The lions of Baghdad rise from the Round City
Padding softly on paws of sunlight and dust
Licking blood off the wounds of the women and children
Upon whom the world has declared war
An ivory hook reaches from the darkness
And hooks around the neck of a fat man
Selling his daughter for cigarettes
Those who believe that struggle creates nobility
May wash their hands in the blood on the streets
The lions prop up a roof of stone that has lasted
Through childbirth, cannons, and corruption
Lowering it gently, until finally the sleeping man underneath
Wakes up in the arms of his long-dead wife and smiles.
A soft feline breath sends soldiers and children
Dreams of crisp air and the possibility of a life without fear
When the explosion is over,
Who can tell the difference between a soldier who will never see his child
And a child who could not remember his father?
They have both been cheated by amateur chess players
Who know only to sacrifice pawns for kings
The lions are the last ones to have unbroken hearts
Though they have watched Baghdad bleed from a bellycut of bitterness
Since the palace became the centre of the world
And the mosque its satellite
Yet they will not leave this city of ashes
And its static chatter of dread
Until there are living hearts in the burning pulpits
And the children only smell of bread.
really not quite sure what to think of this one. in some ways very reminiscent of my rather simplistic older works, but i did like it at the time i wrote it. perhaps in a couple of weeks will just be a case of fairy gold. will see.