The poems in Envoy draw on my experience overseas. Although hard copies are sold out, you can buy and download an e-copy in the Shop on this site

At the King David

If you retire you’re dead. That’s what Shimon
Peres said to Tony Blair, who’d just
flown in from China to Jerusalem.
How do I know? Because I was there.

How do you do it, Shimon? TB asked.
His face looked grey. Peres seemed to shine –
he was somewhere over eighty at the time.
Becoming President still lay ahead.

I looked out from the sixth floor at the view
of the Old City sparkling like a gun.
Blair was still PM. The two men smiled.
Old friends. Or at least old politicians.

Tony must have got the message – after all
since leaving Number 10 he hasn’t stopped.
So I can say I personally witnessed
the moment that particular penny dropped. 

'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 Afghanistan.

He reflects (often with barbed wit) on people, places and the moral ambiguities of diplomatic life. His 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. But the only certainty for all of us, as he concludes in ‘Via Dolorosa’, is that ‘suffering / is in the end / all we can share'.