The terrible consequences
Of war go on.
Corpse after corpse
Arrives home,
Flag-draped and honoured.
Lives ended or amputated.
Medals pinned and pictures framed.
A gallery of disguises,
Masking the blasted bones
And terminated blood
Of those who fight.

… and in the morning

The injured soldier
Stared out of the TV.
Sweet, blond and clean.
Cap and badges bright,
On the breakfast sofa.
No blood to be seen.
His passive resignation
Made a telling stillness.
Uniform freshly pressed,
Folded neatly over
His three new stumps.
Left, right, left.
What’s left?
Only one arm,
One eye and
The courage to die.
His massive reduction
Moves us to cry,
Why, why, why?
Our boiling anger pumps.
Is he our hero
Or our fool,
Our folly
Or our tool?

LEST WE FORGET                                    © Will Barton 2011

MEMORY (for Libya)

The long
Creaking memory
Of the world
Will contain
A pox
A madness
A devil strain
A germ rejected
By the sane
An evil rust
No map or record
Wants to retain
But it must
This gross bacteria
Defiantly projected
Into the library
Of vile histories
Will seep and stink
Where cold academia
With disinfected ink
Will try to decode
Its mysteries
The long
Leaking memory
Of the world
Will cry               © Will Barton 2011

INNOCENT QUESTIONS (for a free Libya)

What mad mind
Distorted seam
Or strata
Takes the lives
Of innocents
In bestial slaughter
What foul food
Or reason
Feeds your need
To cruelly kill our
Sons and daughters


What phantasm
Or contorted dream
Performs in your
Plagued scatology
Do children scream
As their limbs bleed
Or fathers cry
As another life goes
Do you see the
Suffering at all
Or are those eyes
An evil resurrection
Of a dark exorcism
Deep acid holes
Burning in dead space
Where nothing grows
The sane must ask
What wicked voodoo
Or pathology
Cultivates your kind          © Will Barton 2011                          Click on images to enlarge

PROUD SON (for a free Libya)

Shame on you proud son,
You share some evil genes,
Sown from devil’s loins.
Your father’s poisonous bone
Owns your soul forever.
Look what you have done,
As immoral bowels conjoin,
Forcing out demented schemes.
The free attack you now.
Each calendar will record,
Cruel celebrations,
For these days of pain.
A link time cannot sever.
Your fate is known.
This tormented genome
Is condemned,
To roam a putrid palace,
Chewing at disgusting chains,
Regurgitating malice.         © Will Barton 2011                   Click on images to enlarge

HOPE (for a free Libya)

As we regret

Our loss

Hope still climbs

Death’s ladders

Step by step

Out of darkness

Hand in hand

We move together

Into light



© Will Barton 2011                                              Click on images to enlarge


THE TORTURER (for a Free Libya)

He spat on the body before him,
It was a shuddering jelly of fears.
The mask on the head of the victim
Was soaking with spittle and tears.
He looked at his face in a mirror,
It shattered instead of reflecting,
The scalpels and scissors of horror,
With which he was busy dissecting,
The eyes, he knew were his brothers.


Practiced, detached and efficient,
His skills were the envy of others.
He believes in religion and truth.
Torture has made him deficient,
Some devil has created a brute.
He is surprisingly calm and considered,
Like a dentist busy extracting,
The teeth of his patients for fun.
Are you sure you still want to be Libyan,
Do you remember those days in the sun?
The rebel chose death over suffering.
The torturer packs up his tools,
His work for the day has been done.
He smiles at his wife and his daughter.
They ask if he’s had a good day.
I gave your regards to my brother,
I said we would meet him to pray.       © Will Barton 2011      Click on images to enlarge

NO RIGHT (for a free Libya)

Fouling his crawling pit

The obscene pretender roars.

In his revolting dreams

The dead still stare.

With eyes like crimson olives


Throbbing in his hands.

The sinews of their souls

Are infinite and great.

Do you call us your people now,

As the nation screams?

Lying, thieving coward.

Your ugly claim is disallowed.

It never was a right.

You inflicted it with pain.

Dressed up like a roach,

A scuttling, deviant parasite

Who defecates with words.       © Will Barton 2011       Click on images to enlarge