What, inhumane? The free world champ,
The land that only rides to town
When bats are hanging from the lamp,
Will maybe bring the ceiling down
Upon the swing-door, cool saloon?
Your words would fill a hot balloon.
What, war crimes? Due to stand in dock
Before some international beaks?
The world’s great sheriff, sound as rock,
Who knows his rhetoric, and speaks
In measured Fonda-Stewart tones?
And all because of licensed drones!
With what imp are you in cahoots,
What evidence do you adduce?
We keep some rogues in orange suits,
Because we dare not set them loose:
Who do you really think you are?
Have you not seen the cinema?
To waterboard, to neutralise,
To wear the tin star on the chest –
Holsters fit for purpose, size
(Without our gun, the world’s undressed):
What plot is this you want to thicken?
An amnesty? Does that mean chicken?
Obama, Bush, and Clinton stand
In silence, though their tongues must itch,
And feel the gentle, ghostly hand
Of Slobodan Milosevic:
What is this universal law?
For goodness’ sake, we are at war!
Click here for a Guardian story
Click here to buy Bill’s poetry collection Ringers