus

As is love


As still is love


Just watch the news, not so much the content, but the choreographed hollow dance of its presentation…

Rick Howe

Rick Howe

Working from the centre and radiating outwards, Rick's poetry touches on many themes, depression, nature, greed, despair, wry humour and hope.

He hopes to reach as many souls as he can with his work, and maybe bring a little warmth to lives with shared experiences.
Rick Howe

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