the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

an Iraqi boy

jet black curly hair
angelic eyes bewildered
cheeks coarse with desert sand
fingernails wearing a touch of polish
dark red the colour of dried-up blood
he is fearless amused curious
as he looks up at the sky
in Baghdad's al-Baladiyat neighbourhood
hit throughout the merciless night
by cluster bombs
a frenzied collective paroxysm
of the powerful
the rape of the powerless

he wants to defy the bomb shelter
and play war games with his friends
it’s so much fun now the streets are empty
of the overbearing traffic and the Republican Guard
constant drone overhead adds to the atmosphere
these gizmos that emit fire
in non-staccato bursts
those brooding gargantuan tanks
magnificent in their doomsday march
mother can i ride a tank

it’s morning and peaceful now
a brief respite
from the spectacular aerial show
specially put up for the eight-year olds
thank you mister Bush
US bombers fly over Saddam’s capital
without dropping deliverance
from the heavens

mother it wasn’t milk split up in the sky
did you see those great balls of fire
lighting up our lives like a thousand suns
beating the hell out of darkness
mother can I shake the hand of the President
mother can I play with US marines on the streets
mother will you whore with them

while his family cowers in a makeshift cover
he runs to the rusty grey window expectant
mother when will the bombs rain again?

( 06 April 2003 )