"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

MONEY FOR THAT

Bulletins shoot an exploding sky,
Children whimper and old women cry,
While men chant slogans and curse today’s date,
Then a rocket whistles by as if launched by hate.
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

Most of them live below poverty’s level,
Dozens die daily, no chance to revel;
But the child soldiers wear new combat gear
And cuddle their guns, they’re younger each year.
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

Eight million people chosen and rare,
Armed to the teeth and ready to bear
Vicarious hopes of cliques ‘cross the sea,
Who claim they all represent you and me.
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

Through the fine dust the camera gets shots -
New assault rifles, men’s masks tied with knots.
They martial their captives and fire ‘til they’re dead,
Then set up some spikes to display severed heads.
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

It’s nothing but wreckage or so they all say.
We see carrier’s colours against each grey day.
Dull thugs point rifles, drunk with cheap thrills,
Discharge ghastly missiles to create more kills.
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

Have you seen their harbourside house lights?
Have you seen them seated first class on flights?
Have you watched their flash cars dash from view?
Have you noticed that they never seem to see you?
And I’m left to wonder:
Where did they get the money for that?

Are there links between obscene wealth and war?
What does it matter what they’re all fighting for?
As long as there’s money to be borrowed, lent and made
By villains and bankers who fund the filthy arms trade.
And they’re left to plunder
Whatever they choose to get them the money for that.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UNREQUITED



I have travelled in rain masked by sunlight.
I have waited through each dreary long year.
I have argued my case with all my might
But my reward seems to be nowhere near.
The world calls me a silly old bugger
Because I reach up for a golden fleece.
Men liked me on the rough fields of rugger,
Women preferred bullion and fake sweet peace.
They sought cheap gems as bribes for their flower
But greed unveiled their lack of real passion.
So I revive to tackle truth's tower
On my own terms, not those of cool fashion.
I climb alone, dogged by hollow blind stares,
For none believe and nobody else cares.


Friday, July 25, 2014

ROSTAM AT RAMSAR

From Tehran go west,
And turn north
By taking the Chalus Road.
Then climb from Karaj –
Arduous and steep:
The challenges
Of hairpin bends,
Thrilling views
Across the barren hills
Of “deer-skin” hues –
Blends of pale brown and dust.
But the pallet expands
With the lie of the lands
As the mountain road winds its way
Past deep valleys
Housing small villages
Surrounded by poplar trees.

The descent down
The other side is breathtaking -
Dominated by unbroken contours
Of lush scenery’s greenery.
On the downhill run
It is as if drivers traverse
Every fertile landscape on earth –
Shrubs stunted but nice
Amongst the snow and ice,
Then conifers reaching up,
Then tall bushes, elms and oaks,
And then swaying palm trees,
Citrus rising in rows,
And flamboyant flowers
Exploding in pixelated bowers.

The slopes level out
For the farms of the narrow plain.
Beyond them is the steely blue sea –
The Caspian coast and its gentle sun,
A sky of fiery sapphires
Set between cumulous clouds.

From Ramsar’s Grand Hotel
The coastline stares back at the traveller –
Its deep green foliage
Studded with palm trees’ fronds;
Friendly grey sands
Speckled with driftwood;
Its rippling waters,
Stained yellow with sunlight by day
And buffed silver by moonbeams at night.

The hotel’s gamboling gardens
Cascade over multi-tiered terraces.
Serene white walls and glossy windows
Contrast with velvety green hills.
Stone cherubs, mystery’s shapes,
Perch on the balustrades
Of the old casino’s verandahs,
Or frolic in the garden beds
And fizzing water fountains.
A shining statue of mighty Rostam
Stands like a legendary sentry
Sent by a mythical king –
Or, more likely, by Ferdowsi himself.
Magnificent Persian lions
Also keep the watch,
Lest the splendour around them
Spoil in the agenda of today.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

SMOULDERING

When the brutal sou’westerly booms cold
With shivers from the snows upon the range,
And the beach lies lonely where once I strolled,
Some thoughts of you might bring on climate change.
I recall the tingle of your soft mouth
And kind cuddles gifted only to me.
Memory usurps glacial gusts from the south
And pictures make me long for us to be
Together on the shores of low tide’s seas
Where we can wend our way under the sun
And watch blue waves curl to a gentle breeze
That rouses sea gulls as they make their run.
But now imagination must suffice
As I paddle alone in pools like ice.