Deela Khan

Dark flowers

(For Nadia Anjuman Herawi 1980-2005)

Dark flowers come blazing from the night skies
Sulphurous blooms burn, mutilate; blow bodies apart.
Tell me who are the warmongers, terror-stokers – why do innocents die?

The planet pirouettes on its bloodied axis
Missiles fly dragonflies of fire carted by hands hollow of heart
Dark flowers come blazing from the night skies

Bombs blast away towers and trees up high
Emit rays, scrape skin. Scorched faces smart.
Tell me who are the warmongers, terror-stokers – why do innocents die?

In times of jittery Peace we’re living with war, Why, I ask, why?
Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, live walls and camps, state-of-the-art
Dark flowers come blazing from the night skies

On continents and seas of plenty, people war, starve and die
Who attached the price-tags, carved land, diamonds, coal, oil and water apart?
Tell me who are the warmongers, terror-stokers – why do innocents die?

And you, my Dylan, scintillating star in the nightsky
I thank, praise you now for villanelles that sting and dart
Dark flowers come blazing from the night skies
Tell me who are the warmongers, terror-stokers – why do innocents die?