Poem Hunter
MR (1953 / Lisgoold, County Cork)


Poem By Maurice Riordan

Siege of Sarajevo 1995
Foliage appears in the yellow spectrum,
metal in the blue. These greens here
are warm-blood features, sheep and suchlike.
This is how we separate out the humans. I forget
the principle. It's to do with the resonance
of brain tissue - which for sheep would be less.

We isolate an individual like this.
See, quite simple. It'll take a few seconds
to come on screen. That one's horizontal,
face-down, so assume we have a sniper.
Could he be asleep, or injured? Can't tell.
But fatalities have a white definition.

Now touch macro to track troop movement
and supply lines. Tank formation's logged here.
These have a negative heat factor. They're idle.
You see, for them, it's nuts and bolts, not software.
So use your horse sense: the best indicators
of assault readiness are iodine and diesel.

Small-arms fire, reconnaissance, actual bombardment,
what we call gross-ground activity
- that's handled upstairs. Likewise civilian effects,
which are political and in the old technology.
We've integrated the systems and a set of alerts
is built in. But, for now, the parameters are strict.

All this is too sensitive. We keep it to ourselves.

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