In commemoration of the fall of Kōnstantinoúpolis 29 May 1453
Everything dies in time
Memories, birds in the trees,
That the old druid time
Plays such cruel deceptions
Creates such havoc in the mind
As we reach out and hope
To find somewhere human.
Sardonic wit, the sceptical glance,
The silent prayer,
Converge into this plea
Wear your learning lightly.
Reach out to Syrian and Lebanese
Assyrian, Druze, Maronite, Ezedi
Come, cross the same seas
That Homer once travelled.
Draw us into this web of separation
To kill or be killed by a man-created necessity.
Now in the torn wreckage of those
Bastions of Islamic scholarship:
Damascus, the ancient universities
Of Baghdad, these mosques of Constantinople,
That were once churches,
Where worshippers share poppies,
That have their roots in men's veins,
Clinging to the ghosts of all those murdered Byzantines, again.