No Emperor’s Head

Comment from Terveen Gill of MASTICADORESINDIA

Tony’s poetry lays bare the faceless and nameless who claim to fight in the support of their beliefs and rigidities. First, pawns played by the superpowers, then threats targeting those who birthed them, violating the world as they deem fit. This radicalism and political warfare are terminal illnesses in themselves. Who bows to whom and where is that sane voice of reason? Greed, hatred, and power never can have their fill.

Who wore the hat of Roman kind
led armies of the blind in Laos
Vietnam and Cambodia?

Then who challenged the just
anointed crown in Britannica
Planted bomb to burn the people

left their blood in burnt ash sites
public places, shops, and schools
messaging by video their sacrifice?

Uniformed of working clothes
black gowned and turbaned white
they respect no Emperor’s head.

Nameless, they speak explosively
by smart phone, gun, and Semtex
radicalising, inciting, recruiting

armies of face hidden eunuchs
chanting plainsong as God warriors
denying democracy, demanding power.

Some inoffensive men of peace
who in their techno clean rooms
for the greater good did feast

did cause nameless germs grow
to combat Sino-German eagles
and their poppy seeded mint

which reigned under Roosevelt,
grew under Eisenhower
flowered for Kennedy and


re-birthed with Bush and Blair
in Israel, Lebanon and Iraq
Afghanistan and Pakistan


the harvest of butterfat years
when Knox was an ever open
welcome door to inward goods.