In bus stations and tea houses
we began to unravel
the unspoken subtext.
Around convivial tables laden with plates
we question the received wisdom,
the willful shattering of images
and irrational historical outbursts.
It is difficult to explain,
generations of proxy rulers
who fill the mellifluous mouths
with the last theoretical vestiges,
grim and shattering.
We are radically impinged upon
by cutthroat desperados,
overwhelming and relentless.
Pursuing eradication of cultural heritage,
they dare to consider themselves supreme icons,
while we become
a chorus of earnest protest;
on prime-time news.
Condemned by the mentalities that created
these cataclysmic events,
a perversion of
possible pipeline projects,
opinions differed, of course,
as to the precise means,
the exact nature of this geopolitical architecture.
A series of apocalyptic explosions,
a ruthless rhetorical slash-and-burn
reshape dogma into ideological dominance.
The willing imagined it -
a forgotten page in a crumbling history book.
A new urgency in writing
partook of all these things:
the profound currents, the tutelage of political preeminence,
a suddenly unforeseeable future.
Even it is skewed, this thorough re-ordering
by the sanctimonious.
coveted by would-be contenders
who measure themselves in might,
influence and opulence,
they form a throaty and sanctimonious chorus.
Dare to breech convention
Expel the forces of occupation
subsumed into an absolute scheme
of submission and stigmatization.
Down to crushing defeat,
branded as terrorists and exterminated,
counteractive ideological vectors arise.
Wield it as a weapon,
not a policy of nuance.
Grasp the calamity.
January 7, 2006
Words and phrases extracted from “Shattered Images: the Rise of Militant Iconoclasm in Syria” by Fred A. Reed,
Excerpted by Peter Babiak in sunTerrain # 38