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

BLACK SUN (for a free Libya)

The map of agony

Is perverse cartography.

Ruining a country,

In a dumb, black sun.


Where blood is the pencil and

Sorrow the measure.

Scratched blind, upon

A tattered flag,

More red with dead,

Unfurling as the bullets stun.

The diagrams describe,

Strange paths leading

To our destiny.


We can rebuild the sun,

With faithful hands.

Beyond this cursed geography.       © Will Barton 2011      Click on images to enlarge

THE WOMEN (for the women of Libya)

A girl is crying

Through the night.

Her quiet heart of revolution

Beats with many million more.


Their harmony of dreams is

Bloody freedom pumping,

Awakening the oily desert lung.

They are the rock and know,

Guns ranting full of hate,

Send messages of waste and loss.

Dictators destroy and devastate.

Women live to generate and grow.

The cost of life is not in bread.

It will be counted over years,

When she adds another number

To the glorious dead.

© Will Barton 2011                                                                         Click on images to enlarge

THE FLOWERS (for a free Libya)

War is the language of fools.
A jagged, jumbled alphabet,
Gargling in a rotten mouth.
Decaying arguments in the balance.
The world weighs heavy
On these scales.
Spinning gimbals struggle
In a turbulence of gales.
Good and bad are in a trance.
Nonsense and contrivance creaking.
Hypocrisy and muddle.
All these demons leaking
Poison from the human skull.
Synapses just cannot resist,
Too frequently delighted.
On and on the madness twists.
Shattered bone and splattered blood.
The bursting, terrifying flowers,
Bloom from bullet, bomb and blade.
Our garden paradise is blighted.
If only we could see this cull,
Is such a wasted, bitter harvest.
We would do more good,
With hand and spade.
Let’s turn our weapons into tools.
Contradictions still persist,
Seeds will grow but the rats devour.       © Will Barton 2011

THE MARTYR (for a free Libya)

I burn for you.
A mirror of the sun,
My radiance renewed.
Death is not a waste,
It was my own brave choice.
The smoking carcass,
From which I rise,
Was just a human cage,
Oppression trapped my voice,
Until I yelled my pain.
With a passion and a rage,
I inspire a storm to rain.
Now the stars come singing.
Suns and moons in chorus,
Like birds above the sea,
Stirring every grain.
Natural force embracing,
As a healing light flies free.
Bring honour to your nations
To end this tyranny.                  © Will Barton 2011

THE EXILE (for all the exiles and outsiders)

My friend,
Has not seen
His father’s grave.
He could not touch
His mother’s face.
So many deaths
Since freedom fled.
And in those years
He fought so brave.
Keeping memories,
So precious,
To be saved.
Through art and love,
With faith,
He’s lived a life
For a freedom
Which he craves.
And now that old bell
Is ringing strong.
That time is coming
And I call to you.
So proud,
To be your friend.
It cannot now be long.    © Will Barton 2011