Introduction

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse21 Sep 2016

I was born into a world still reeling from the effects of war. Both my grandfather and father had at one time earned a living killing Germans.
For a child growing up in the 1960s and 70s "THE war" was everywhere, from watching The Great Escape and The Dambusters on TV, to "playing army" in the woods and fields near my house. It is only now, in my fifties, that I have an inkling how difficult that must have been for my father to watch.
This collection of poems is my attempt to come to terms with my war experience - covering the Iraq War for the BBC from 2004-2009. I wanted to explore where that war came from, the effect it had on me, and its place in history. Most are not directly related to Iraq, in the sense that they describe something that happened to me there. But that war looms like a storm cloud over all of them.

It is dedicated to my partner, Inge Schlaile, with love

Patrick Howse
Munich, September 2016