Tag Archive: dylan


Why does the sun dry up so many scattered tears
Slipping down the coarse cheek of a million hushed fears
Where no one is scalded though the searing fog clears
While prayers are mutely spoken even as the end nears

We shatter and scrape on demented knees
Blindly begging for mercy as it silently flees
Searching listlessly for salvation drowned in the breeze
That spits at the soft rose suffocated by a wheeze

I know now what I need never have known
Of hope that was trampled before it had flown
Into a wasted sky filled with hate that could drown
The giggling of the crowd and the crying of the clown

A hope so fragile its wings were of brittle glass
Ripping the veneer off the sewers of class
Twisting the fabric of the weighed and costed mass
Who numbly waited hoping that it too may pass

For when shards of that hope in all hearts scurries away
To a darkness where crowded night is emptied off the heaving tray
’Tis then when sewn eyes behold that doleful day
When all shall tear at each other while on demented knees we still pray

For a lifting of the veil of that wilful deceit
That’s wrapped up in a flag swollen with conceit
While the limbs splinter in the claw of a winner’s defeat
Yet still the drums roll for the ill-fated souls chose never to retreat

From that drenched battleground where blood flows through a sieve
And love’s lost song plaintively begs for a reprieve
From eternal loss which into raw emotion does cleave
Only to slip through the fingers and like grains of sand leave

( for Bob Dylan )

A Child of War …

a child of war…

 

as she lies bleeding

the girl who skipped and hopped to school

all of nine and a half years old

with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was

her father’s pride

 

as she lies bleeding

the warm bullet lodged in her torn stomach

she stares at her skipping rope

as her blood soaks it the colour of the cherries her mummy buys

 

as she lies bleeding

she sees the people through the thick black smoke

blurred visions of scattering feet and shoes left behind

hearing nothing but the pinging in her blown-out eardrums

 

as she lies bleeding

she slips away quickly and then she is dead

a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl

whose laugh was her father’s pride

 

 

as she lies bleeding

for even in death she bleeds some more

the warm bullet wedged in her torn stomach

steals the light from her bright little eyes

as she lies bleeding

in jallianwala bagh in ‘19

leningrad in ‘42

freetown in ‘98

soweto in ‘76

jenin in ‘02

hanoi in ‘68

beirut in ‘85

raqqa now

basra still

gaza too

 

as she lies bleeding

this little nine and a half year old girl

whose laugh was her father’s pride

we know she’ll bleed and bleed some more

tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn

with that warm bullet in her stomach

ripped open and torn

 

as she lies bleeding..

afzaljhb@gmail.com

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