Wow! The wind is blowin’, the rain is rainin’
slant across the windowpane – and in
the yard whole oceans storm across the grass
and make some parts too full of mud to pass.
In hours this windblown slop can dry to land
as course and granular as desert sand.

Indoors, most TV feeds disseminate
the propaganda of Islamic State;
from a few: the snuff pornography;
from most: the sand-march choreography:
semi-automatic publicity
for heated, arid, threat’ning orat’ry,

With sand-drop backgrounds hiding where they are,
on board their all-terrain-adapted car,
boist’rous men shoot heaven with their guns
with chorus lines where no compassion runs.
(There’s sometimes footage of explosion clouds,
but where the shelling’s gone is kept in shrouds.)

A black flag flaps its silver Arab script
like spores of mercury thoughtlessly tipped.
And ev’ry person in that warring van
has warped inside his head a poisoned plan
of how he’ll gnaw the erring world to change,
accepting fear as nothing new or strange.

But look! In the clear blue sky above, a cloud
as white as emptiness, (or stormed seas ploughed
by vast, smooth boats of floating gold) reveals
the hooves of horses leading chariot wheels
with Buddhas, Angels, Ancient Gods, and Saints
sailing through all negative restraints.

Navigating worlds we’ve never seen,
their forceful wake makes humans bow and lean.
Blinded men drive down a home-less road,
the combatants lift guns aloft to goad,
they run as sand-flecked breezes catch their drifts
and sand blows back and forth in tidal shifts.

I’m sure the chariot has tagged us all.
As local stormy raindrops slap and fall,
our eyes drenched by our blurred humanity,
we cannot know true judgment but can see,
when human deeds are measured Good and Bad,
it’s not a get-out clause to shout, “I’m Mad!”


Damian Robin lives in England. He works for an international newspaper and a bilingual magazine. He lives with his wife and three children.

Feature Image: Photograph of the Islamic State destroying Jonah’s tomb.

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