Operation Desert Rose

The desert longs for cooling showers

On centuries of distant drought

Overlooked in ignorance,

Silent in hostility, angered by the envy

That covets an underground well.


Yet anguished tears are all we offer

Dropping salt into the Dead Sea's bitterness

Evaporating in the progress of modernity

While steeled motors belch destructive gas

As the plough rusts and the sword glistens.


But the minute of a daily prayer

Presents a plea for Marah's waters to be sweetened

And its people reconciled in a concentrated world

That loves a Flanders poppy

And the bloom of a desert rose.


6 June 2004

60 years D-day celebration, when St Mary Cray focused the morning meeting on Operation Desert Rose.