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Children of Babylon

Salman Shaheen



Decadent divisions cling to clasps of caskets rich in vice,
Where once, hand-crafted Edens hung enshrined harmony Heaven-wind.
Betwixt Babylon’s despoiled beauty two fallen souls
Intertwine opposing fates with glistening steel under Arabia’s Phoenix sun,
To sanguine symphonies of malevolent mortars’ murderous design.
Nought but seven yards distant, yet a world apart in abstract hate,
Beshadowed by centuries’ sand-smitten ruined remnants, twilight’s Tower
Hangs heavily over the Gulf between their perceptions, imprisoned by lamented limitations.
To hear, but not to comprehend.
To fear, but not to understand.
When white is black and black is white,
Truth obscures to perpetual night.


Babel’s berated Brothers, now returned in bomb-emblazoned blasphemy,
Where neither blood-caked-headscarf, nor buckled-crusade-helm could deter
A cry for conflict’s cease, so much as the Tower’s felled foundations fragmented to four winds.
East and West fractured faith’s unrelinquished relics,
North and South dissipated cultures collective creativity,
And to the dusk, settled spoken word,
Left detached, and unheard.
But Salam’s Stone lay before them, the plaque of peace yet unblemished,
A Rosetta stone to bridge the Gulf of understanding,
Yet one which weighed too heavy for a single man alone.
So, in softly spoken new-found tongues, they set aside their prejudices,
Laid down their arms to hoist foundations new,
Embraced a heaven, to cast aside this hell,
And set their love, to rebuild Babel.

 

August 2004

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