Impermanent things

The Moors' last laugh

Image result for alhambra

My daughters mean the world to me

To keep them safe is my whole intent

But in a time of war can fathers truly

Protect daughters? I used to be happy,

So cheerful, so easy in my cares.

But now I hate the moonlight

I am scared to be taken unawares.

We are occupied now by  Christian armies.

But we keep Muhamed close to our hearts

Whilst professing to be Christians.

In the church the Inquisition watch

Us carefully. We've learnt to genuflect

At the right moments. Nobody wants to be

Burnt alive. We have to do the hardest

Work in the fields. The Christians now

Have taken our homes, our wealth is gone.

We hide our eyes and cry when

We remember how Christians, Jews

And Muslims worked together under

The old dispensation. Before the fall

Of Grenada. Fortune no longer smiles

On us. We do as we are told and work.

I have to stop myself bargaining in Arabic

At the market. Arabic is forbidden.

These savage Goths burnt all our

Books. Translations from Byzantium,

Works in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. The Jews

Of course, are persecuted too. Oppression's

Rod is hard and brutal. Even the children

Are Not spared 'What do mummy and daddy

Do on a Friday? Have they hidden any books?'

These were the very words we heard:

Now I dream that in the future the Muslims

Will return to Al-Andalus. Building mosques

In Cordova. The Alahambra relaimed as our own. 


The Buddhas of Bamiyan

One of the Buddhas of Bamiyan before their willful destruction by the Taliban


Reading between the lines

Must become a habit of mind.

Look again,

Out of the side of your eye,

Change your mood, gender, age, religion, race, intelligence

Then look again.

For what we perceive

We half-create.


Buried in our books,

Rumbles of thunder

Reverberate in the clinging air,

As we cogitate

pick up on the implications

of the Dimming of the Day:

When life seems this easy

We must give it clean away.


Soft summer breezes blow

Into ice, rain, hail, snow.:

Illness, pride, bankruptcy, sin

Originate from within.


The Buddhas of Bamiyan were hewn directly

From the sandstone cliffs

Of Afghanistan

Destroyed by the Taliban

After nearly 2000 years of peaceful existence.


What an irony

It is

For these close-minded Mullahs

In their destruction of the Buddhas

Show us again

How, when we crave and cling to impermanent things,

We suffer dukkha; while without them, our souls sing.




◄ Alan Turing 1912-1954

Northern Sky ►


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