Dead Stars

Let us forget
their faltering war
of shatterings –
of splinterings
of run-from-shops
blown high-to-dust
by others’ drops
of barrel bombs
Let us suckle –
forever blind
Who cares about
such foreign stuff
when we fight
white men seeking
Slipped pschents
and insolence –
they are our parade
through Facebook
and shelters under
Twitter storms
I fear death through
water as spelt out
by wicked cards
placed by Madame
Dead stars travel
but will not arrive


It exists today, another foul descent,
where thousands of sickening acts are set:
Saydnaya – Assad’s concrete playhouse,
a lowly spectacle, directed from Damascus,
those dark rehearsal rooms set for Death.

He stands blindfolded, a metre above,
as if waiting on the missing prompt,
knowing this, now, is his unseen drop:
He prays too fast his final lines,
having suffered others’ rehearsal cries.

In the stinking cells, dragging overhead,
there is still no sign of anyone’s God,
instead an ark of the beaten remains,
humans left alive to endure the pain,
hourly woken by screams from this show,
which plays out each night on the floor below.

A last dance of kicks in strangulation:
The skinny ones flailing fast, hung prostrations.
Then, under direction, their legs are grabbed,
and with that embrace their final breath.

And we will watch, the show is streaming,
the dig and lift of Saydnaya’s murdered,
from under loose mounds in that desert:
Syria’s long dead then all laid head-to-toe
in the rewrite of Evil’s latest show.

Dusted by the fallout,
now grit-showered,
the weight of white
on their protection,
on their masked faces,
still ringing in the ears
of their hearing,
hours after digging,
each child-cried to find:
A short limb of victory,
as they fight war’s
They wage their own,
without weapons,
but pictures.


Their Waiting

On my screen,
a palm held light,
I am led into Aleppo,
to a hospital,
where the staff stand,
waiting for the rushed
on foot or trolley,
the cradled,
the carried,
the blasted,
the burnt,
the broken,
now entering
this mending place,
where bloodied bodies
are assessed;
here a bandaged baby
delivers its screams,
as loud as
the now-bereaved;
torches are
a switched solution
with the power cuts,
in this hospital,
which provides
a temporary fix
of things.