Bobby Sands (1954-1981)

He wrote his poems on pieces of government issue toilet roll or on the rice paper of contraband cigarette roll-ups with the refill of a biro pen which he kept hidden inside his body.

His articles, poems and letters, in minute handwriting, like all communications from the H-Blocks, were smuggled out on tiny pieces of toilet paper.

He died after 66 days of hunger-striking.

excerpt from his poem ‚The Crime of Castlereagh“

They came and came their job the same
In relays N’er they stopped.
‚Just sign the line!‘ They shrieked each time
And beat me ‚till I dropped.
They tortured me quite viciously
They threw me through the air.
It got so bad it seemed I had
Been beat beyond repair.

The days expired and no one tired,
Except of course the prey,
And knew they well that time would tell
Each dirty trick they laid on thick
For no one heard or saw,
Who dares to say in Castlereagh
The ‚police‘ would break the law!

his poem „Modern Times“

Modern Times

It is said we live in modern times,
In the civilised year of ’seventy nine,
But when I look around, all I see,
Is modern torture, pain, and hypocrisy.

In modern times little children die,
They starve to death, but who dares ask why?
And little girls without attire,
Run screaming, napalmed, through the night afire.

And while fat dictators sit upon their thrones,
Young children bury their parents‘ bones,
And secret police in the dead of night,
Electrocute the naked woman out of sight.

In the gutter lies the black man, dead,
And where the oil flows blackest, the street runs red,
And there was He who was born and came to be,
But lived and died without liberty.

As the bureaucrats, speculators and presidents alike,
Pin on their dirty, stinking, happy smiles tonight,
The lonely prisoner will cry out from within this tomb,
And tomorrow’s wretch will leave its mother’s womb!

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