Whatever happened to?

Whatever happened to quiet confidence inspiring leadership?
Biden capitulates immediately to the American call for blood, entering into a mindless tit for tat media driven kill-fest. What happened to stoicism and patients?
The people of Afghanistan may well find themselves hostages to a new kind of misery as they hunker down in their vulnerable homes. The oppressive Taliban regime prowls the streets outside while emerging factions scramble for position and power on a new ladder of variable horrors, there seems little doubt innocent Afghans will be caught in the crossfire.
It is entirely probable that under pressure from the US electorate and a media thirsty for blood Biden will engage in a campaign of drone warfare, raining death on what he and his Generals will state are specifically targeted groups and individuals.
The everyday Afghan will consequently be trapped inside a desperate battle for control on the ground by multiple factions whilst having to live under the possibility of death by drone strike from the skies. An additional insult is that those inflicting such bombardment will do so whilst stating they are doing so in the name of Afghans right to freedom from tyranny. The irony that such statements will be spoken by leaders who abandoned them needlessly should not be overlooked or understated by any of us.
Any sustained pursuance of vengeance on the part of the West will gradually garner support for the Taliban, igniting fresh hatred of the West in Afghans who previously viewed it with hope.
I would prefer that we follow a policy of quiet endeavour to pursue the freedoms of Afghans utilising methods previously dispensed with. If that includes the targeting of individuals or groups by all means possible, excluding methods which lack the surety of discriminate targeting then I believe it is those methods which should be engaged. However repugnant to many of those who sleep soundly in their beds at night it is sometimes expedient to dispose of our enemies while they sleep restlessly in theirs.

Killing’s easy Talking’s not


It’s not enough to sit in the quiet of night and conjure peace,

for it’s in moments of furious hatred

We need the noise to cease.


When the steel or the Bludgeon fills the Hand,

and the defences are all but breached

when the lines are crossed we drew in the sand


When the end of Civility’s Reached


It’s not enough to withdraw and Blame War,

in the aftermath of an act

But to stem the Blood with the Words spoke before.


When the Pen and the Dialogue fade in Retreat,

and young men are pushed to the fore

it’s then the march must be stopped with the feet


It’s then that we must ask, what for?

Old Coat


One pocket full of crumbs 

in the other shrivelled chestnut,

between weather fingered thumbs

The chaff we can’t forget rubs.


In the lining of lapels

are the remnants of soft petals,

and a fair ground list of spells

That a Gypsy never settled.


Where once the button met the eye

no longer shall they couple,

how elegantly they did lie

where now the creases sadly crumple


The threadbare loop is fraying more

each longer night untwisting,

it hangs there lonely on the door,

No earthly thing is listening.


National Trust


They took all of the stolen things and put them into crates,

they emptied out the Palaces

they planned their great escapes


They sailed out of the bay in fleets,

they kept their ensigns hid

they knew to keep the silence just like their fathers did


They sailed to where they once called home

they disembarked with glee,

ingloriously now alone in silent victory


They disgorged their silken pockets, the treasure chests and crates,

emblazoned all the crockery, beatified their greats,

then laundered all the plunder onto sterilised estates


Yet all this honest robbery we claim it as our own

complicit in our snobbery disregarding those unknown,

Displaying faded fortunes that once were someones home.


Headstone (On the first day of the Kabul evacuation)


Where do you start after twenty years of blood?

A thousand miles from the origins,

On a blank page like a tombstone awaiting the chisel.

The names have all been carved in stone and flesh,


They are burned in the memories of orphans and widows.

Some even breathe tonight that will be gone tomorrow.

Messages of love are punched on keyboards,

Anger is raging yet resigned to the calm of inevitable deliverance.


That brief sublime before the bullet hits the skull and in comes peace.

I see their faces smiling and grimacing alike,

I hear their laughter, their joy at being alive in troubled times.

I reach out into the night that takes us all, and imagine hope.


Blake Avenged


Angels are such boring Prey

they hang around these gates all day

expressly charged to turn away

all who don’t do just as they say


But I am fallen and have no fear

of any souls that enter here

I bear the wings of lesser gods

who grant such things as they cannot


For I am free to choose my flight

whatever’s wrong whatever’s right

my Talons pluck their eyes of sight

that they might dwell in endless night


I roar and swoop to great applause

and soar above our masters floors

and all this too it could be yours

exchange these gates for open doors   

Behind the Lines


Don’t worry too much that someone isn’t having their throat cut

while you sit on your couch, 

while you flick through the channels,

While you peacefully slouch.


Don’t worry too much that there’s no-one beyond the wall

while you turn the next page,

while you inwardly rage,

and you do nothing at all.


Don’t worry too much that some hold the tide

while you splash in the shallows,

while you pray at All Hallows,

While you comfortably hide.


Don’t worry too much that their names are unknown 

while you make your donations,

while you curse those cruel nations,

While they die alone.


Don’t worry too much that young men are dying

while you swallow the Kool-Aid,

With the price only they paid,

While our leaders are lying.


Don’t worry too much while you sleep fast tonight

that you’ll not wake in the morning,

to a new day that’s dawning,

That you’ll not be all right.


Our leaders sit in comfort while our young men and women put themselves in danger attempting to fix their incompetence. Armchair experts write poetry and advice to anyone who will listen, imagining they know what the streets of Kabul might be like. A small group of silent men and some women work tirelessly in ways that will never be reported in their own lifetime to save life and take life, in order to save life. They will come home quietly unannounced and Un-flagged to a nation of virtue signalling ignoramuses who imagine they could do what they do simply by thinking about it in a bloody armchair. Many of the silent actors will descend into madness and drunkenness, some will make good but none will get the credit they deserve and all will have to live with what they did and saw with no thanks or recognition. While every tom dick and harry knows better than those who can never speak.