Thursday, 30 June 2011

Lesson One: Afghanistan

A faceless Buddha stares out into nothing
his features rubbed out by wiser men
He and this bare brown earth

bear witness to the vicissitudes of empires
which every now and then
bring in a hundred thousand men

led by swanky generals
full of ideas and strategies
who invariably leave clueless or dead

beaten by voices on the wind
that rages through ravines
and around strange shapes

in the looming terrain
a landscape which consumes them
absorbing something from the invader

before belching them out
to kick him along the silken road
full of substances –

yet empty of all substance
Just like the bodhisattva
sitting captive in Kabul museum

once a saviour
now unable to save himself.

© David Francis Barker 2011

Will UK troops follow US out of Afghanistan?

David Francis Barker: 'I try to paint, write poetry, prose, sometimes music - I guess that makes me an artist.'