The Cost of a Head

Heads sprawled everywhere...
Small heads, big heads,
Women’s heads, children’s heads,
Forming a pyramid of sorrow.
Eyes barely shut,
Tears of blood streaking down
Ruddy cheeks of infants
Who will never see tomorrow.

 “Off with their heads!” they chant.
“They took a thousand of ours,
We must take ten thousand of theirs,” they vow.
“Starve them till heads drop
like rotten fruits from a mustard tree!

What audacity, to lay siege and kidnap!” they mutter in unison.
“In reprisal, we’ll blockade in self-defense,
Prevent any aid till they perish.
Bomb the borders till heads float
In bloody rivers of desolation!

“They flaunt, with impunity, the laws of war,
As heads begin to drop at the catastrophic threshold of starvation.
Heads of states, in confusion, play politics,
Jostling to bring peace to the banks of war,
Vetoing and counter-vetoing the reckless violations of human rights.

Heads keep rolling into the Jordan...
Big ones, small ones,
Civilian heads, in shallow graves,
Their stench a perfume of horror,
As the world watches on,
Weighing the value of one head over another.

About this poem

It is a poignant and harrowing poem that delves into the devastating impacts of conflict and the cyclical nature of violence. It vividly portrays the dehumanization and senseless loss of life in war, with a particular focus on the plight of civilians

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Written on May 23, 2024

Submitted by Abbykesington on May 25, 2024

1:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,111
Words 209
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 8, 5, 5, 5, 6

Abby Kesington

Abby Kesington blends her Nigerian roots with her adopted Texan home, infusing her poetry with cultural richness. Formerly a journalist in Lagos, she graces Houston's poetry scene with her eloquence. With degrees in Political Science from prestigious Nigerian universities, she champions equality and fights against discrimination worldwide. more…

All Abby Kesington poems | Abby Kesington Books

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Discuss the poem The Cost of a Head with the community...

  • jn.selvadurai
    Such powerful words. Thank you for the strong message. The cost of innocent heads in the name of collateral!
    LikeReply 118 days ago
    • Abbykesington
      thank you for seeing the deeper meanings of this poem. So much innocent heads already!!!
      LikeReply16 days ago
  • alanswansea18
    LikeReply 120 days ago
  • acronimous
    Nice work!
    LikeReply 121 days ago
    • Abbykesington
      Thanks. I hope it stirred in you a cord of compassion.
      LikeReply21 days ago
  • jerrywlawrence2666
    Very Well Collected Piece. A Masterwork. Our Modern Society: Survival.
    LikeReply 121 days ago
    • Abbykesington
      Thank you for appreciating this poem. It's one of those hard topics the world shy away from...
      LikeReply21 days ago
  • amandak
    Such a powerful write. Truth is truth. I keep hearing how terrible things are becoming. Looking at history there's always been a dark side. Thank you
    LikeReply 122 days ago
    • Abbykesington
      Reprisal attacks often lead to the viscous circle of war. Civilians being the most hit. The world needs come together united against these killings...
      LikeReply 122 days ago
    • amandak
      United, One love. Agree with you completely
      LikeReply 121 days ago
  • RyanBlackborough
    That is some dark imagery. The opening definitely grabs your attention. Very well written.
    LikeReply 123 days ago
  • dawg4jesus
    Consise and to the point. Great work! Keep it up and thank you.
    LikeReply 123 days ago
    • Abbykesington
      thanks for appreciating the poem. I hope you saw the picture...
      LikeReply22 days ago


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"The Cost of a Head" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <>.

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