“Tourist, see this stained beach in Tripoli
Where one and twenty men were forced to kneel
Ere cutting down their heads by unholy
Fanatics, as god’s servants themselves feel
They are still at large, offer flesh and blood
And mock god by empty prayer, fasting
But their most heinous deeds no wave or flood
Can wipe; sad tale this shore will ever sing.
Who foster them? Think, none else—you and I!
They grow strong daily on our tolerance
O if we take up arms we need not die
And the world for thriving has a fair chance.
Unreasonably heads roll to the sea:
When bigots exist none from threat is free.”


Aged 53, John Kolyav is an Indian national. A postgraduate, he worked as a teacher for twenty years. He has published three books of poetry and five novels in Malayalam and a novelette in English entitled, “Asexuality.” He has won four state level awards for literature. He was the runner-up in the Holland Park Press International Contest in February 2014 for his poem “Flames of no Masks.” In the UPLI Global Poetry Contest in 2015, he won the Silver Medal for the Judy Cheung Award and was a Finalist of the Rex Valentine Award.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.


2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.