Possibly I was prescient

I wrote this poem some years ago, before the names “ISIS” and “ISIL” and “Daesh” appeared on the news, probably when the Taliban were in great force in Afghanistan. I think it bears posting now.

And when you have broken down all the statues

and torn down all the banners, knocked out all

the stained glass, ripped up all the paintings,

when the televisions are silent and the movie screens

are black, when every woman’s hair

is shrouded and every man’s face has its beard,

when nothing remains to look at

except angry faces scowling and nothing

remains to hear except the chanting of their rage,

when the tongues that would not be silent

have been torn out and burnt like leaves, still

the birds will sing every spring, and the flowers

bloom, red, violet, white, cream and yellow,

unless you burn up the world, and then

you will burn yourselves with it, and still

the sun will shine.


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Writer, musician, polytheist, and friend of birds. I like science fiction, fantasy, and superheroes a lot.

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