Forbidden Lovers

Unique in their difference
Disparate in their likeness
Legions moved, carried by wing
Opposed to the wingless, walking below


The walking, armed with spear and stone
The flying, with rocks of fire
Ready to send the other home
To rest atop a funeral pyre

The war they fought, never ending
How it started, neither knew
Both sides tarried, never bending
Never remembering why they slew


As is the normal in a war
Something remarkable oft takes place
As killing the other becomes a chore
Slaughtering, never seeing the face


Until one time, a life depended
A woman’s life begins to fade
The man who finds her, hate rescinded
He finds her ‘midst a bloodied glade


Back to health, he heals her wounds
She looks into his soulful eyes
Her heart starts singing loving tunes
She steals a kiss, then off she flies


Now he tries to end the war
Saying they fight for no good reason
They say they’ve heard it all before
And sentence him to death for Treason

She tells her lords to think things over
Asks if they remember why they die
Her questions make them sit up, sober
They see the love inside her eye


A truce is called before the others
They soon find out silence is golden
And now they see forbidden lovers
And to them, their lives beholden

A senseless war cost millions of lives
Fought with sticks and bombs and spears and guns
The deaths of many husbands, wives
Brothers, sisters, daughters sons.


And so a peace reigns through the land
With grateful children, fathers, mothers.
As two walk out, hand in hand
The war was stopped by forbidden lovers.

© A Forbes 2017

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

It is with a very sad heart that I say may Nelson Mandela rest in peace.

He was a man who started to change the world.

A true man of wisdom and courage.

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion”




Nelson Mandela Dead: Icon of Anti-Apartheid Movement Dies at 95

Nelson Mandela dead at 95 –


A Response to the Challenge

In my last post – The Līgo Haībun Challenge – Peace – I created a prose and a haiku based on the experiences in Iraq in 1990 that my cousin told me about when he was in the Gulf at the age of 17. I had a comment from another blogger – Dave Dockery – who was on a hospital during that war. This was his comment:

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. My ship was a hospital ship and I fed many of the hungry Iraq soldiers who surrenderd and some wanted to shake my hand forever and hug me and I read that beautiful poem and I cried just thinking of how people don’t really want war anymore. It is so wrong. I joined the military to get a G.I Bill because my Dad said he couldn’t afford to send me to college to be a graphic artist and that was my dream. In 1988 when I joined it was peacetime and I had no idea that my 4 year enlistment would be so eventful. Not only was I in the war but I was in California for the Rodney King Trial and barely made it home from work that day. It was so sad because I am not prejudice and I understood the anger that many felt. And then there was the earthquake that snapped the bay bridge in half and then soon after I had 3 days to report to my ship. I can’t describe to this day what it’s like to be drawing closer and closer to a battle. I told my kids when they played video games over and over that in life there is no “extra lives” when it’s game over it’s forever! I think we should destroy all weapons on mass destruction. I have not owned a gun since the war and I think a real man is one who can talk his way out of trouble or die trying. I don’t understand those who are pro-war. It’s sickening to me. I got out of the war without a scratch but now because of the pesticides they sprayed, the vaccinations of anthrax they gave me and the smoke from oil fires I am unable to work. Some think I’m lazy, but if you knew me you would know that I would do anything to go back to doing what I love – graphic design. I don’t feel sorry for myself though and I will fight it with all my might.Thank you so much for giving me the courage to do so – it’s people like you that keep me inspired! Can I post your poem on my blog with a link to your site? Love and peace to you and yours. Sincerely, Dave Dockery


The Līgo Haībun Challenge – Peace

Nightlake has invited me to take part in the Līgo Haībun Challenge which for this week is Peace.

I’ve never done one of these before so I do apologise if I get it completely wrong. Nightlake has found a quote:

“Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.” ~ William Hazlittm

The idea is to do a prose and finish it with a haiku and the total should be under 220 words. I’ve not taken part in this challenge before, and I have not written a haiku before. I hope that I don’t go too badly wrong. The photo is myself in 1986.

1988 - Just before going to the Remembrance day Parade

1988 – Just before going to the Remembrance day Parade

This is based on the true story my cousin recounted after coming home from the first gulf war in 1990. Explanation afterwards.

Watching the sandstorm close in
The fear of what may be inside
Heart beats so hard he grits his teeth
He grips his rifle even harder

Tears start to fall in panic
He does not want to do it again
The thought of taking a life
Why can’t they just surrender

He lifts his bandana over his nose
Drops his goggles onto his eyes
Looks through his sights again
He has already lost a friend

The sandstorm is above them
He can barely see anywhere
Now his ears must be his eyes
He listens for something not right

Was that a voice? A shout?
Was it his squad? The enemy?
He tries to stifle his voice
Sounding like an asthma attack

The storm is going away
Ten minutes of almost darkness
Hands are still shaking
Bladder feels like it could burst

A slight relief washes over him
The thought they survived the storm
Now they needed to move
But nature needs to come first

They move slowly over the top
They find a trench not far away
The enemy are all dug in
They see him … and throw down their guns

the gulf war
was supposed to bring peace
it rarely ever does

© Alastair Forbes 2013

My cousin was supposed to be behind allied lines, but somehow found himself on the front line. When they came across some Iraqi soldiers after a sandstorm, they (the Iraqi) immediately threw down their weapons and surrendered so that they could be prisoners and have some decent food.