Monday, August 30, 2021

The Children of Afghanistan

The children of Afghanistan
Like desert shrubs they grow
Amidst the ruins of history
And guns and rockets too
Their mothers are all shrouded
In veils of mourning cloth
By the Taliban they’re surrounded
As they pledge their dreadful troth!
Their fathers turn to Mecca
As they beg for their salvation
Suffering the sad dilemma
Of a thousand generations!
What hope is there for peace
In the land of the Hindu Kush
Only when they beat their swords into plowshares—
And their spears into pruning hooks!
Les enfants d’afghanistan
Comme les fleurs du désert, ils poussent
Au milieu des fusils et assassins
Du Taliban farouche
Leurs mères sont toutes enveloppées
Dans des voiles d'étoffe de deuil
Par les Talibans elles sont encerclées
Leur voile est leur cercueil
Leurs pères se tournent vers la Mecque
Et prient pour leur salut
Il n’y a pas de remède
Pour les enfants de Kabul!
Quel espoir y a-t-il pour la paix?
Ecoutez mon témoignage
Quand on transforme leurs épées en socs de charrue
Et leurs lances en crochets d'élagage!


Thursday, August 26, 2021

In the Land of the Afghans beyond the Khyber Pass

In the land of the Afghans
beyond the Khyber Pass;
The bones of many men cry out
beneath the desert sands;
From the March to Kabul
in eighteen thirty eight;
The soldiers of the British Raj
received a gruesome fate;
Macnaghten as their leader
was slaughtered like a lamb;
His fate was sealed by treachery
from the ruler Akbar Khan;
They took his head and marched it through
the streets of old Kabul;
His trunk was hung in the bazaar—
a fate both grim and cruel;
They stormed the house of Burnes
and killed him with his staff;
Felled by jezails as lethal as
the snowy mountain pass;
It fell to William Elphinstone
to take up the British cause,
And so began the great retreat
for which their lives were lost!
The Afghan army massacred
sixteen thousand men;
And despite the Khan’s assurances
The women were murdered in the end;
The blood of Cavagnari
was spilled by Yaqub Khan;
His Treaty of Gandamak could not
save him in the end;
Defended to the last
by the Queen’s Own Corps of Guides;
When warned he said: “Keep up your heart—
dogs that bark don't bite!”
The soldiers of the Russians
besieged Afghanistan;
They fought the Mujahideen and set
the stage for the Taliban;
And now brave America
joins her brothers in the grave;
The proud Marines fought to free a land
that no army on earth could save!
And when the dust was settled
around the Abbey gate;
Their souls cried out,
"Get out brave men before it's too late!"

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

New Poem: The Orchids (in English and French)

The Orchids
The orchids in their mourning gowns
Beseech the Heavens with their cries
They wail and moan for their lost home
With petals moistened from the skies
They sit like orphans upon a rock
And take their sustenance from air
Their fate is what the Lord hath wrought
Such sorrow do these beauties bear!
These forest nymphs fear not their death
On barren ground they sit alone
Their sadness grows with every breath
For lack of shelter, hearth, and home!
On rocks and soil and trunks of trees
They carry on despite the strife
By day they germinate their seeds
And pray for their eternal life!
Les Orchidées
Les orchidées dans les robes de deuil
Avec des pétales mouillés par le ciel
On pleur pour leur maison perdue
Avec une tristesse perpetual
Ces orphelines de tristesse et misère
Leur destin est ce que le Seigneur a décrété
Elles tirent leur subsistance de l’air
De telles souffrances ont ces beautées.
Ces nymphes ne craignent pas leur mort
Sur le sol elles sont assise seuls
Avec une tristesse profonde et forte
Par manque d’accueil et de douceur
Sur les rochers et les troncs d’arbres
Leur vie et foi sont une merveille
Par jour elles germent leurs graines
Et priez pour leur vie éternelle!