Friday, August 11, 2006

Give Me Your Hand

Give me your hand Kalan Kawa Karim
Unfamiliar with my wasted land,
Not seeing the pools of sickness surrounding you,
You dream of mountainous horizons

To be climbed slowly, ignoring the pains
That nag every step on the way back home.
They call this road The Kingsway. You ask why
There are no monuments to their greatness

Being used to statues in any open square,
His face everywhere you dare to raise your
Eyes, the penetrating stare that reached where
None could hear your desperate futile cries.

You smile. The last time you saw him he looked
Like that tea cosy tramp in the garden.
His slack jaw gaped helpless for all to see.
Even a tramp showed greater dignity

Than this fallen torturer. Your heart leapt.
Knowing the return journey could begin.
Take the first steps then, past The Potter’s Wheel,
Feel your face fresh in the breath of sea wind.

Give me your hand Kalan Kawa Karim
There is yet one more dark night to cross and
Though all the time here they sing of welcomes,
Still fear strikes down the man who dares to dream.

There are still times when shame at my city can overwhelm me and this was one such time. Kalan Kawa Karim will never, in some minds be numbered amongst the victims of the 'war against terror', but I do not accept that this was an isolated motiveless racist crime. You hear about more and more similar attacks and the atmosphere that produces them has been stoked up by politicians, who once they have let the beast free just stand around wringing their hands at the consequences.

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