Writ of Habeas – Corpus by Tony Ashenden

[A writ to a jailer to produce a prisoner in person and to state the reasons of detention]

Soldier do your eyes have the lights that flash
out of tanks in the face of the snub
of a terrorist gun and in they shine
when his message of soft lead erupts
from the lips of a shimmering barrel?

Do they reanimate a frantic heart
sick of your Karma, loosen the bowel;
trigger the playback of loving regrets
before the balance of blood is lost,
spilling to the ground with slivers of lead?

Or soldier, did you die the night before
in Believer’s Heaven, locked in the crotch
of a dark haired Houri, filched so you thought
from underneath Mohammed’s slippered feet;
virgin and wanting your dissolution?

She perhaps, taking sap that trees the nerves
before the five – first? Aids to earth exchanged
for the bright sight of a plum on the breast!
No doubt your bloodshot eyes and rising smoke
wring a coupling promise from that climax.

You’re a crime soldier, you embarrassed
the breach – you caused it release
in black chamber the redness that wept
the no time that takes time, sputter of pain;
unrepentant, the lover at the head.

Soldier, the lipstick of blood is smudging
your collar, face twists like a child’s’ first clay.
Can you now see who judged and passed sentence
on your innocence? Your slide is the breast.
Soft lead, the mat of your down flowing river.


Tony is a seasoned traveller; a computer analyst, seaman, shaman, and a complementary alternative therapist. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. In his own words – Life is real only then when I am. Please visit his blog Mine Quick Voice of Aquarius to read more of his work.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Tony’s powerful writing twists no words nor leaves any meaning open to wrongful interpretation. A prisoner is being confronted for his actions and the thoughts and reasons behind them. Beliefs often have their roots deeply entwined in the heart and mind where logic and understanding take a back seat. Being strongly with or against is one thing, but for the right or wrong is another. The vivid descriptions in the verses are a treat for the mind’s eyes.
    Congratulations Tony!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many thanks Terveen for your appreciative and insightful comments. What this poem attempts to do is question the rightfulness of conflict that destroys both defender and aggressor. The voice of judgement is discarnate -‘I have learnt from my mistakes’, and the indictment suggested in the ‘down flowing river’ is the hell of realisation. War is a dirty business -there are no winners.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jonicaggiano says:

    Congratulations Tony! War is ugly business, I look forward to heaven when God takes over and there will be no more wars. No man or woman anywhere should ever have to experience such horror. Blessings to you, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Joni, To my way of thinking we are all connected, so the more voices there are who will condemn the futility of war and acknowledge the power of love unseen, mankind’s future may yet survive to truly know its Godlike purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

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