Spent most of my school years in detention
They just couldn’t hold my attention
I had quite a bit of apprehension
Cos they were stymieing my ascension

But now I feel that I should mention
Due to unemployed male tension
And future jail time prevention
I had a military intervention

Like many others in my situation
I thought green skin was my salvation
I talked of defending the home nation
I dreamed of a hero’s adjuration

It started off as a temptation
But pretty soon it became aspiration
To be in the gang is affirmation
Of your worth in your generation

If you’re not in the gang you’re relegation
Back to civvy street is castration
All that awaits there is starvation
The ego and worthiness amputation

The children of calculated predation
Getting bussed of to remote location
To learn the dangers of dehydration
Yet individuality alternation

Your patriotism consecration
Your new personality fabrication
To learn to kill without hesitation
Enduring weeks of sleep deprivation

Instilled with a silent indignation
There’s now a new classification
For the people that make up civilisation
Those that don’t share your occupation

“Fucking civvy lizards” cause irritation
Don’t they know their obligation?
They should witness my levitation
The ultimate male incarnation

After a year of preparation
Now I’ve got my qualification
And trained up in my specialisation
It’s off to my unit with trepidation

I’ll pretty soon learn the correlation
Between my job and exploitation
It doesn’t take much sophistication
To see I’m subject to manipulation

In Afghanistan I see vilification
Of the locals with no causation
In Iraq? Colonisation
Has just given way to privatisation

Profiteering from violation
Natural resources confiscation
You might accuse me of over simplification
And this is not a condemnation

Of other lads who shared my vocation
But were all guilty by association
And while I’m waking up to this abomination
I feel like I am shaking off zombification

Now I’m out, my consolation?
Is that I’ll stop the propagation
Of lies of military liberation
It’s time for humanity activation


Stu Richards served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the British Army and was a member of Veterans For Peace. Tragically killed in a car crash. his funeral is on Friday 2 November.


  1. Rob Tarn says:

    That poem spoke directly to my soul – I felt every word. Shame I never got to meet you Stu. Rest in Peace brother

  2. S Brian Willson says:

    With great respect, rest in peace

  3. David Halpin says:

    Imprisonment of a good mind and body. A lovely smile stilled, ? by parallel aggression on our crowded, too fast roads.
    Not long now before the glistered chains on hypocrites standing by stones. ‘We will remember them ….’ Like heck.

  4. Heather Speight says:

    So so sorry. What a waste, and also what an inspiration…sending sympathy and love to his family and friends.

  5. Eddie Carroll says:


  6. Samuel Schoemaecker says:

    Shivers down my spine.
    It does sound like a hit already.

  7. Jeff Price says:

    Reading this I thought ‘What a brilliant mind’ and the reaching the bottom of the page I was shocked to read the author had died. I was too late to congratulate him on a job well done and for the service he gave to this country. May he Rest In Peace. Condolences to his family, friends and comrades.


  8. Tad Froggatt says:

    May the good man rest in peace. I’m stunned at what happened having seen the dash cam of the weapon which killed him.
    Did he write that? It’s a pretty good rap rather than poem. Doesn’t need the F bomb though.

  9. Suzana says:

    ‘Stop the lies of milutary libiration , you are just subject of military manipulation,
    to learn to kill without hesitation ‘ Fill like shaking of zombification is time for Human activation’.True Hero RIPStu☆☆☆Rest in Peace we pray for peace on earth .

  10. Lee Ingram says:

    A very meaningful poem. RIP.

  11. Simon Mills says:

    A beautiful poem to the brother I never met. To the next life I hopefully will meet, to be best pals, doing good about our feet
    . But, this time will be good and merry as the last was like a bad sherry…We shall sing and we shall dance, for merrier a day there was not a chance..

    We never met, but inspiration you are…your poem will last an eternity. xx

  12. Carol Chaffer says:

    Brilliant poem. And what a tragic loss that Stu Richards died in a car crash.
    Let’s hope his words ‘live on’.

  13. David Marchesi says:

    well said by a true man

  14. Belinda says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m grateful for your insight, courage, and creativity.

  15. Jeff bowler says:

    Rest in peace brother

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