Suicide bombers don’t wake up one day and decide die and in doing do, hurt others

They don’t wake up and decide to tear apart families, destroy the hearts of mothers

The means, targets and opportunity require bitterness, requires planning

They require the weak to be led by the contemptuous and the cunning

Somebody with a personal agenda and a contempt of human life

Will ask, extort or demand from the weak, the vulnerable, or stupid a sacrifice

Thousands of years ago pagan priests demanded a heart to appease a god

Frauds and fanatics imposed their order, and over the beliefs of others rode roughshod

They used a knife or fire to create a spectacle, to hold a heart high above all in their hand

Nowadays a pagan priest in disguise uses explosives to tear the heart from the land.


Through hidden tears which cause glassy eyes

When you bid farewell you hide your fears

In case your eyes tell, and so you create the lies

To avoid two sets of tears.


For she knows of your comrades who have gone before

and that their smiles and laughter will never return

From a barren godforsaken place of the immortally poor

A sacrifice for a government’s next term.


In the suffocating heat you think of her touch

Think of the first time she sought out your hand

As down another dusty dangerous track you trudge

As your boots kick up talcum powder sand.


As the aeroplane banks to land

And for the first time in months, cool green, not hot sand

Your breath catches and sticks in your throat

And the next breathe or two Is choked out.


No more being brave, no more hidden tears

Her heart against yours and deep sighs

She hugs a welcome back, no more fears

Relief and love, and until the next tour, no more lies.


Barrack Block

Spending a tour as a singly, living in the barrack block

For your civvie partner who stays over it’s a shock

The toilets full of somebodies else’s smell and waste

They return to your room, nose wrinkled in distaste

With a look like that, tonight it won’t be love, but sex

Smelling someone else’s shit has that effect


Mixed ablutions show that ladies like a strong curry

Especially when you’re sitting in the next cubicle smelling the slurry

When they splatter their load and you get hit by the foul Smell

Suddenly no matter how attractive she is she’s now humanised and no longer a bombshell


Shower and toilet walls contemptuous smeared with boogies

Little green trails of snot sometimes freckled with red and black blood

Pulled from the nose by a too big finger, not by sneezes

In their homes, on their walls do they smear this green and bloody mud?


Promiscuity is discouraged but discretely approved and all is kept quiet

There’s a loss of morals as married people get drunk, ignore their vows and screw

Some personnel promoted too young, separated from family, bored and chasing a liquid diet

The bar is kept open, music played loudly all night by the selfish few

Yet they are the ones who moan the loudest when collective punishment is due


Issue boots on cheaply built stairs echo and thump

those who live next to them kept awake and permanently have the hump

selfish self-closing spring-loaded fire doors that slam

by occupants who are too stupid to think, or care, or give a damn