Kurt

So it goes – from the
slaughterhouse cellar
under Dresden –
At that safe depth –
with Werner Gluck –
his half-relative

An unholy war
as narrative – but
it has no time line –
it makes no sense –
until historians
claim a victory
from those events

Grandpa stood
with the PPU –
he fought in fields –
not foreign felder
he eyed the loam
from his pacifist shelter

On the other side
an enlisted man –
my dead grandfather –
shelled on thin sand

Shells


I stand at a window
in the heart of Beirut
counting bullet holes
in the wall opposite:
Fireworks overhead,
jarring the senses,
reviving my long-buried
childhood memories:
And what does the man,
fourteen floors below,
make of such explosions,
in his war’s afterglow?
I am here for a meeting,
in this luxury hotel,
for hedge fund managers
who will all go to hell.


The Night Before Remembrance Sunday


East Hoathly, Sussex. 

We walked the limpid lanes,
empty, except for
the to-be-exploded
indolent traffic cones;
here it is dank under high clouds
and low wood smoke,
with no street lighting,
except the garish fluorescents

strung off vulgar food wagons,
which, in turn,
are measured out
along the drip-drip lanes:
A miracle, in this remote place,
feeding the five thousand,
not one disciple put off
by the high-vis Police,
or God’s bad weather,

as ever unwelcome in these bonfire towns.

We met an angel, alone,
at the far end of the playing field,
her troubled illumination
an alliance of digital arts,
with her hands held out,
palms up, her timber shell fragile,
as if saying:

‘I was not real, I was not there, I am fiction’.

She was sacrificed, as planned,
like every shot down man
in the bloodiest battles
we could impose upon the poor:
these nations, these players,
these generals, these slayers.

Her cast embers heated debris at eleven am, Sunday.


NEWS STORY HERE

Grudge Match


No new-built Britannia,
no tax-pirate ship:
A small piece of Britain!
It’ll cost zillions of quids!

A gift for us all!
Worth every penny!
But pounds buy less,
unsure how many:

A floating gin palace?
Build no more yachts,
we’re pre-Brexit sunk,
we have spent the pot;

now England’s stuck
at Scottish loggerheads,
build deathly Successors,
load the warheads,

aim them at Holyrood,
and prepare for launch,
Eton mess made good
by Boris’ first war.


 

https://www.whitehelmets.org/


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
finger-choke:
They wage their own,
without weapons,
but pictures.

https://www.whitehelmets.org/


 

Fear of Flying

1.
We looked down at our craft,
a rubber dinghy, rescue-orange,
not Charon’s promised ship,
but we are tied to it now,
to get us thirty-three kilometres,
to a safer place:

I had paid for a life jacket,
with my last fifty dollars,
the going price,
and strapped the aid
to my youngest’s body,
losing him in its bulk,
assuring him it’d be alright.

Salt on my lips burnt to remind me
that we faced poisonous channels,
that we do not swallow the water,
that we only taste the air:
God’s last breath.

And I looked him in the eye,
my eight year old child,
this century’s offspring,
not saying anything,
instead silently praying,
that we both survived.

2.
I fear flying, with him,
a ridiculous agony of what could be,
if we dropped from the sky,
but here we take to the water,
in a simpler, but, more dangerous craft.

I left my wife, his mother,
buried too deep to recover,
her headstone delivered
one night by Putin,
on orders, whatever they were:

I cannot speak Russian,
only Arabic, French and English,
being a Syrian, a descendant of Eblan,
the first world power,
before New World wars ever began.

3.
Our useless boat almost sank,
on its launch, but we bailed,
clung, held each other –
my legs went dead in the crush –
Under breath: God, please, if that could be
the only death tonight.

I woke to still-no-land,
in the damp sobbing, lit by the glow
of phones held up,
seeking signal distance;
my held child slept,
ignorant of the sleeplessness
I endured

as a parent, guardian, keeper,
watcher, life guard
who cannot swim.
Then the water joined us,
Achilles heel-first,
here, vulnerable to the sea.

This was our nose-dive,
and I held him, we descended:
He chilled in the tall waves’
lifts and drops,
spitting out coin-foul water,
bailing our throats with heaves:

I slipped under as that jacket
took him away, to the other side,
his limpness no more weight,
no buoyancy required
in the underworld,
a cold, cold death
for my warm-clime child,
and me.

Impossible Constructions

Broken is my reaction:
A child, now a man,
lifts a child, both dusted,

carried, one barefooted
caught in sleep, or poverty?
He looks dead,

must his back be bared?
Or does his red shirt roll
over his hung head to mask his death?

But it could be a girl, either way,
carried from that blast,
where stairs hang

as if Escher had been
at work in Aleppo on another
Regular Division of the Plane.

Holier-than-thou-Saudis

Our dear Saudi friends
are trashing Yemen:
The city of Sana’a
is crumbling again:

Imported bomb-thumps,
and blast of tremors:
‘The Saudis are
fighting Houthi rebels’,

in support of
‘unity government’,
we help blast them,
‘the subordinates’,

across schools, homes,
and pock-marked parks:
Only the UN cries out
at such Saudi-led-larks.

Sandhurst, England.

Sandhurst – England – training world leaders –
subsidised captains of overseas terror

We pay state taxes to crush insurgents –
brutal regimes are this year’s perfect

Military managers of political dissent –
drilled in line – the loyal-regiments

Excuses – Regional security assured –
ruling-by-war under Sandhurst swords

We British have sold Saudi Arabia
a billion pounds worth of megalomania –

July to September – only last year –
Now no hard arguments for kings to fear

 

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