Tom Vaughan (not his real name) is a retired British diplomat. In turn troubled, troubling and mischievously entertaining, the poems in Envoy reflect his reaction to personal involvement in conflict zones, including in the Middle East and Afghanistan. He reflects (often with mordant wit) on people, places and the moral ambiguities of diplomatic life. His deepest concern is with the guilt carried by those whose decisions—however much they may or may not be justified—mean the death and injury of others.
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Appropriate’s a lovely word—
it doesn’t mean a thing.
So useful when we need a text
Appropriate measures may be used . . .
appropriate forces sent.
Appropriately you’ll never know
exactly what we meant
when unforeseen—of course—events
raise the question why
inappropriately innocent people