America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)



In Syria Did Cameron
After Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(Not So Much After Blair)

In Syria did Cameron

A pleasurable jape decree:

Where Euphrates river swells with death

And bodies numberless

Drift far by salted fields.

So ten times he's wont to quake the earth

As trembling mothers give weeping infants birth

There once were souks with laughing folks like you and me

Now not so much as a stump, a withered tree

The land of ancient treasures, older than the hills

Was lost to ISIS, through uncalculated kills.

But O! That deep romantic heart which wept

Of collaterals flung beneath a coffin cover!

O savage beasts! No holy prophet warned them

A false angelic liberty would haunt them

And on the other side, demonic jihad lovers!

The gates of hell, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

Were opened wide, as sand took leave of breathing,

A mighty Catherine wheel descended from the skies:

As citizen hearts did burst

Village fragments vaulted like Egyptian hail,

Or imprisoned Arabs beneath enhanced interrogation's flail:

And mid these japing wonks, now once and ever

Floods of blood and poison filled the sacred rivers.

Some few worthies, meandering with a mazy motion

Through lie and subterfuge their noble stories ran,

And truth was swallowed by the jaws of caverns measureless to man,

The roaring tumult washed up a lifeless ocean;

And ’mid this tumult Cameron heard from far

Well-gilded geldings prophesying war!

The shadow of the screen of pleasure

Fell across the Tigris waves;

Treasured freedom, money th' measure

Fountains of blood and slaughtered braves

Oh what a miracle of rare device,

A genial cabinet with sullen hearts of ice!

A poetess with a hand grenade

In a vision once my master saw:

She was a courageous Kurdish lass

And raid she made, again a raid:

Chanting of perfidious Ankara.

Could I find a way to sing her

Her bullets and her bombs

O, such a deep delight! She'd fund us!

With her sirens loud and long,

I would build my noble castle in the air,

Ah, sunny lass! 'Gainst men of ice!

And all who knew my name should picture me,

And all should sneer, Beware! Beware!

My flashing smile, my fine-combed hair!

You chose us time and time again.

Next time think twice!

And think upon the guiltless dead…

For I on power deep have drunk

The fruits of that

They lie before your eyes.

29 December 2015

Wallace Runnymede, a former bog-dwelling savage, is a currently ironically-slick denizen of the Anglo-Metropolis. Hailing from the dark and disreputable Celtic-cavernous tradition of dark gallows humour, he is 'deeply offended' by the ignoble mainstream tradition of philosophizing with a hammer...he prefers to humorize with a battleaxe!