Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Malak's Response


And so, this is my imagined response from Malak to the idiocy and naivety of yesterday's effort; in fact, not content with leaving matters as they stand I start to include even more flaky philosophy in this poem! The warning above is because I must have watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at about this point, its horror imprinting itself on my imagination which retained the image within this verse. It gets worse in Perdition, and there's also a hung, drawn, quartered in my tribute to Robin Williams a lot later, but I don't want you my readers to suffer with violent material I put in your head, so do please skip ahead to My Last Duchess should you wish. This is Malak's Response...

I was wrong. Horribly.

Every time I pen my thoughts they lift from the page,

Wing to enemy territory, encounter hostile fire, and then crash upon me where I sit hoping for their safe return.


Civil war rages.


Citizens are slaughtered,

Soldiers continually perish,

And I have ever before me sight of the tank, that stuttering tank,

Emblem heavyweight the army,

Lurching back and forward, punch drunk,

Set upon by opponents till it weakens, wobbles, and falls to the canvass.

Truth, dead, witness it upon the fire-engulfed occupants fleeing into the baying mob.


I wonder what Malak would make of that, those her folk.

Is she Shia or Sunni?

I never found out.

Taught the lady for nine months, yet never discovered her fundamental branch of faith.

So much left unsaid, undone, unthought even,

Fine to cram our minds with sinful musings, imaginings, plots and stratagems,

But they force from us investigation of a nobler kind, like gales blowing out gentle winds.

I should have sat her down alone to find her background,

Where born, how brought up, when came to England, why?

Instead, in ignorance, I taught her present perfect for and since.

What do you do now, Malak, do you watch the nightly news and tremor at the greater violence which engulfs your homeland aft the end of war?


I’m told this fight’s illegal, contested for oil,

Not the felling of a cruel dictator in his stead democracy,

Stability the region, so a superpower grown weak may scrape its nails down the walls in desperate effort stop its passage to the cellar,

There set upon and carved by butchers, flies circling the carcass,

Moving in at last croak.

Is the situation out of control?

Does Madd As, weak play, Saddam lord it with Milosovic,

Watching the fate their countries now own absence from power sets that vacuum sucking?

Hasn’t peace been wrought the Balkans?


The hate remains though.

Saw I it in class, the same that I taught Malak, but witness was I then.

Had to observe, that I did I tell you,

My friend, excelling on the course, gave lesson,

She and the class East European in totality.

One chap, asking from which nation she came,

Heard reply that sent his smiling face the plummet.

Great lad, friendly, cordial, young,

Too young to show such hate his face.

Why, why must evil drive love from the features

Like hurricanes snuffing out soft breezes?

Love is the natural husband wife our soul,

Hate the adulterer, who flirts, steals in, then wrecks the coupled state.


Malak looked. She watched the episode. I saw her.

She studied the boy with understanding and sadness.

Then she looked at me.

I hid my face.

When I glanced up, she was still staring at me.

‘Write about this,’ I so interpreted the look, ‘if you must teach, do it not in the classroom, but through your pen,

Where the greater skill you have the two lies.’

Yet that depresses me.

If I may be so wrong, nay short-sighted, about a war that from the first did break the law,

What use future pronouncements with the same spectacles before my eyes?

Will Malak (III) see U-turn take me round again?

In circle?



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