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A Terrorist Departing

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  • A Terrorist Departing

    Who’ll care for him, attend his needs,
    who’ll try to put him at his ease?
    Who’ll tell him tales of way back when,
    where he may be a boy again.

    Those bygone days before he turned,
    his world into a place he scorned.
    Come, take him back, don’t leave him here,
    he can’t fit in, the way’s unclear.

    Pack up his ills and take him home,
    he knows he must, his sins atone.
    Regrets, he has and by the score,
    he cannot bear them anymore.

    He’s at his end, at mercy’s whim,
    the silent fear, that din within.
    Tormenting every breath, he takes,
    the self-destructing altered states.

    What he has done, beyond recall,
    but on his word, laments it all.
    He will own up, in hopes persuade,
    his deep remorse for those betrayed.

    Please hear him out, he’s on his knees,
    with nothing left but dying pleas.
    A wretched creature cloaked in gloom
    whilst haunting shadows seek his doom.

    Where are his priests, where have they gone,
    the sisters, he relied upon?
    So, how can he, his sins confess,
    alone in death with his regrets?

    If God is good, I’m sure He is,
    He’ll take him in as one of His.
    And then again, no one can tell,
    perhaps the bastard burns in hell.

  • #2
    It is a sign of the times that my first assumption upon reading the title was that this piece would be about an Islamist. But it appears the subject could be a terrorist from a Christian milieu and an earlier generation, from the time of the Troubles in Ulster, perhaps. For one thing, unlike most Islamist terrorists, he has survived his terroristic acts, and lived to regret them, now wretchedly burdened at his own demise. I like how you finish with the 'perhaps' of hellfire in the last line; much more powerful than a straight-up damnation, especially with the preceding irony of 'If God is good, I'm sure He is'. The word 'bastard' leaps out and grabs the reader with a proper shock, given that the poem up to that point has been almost sympathetic in its insightful presentation of the man's plight. Brilliantly done, Tony.


    • Tony Grannell
      Tony Grannell commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello grant, Yes, it is about Northern Ireland, I grew up with the Troubles and I often wonder what became of the terrorists, on all sides of that bloody divide. I am delighted you got a 'proper shock', the last line changes everything - forgiveness or vengeance is mine... Your grand response is so very much appreciated, kind of you indeed. Take care now, Tony.

  • #3
    Seeing through the eyes of the other - or not. Leads to pondering.


    • Tony Grannell
      Tony Grannell commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello RhymeLovingWriter, The many views on life and death: to forgive, to avenge? Lovely to hear from you and thank you very much. All the best, Tony.

  • #4
    omg to this poetry. from start to last line I was thinking and understanding this is all about forgiveness and I praise you for tackling such a hard subject to try to forgive and then the spin at end of poetry hit me like a bag of spanners. this is what poetry is meant to do. get the reader to think and shock and hit home and your poetry delivered. loved it.


    • Tony Grannell
      Tony Grannell commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello poemzone, I'm delighted you loved this one and I hope the bag of spanners were paper ones. Fond regards, Tony.

  • #5
    I felt like you led me along wanting desperately to forgive and the ending is priceless.


    • Tony Grannell
      Tony Grannell commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello Alexandra, Priceless, I couldn't wish for a better compliment. Thank you very much. Take care now, Tony.

  • #6
    That ending though, really effective, all that tension built but right there, I found it so amusing Tony Well versed, this is, I can appreciate what went into it, it was voluminous in material I am finding close to my heart.
    Thank you for sharing.


    • Tony Grannell
      Tony Grannell commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello amenOra, You are very welcome and yes indeed, a lot went into it. Your words are very much appreciated. Do take care now, Tony.