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Steve Denton

Book Publishers UK

I was born in Leicester back in the early fifties. My early and only real recollection of family life was being taken along with my older brother, John, and younger brother, Michael, to a rather large house where we were dropped off by our father, who promised to be back shortly to pick us up. He never returned and we discovered we had been left at a children’s home. I was just five years old.

Little brother Michael returned home sometime later but Johnboy and I stayed and went through various children’s homes until, eventually, we were fostered. I finally returned to my mother and stepfather in my early teens.

I’m now in my seventies and feel I’ve lived a fairly lucky life. I met my wife Tina fifty years ago whilst I was working in a holiday camp. We have two grown-up sons, who are making their own way through life, and two beautiful granddaughters.

Life is tough and can be very hard and sometimes very cold.  We were not born with any direction, but I’ve found that life is what you make it and it’s your own choice which way you go. I’ve never blamed anybody for my early life but the brief time I spent working in Bosnia taught me one important thing: life is precious. Being in an environment where death was a constant fear and after becoming a close companion to the majority of people I was with, I learnt that it is very easy to die.

Living can be a struggle, but to me it is well worth it. During the past few years, I have had a few problems: I was diagnosed with bladder cancer which has, I am pleased to say, gone. I suffered a stroke, and then had to have a pacemaker fitted because my ticker went a bit wonky only to find I now have to live with prostate cancer.  But I still feel I’m a lucky person.

As mentioned, the poetry in this book was written back in the nineties on my return from Bosnia. I have always enjoyed words, and pretending to write the odd song but these poems appeared in my head and when they stopped appearing, the poetry was finished.

I only ever wrote three more poems after this, nothing to do with war or conflict, they are about my two sons and the titles are, ‘Our son beam’, ‘On Yer Bike’ and ‘Toys’.

That reminds me, I must look through my loft for the three pieces of paper.

As a civilian, war is something you hear about on the news or watch at the cinema, unless you are involved in a military way or your way of life is suddenly disrupted by it, it doesn’t seem real.

I watched such a war on our local news and eventually I was involved in it. It was the Bosnian conflict and the siege of Sarajevo.

I drove as a civilian convoy driver for eight months, I soon discovered that war is real. During my time I saw the hardship, nastiness, death and destruction that such a conflict can cause.

But it was on my return home that my attitude and my mentality to war changed. The incidents and poems enclosed between these pages are visions that haunted me.

The writing of them helped to settle me down and was my closure.

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