By Babar Ahmad
HMP Manchester

The night is dark and there’s no sign of light.

The tunnel is long and there’s no end in sight.

The road is thorny and the path is steep,

There’s no time to rest and no time to sleep.

The air is thin and the rope is tight,

There isn’t much energy left to fight.

The ocean is deep and the brine is cold,

The lifeboats of rescue have all been sold.

The forest is thick and full of peril,

At every turn are snares of the devil.

Seething serpents in every crevice,

Snarling hisses full of menace,

With crocodile tears and a stiff upper lip,

And venomous bites that cause steel to rip,

With fake smiles and eloquent words,

As sweet as nightingale singing birds,

With shiny suits and well-groomed hair,

They entice victims into their lair.

The world is ruled by crocodiles and snakes.

The world is ruled by frauds and fakes.

Diversity and multiculturalism,

(Are just fancy words for state racism).

Fairness and honour are things now extinct,

Justice and power are two things distinct.

Power corrupts and gets to the head,

It enters the blood and turns gold into lead.

Years without trial incarceration,

In what is supposed to be a great nation!

The rule of law and human rights,

Have melted away into silent nights.

Those who claim moral superiority,

Only instil hatred into the minority. 

Those who care fear more for themselves,

And thus leave their values on the bookshelves.

So where are the bearers of valour and nobility?

Where are those who stand tall in adversity?

Where are the men who stood up to power?

And dismiss the urge to hide and cower?

Where are the men who have a conscience?

Why don’t they put an end to this nonsense?


Where are the  knights and where are the scholars?

Who worry about more than their pennies and dollars?

Why do they fear to correct that which is wrong,

Then justify it with words that are so long?

If they can’t walk the walk, they shouldn’t talk the talk,

But sit at the table with their knife and fork.

How can it be that men are born free,

Yet they prefer to live in slavery?

Grovelling and bowing to the snakes on thrones,

Slavering away until they turn into bones.

But what good is there in a life of disgrace,

Where every second is spent saving face?

What is in the dark must come to light,

All then their lies will be swept out of sight.

For truth is a stallion that never fails its master,

If it is suppressed it gallops even faster.

The victims of injustice are thorns in the side,

Like bleeding arteries they never subside.

Until the oppressed are returned their dues,

Their plights will remain headline news.

The Day is approaching in which tyrants will weep,

As they have sown so shall they reap.

That is the Day: Judgement Day,

When the One Most High will have His Say.

The night is dark but it will soon be dawn,

Since the noose is tight so shall it be torn.

The night is dark but it will soon be dawn,

And then a new era… shall be born.

Babar Ahmad,
Written in HMP Manchester, February 2007

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