Barbed Wire


What barbed wire says to me,

‘Wind it round a candle,

declare Amnest-ee’.

It hangs there in the night

To gouge out your sight;

Stay away from pricks,

This stuff hurts more than bricks.

It’s galvanised for action,

Preserving the fraction

Of seven/eighty-four*,

Those with a whole lot more

Keep their interest protected

With the devil’s hieroglyph.

The knot is so stiff

If you grab it with your fist

Then expect to see red mist;

Your blood will taste of metal

From this twisted petal.

It’s a reminder

That we still don’t know how;

And what was good enough

In nineteen fourteenbarbed_wire_close_up

Is still good enough now.

* 7/84 is a Scottish theatre company whose title is based on the revelation many years ago that in the UK 7% of the people own 84% of its accrued wealth. It hasn’t changed much.

© Alan Combes, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Alan Combes