“Afghanistan’s Sham Army” (Paul Smith)



………………..Afghan war—
………………..from east to west
………………..shadows lengthen





“Afghanistan’s Sham Army” (Information Clearing House)

“Afghanistan: Karzai Rival ‘Withdrew Under US Pressure’” (Information Clearing House)

“These People Just Want To Be Left Alone” (Information Clearing House)

“Gordon Brown Signals Start of Britain’s Afghanistan Exit Strategy” (Telegraph)

“Gordon Brown Says Sorry to Mother in Condolence Letter Row” (Guardian)


This poem was submitted by Paul Smith (see poet biographies). Read more Paul Smith on Haiku News.




  1. Dick Whyte

    One of my favourites Paul. A great poem – there is a great deal of compassion in it for all involved I feel. Hope you like the articles I put up for it.

  2. Paul Smith

    Yes thanks Dick. I had forgotten about this one so it caught me a little unawares. It does seem to offer quite a lot of ‘dreaming room’ (to quote Denis Garrison’s phrase) which can only be a good thing I feel.

  3. Dick Whyte

    Sorry about that – I held it back because we had so many submissions all on news articles that were getting older by the day, and this one never had an article officially attached to it, so I thought I would wait until it died down and then search for a current one (or ones, as it turns out). Yeah – a lot of dreaming room (“ma” in Japanese) which is really good and it is just really non judgmental which I also really like. Great work.

  4. Chen-ou Liu

    “It does seem to offer quite a lot of ‘dreaming room’ (to quote Denis Garrison’s phrase)”

    Yes, I concur!

    I enjoy reading this poem and particularly like the concluding lines, which, oddly enough, remind me of Rudyard Kipling’s “OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

    The opening line tells it all.


  5. Dick Whyte

    Yeah – Paul’s poem seems to be redressing what Kipling says. Kipling sees that there can be no meeting between them (which then causes war). Paul’s poem tries to go beyond this (the shadows cross both east and west, joining them in some kind of union). Interesting…

  6. Janet Lynn Davis

    i found this to be most effective – much said in few words. a poem you want to return to and read again.


  7. Paul Smith

    Chen-ou Liu, Dick, thanks again for the feedback. The shadows I imagine touching us all in some way, whether through what we say, think, don’t say or do, it is ‘our’ planet after all and in a sense we have responsibility for what goes on on it. Glad you liked it!

  8. Paul Smith

    Thank you Janet, coming from you that is high praise indeed.

) Your Reply...