Spelling it Out

Purged of all his words, we shut him up,
Under pain of execution, left him
Rotting in this damp cell.
Inside, he insisted on scratching
Fears and wrongs into the concrete wall:
Iambic pentameters gave way, becoming
Curious syllabics of great variety –
And worst of all – free verse.
The general said there was no option –
Ideas were dangerous – so we took
Off both his hands. There was such a lot of blood.
Now, we have sluiced it all away.

Nigel McLoughlin

If you've any comments on this poem, Nigel McLoughlin would be pleased to hear from you.