Babylonian Dreams 11 – Dreams of Babylon

by | Nov 20, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

Can you hear the slender notes
of flutes
climbing the soft night,

weaving through silks
which rise and fall
with scents of musk

heady on the air,
enough to drown to-day
enough to fall into tomorrow

Glimpse of beauty,
glimpse of sorrow,
Beguiling with ancient promise,

calling to a hope now dead
Mesopotamian dreams
building in the beat of tambourines
which shimmer on limbs soft,
the dancing of girls who spin
an antique dream for Kings long gone.

Clear the notes of yesterday,
they are as delicate as white bones
held brittle under shining glass:

tagged and noted for a future yet to come.

Here our hopes lay,
here our hopes made call to gods
alive with morning promise,

here we were released from death
by love which danced us round
into the flame eternal

spinning, spinning
until time unwound
threadless in the sun’s raw passion

where only love was left.

Now a new beat is heard:
the dull thump of shells which fall
and the spinning whirl of rotors
too fast to see,
rising as they cut through air,

Lifting souls from bodies
scything, scything
A circle of death,
over ancient graves
and tombs now lost.

But you still need boots on ground
to take and hold.
That’s where we come in,
always have done,
always will.

Sulla’s legions tramped this ground,
Alexander’s men before.
Armies moved and fought
between the two rivers.

Now it’s our turn.
Now a different beat is heard.
You still need boots on ground
to take and hold.

We came,
we took,
they say we’re holding now.

Here between the two rivers
where eternity pulses
fragile on the neck.
A flutter beneath hot skin,
the breath of our beginning
and our end.
They say we’re holding now.


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