For Mohamed Bashir al Aani by John Mackie

I am not a silent poet

praised be these tireless
black flagged wahabis
excising idolarity

razing monasteries of
than a thousand years standing

the Bal Shamin shrine
the Temple of Bel
tomb towers of Palmyra

all returned to sand
this agitated man
apostate poet

doubly sinning
brought to his knees
in the dust

with his son
before the scything of God
stills their restless thought

headless, released
from confusion by

with the
house of

there are spring bulbs in flower
along the autobahn
snowdrops, crocii and daffodils
and here by the North Sea the same

in the rubble and dust
of Deir Ezzor
blood darkens the sand

his last poem speaks,
tranquillity for defeat

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