A Damascene Conversion

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A burned land covered with ashes of eternal conquest,

A gloomy corridor of doomed souls,

Holy wars and the holiest yet to quest,

Awed by the first

Encoring for the next,

Little balades For the macabre feasts:

Plunders and wonders,

Booty and slavers,

Indulging the bearded beasts;

Chanting “Down With Freedom,”

Chanting “Down with The West.”


They all weeped, heaped, swamped with sorrow,

Yet they all had to follow,

Reciting the divine writ:

“Obey” is written; “Hearing” is hallow,

And still;

Chanting “Down With Freedom,”

Chanting “Down With The West.”


(Meanwhile, a glimpse through a window of a nearer height:

There, a fertile soil with ploughmen sowing,

And farmers making hay,

Sailors in the sea and mongers at the bay;

At the flowery gate,

A boy and girl late-night romancing…

Then the lonely green plateau

Catches him mumbling:

“No fear, sweetheart, no more of lashing…”

A running streamlets singing ballads

To the glittering “C-beam,”

A vibrant breez sighing

Through “The Road To OR-Shalem,”

A group of young enlightened minds

Larking around the fields of olives and figs;

Cuddles are given flowers are thrown,

Drinking wine in crystal goblets of reasoning:

Pupils and philosophes,

Poets and composers,

Dreamers and astronauts;

Thriving and blooming.)


Streams of dumb wind inundated the scene:

Dark Ages melted down,

Grasshoppers in turbans

And Knobheads like clown;

Chanting “Down With Freedom,”

Chanting “Down With The West.”


In the shades of a Damascene conversion;

Embattled dogs in a ghostly town,

Rising flags of dusky colors,

Whips were cracking stones were thrown;

Chanting “Down With Freedom,”

Chanting “Down With The West.”


“Making the beast with two backs”

Virgin houris of earthly dust,

Some were whites others were blacks,

Steeped in attars

For the wandering jacks.


Arabs in rebel

Laying in rubbles,

Breaking their bookends,

And cursing their saddles,

“Down With Freedom,” “Down With The West.”

A burned land covered with ashes of eternal conquest.

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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