Not a Green and Pleasant Land

aleppo.jpg

And on that green hill far away,
a city cries its loose, parched, grey stone;
it drizzles beside wizened honeysuckle
and yellowing foliage – unkempt and sprawling –
an analogous mass too decimated to be held
or remembered – it is in shock, in brutal denial,
in the middle of it all.
There was once a sight most beautiful,
a sight to please us all.
What was that stuff, that sense, that will
that lead us once to glory? Where is the light
that died in us – or so says an ancient story?

Atavistic shadows seek turmoil and unrest;
we dare not speak the words that once
were given. Smothered from head to toe;
blood cursed eyes are set aglow – victims
inside the garb of spirituality, are hiding in cities
without walls –  neither in or out – nothing to see
especially mustard gas and myriad chemical
weapons afloat on unsuspecting air and its people;
there are no alarm bells and it escapes bloody knuckles
when it comes knocking, penetrating ghostly,
invisible arms which have no means to protect
or barricade against evil and war’s hunger.

Screams run freely when children run from the crumbs
that are side streets, but there is nowhere to hide;
shells have no ceilings, inside there are no walls –
dead bodies lie neither in or out – death doesn’t know about
cement, or boundaries, nor does it know about peace
or a suffocating child’s burning eyes, innocence,
a parent praying for death, or politics or religion,
or…whatever it is we are allowing inside of these
non existent walls and… outside of them.

 

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