Maryam of Homs

Maryam of Homs

A Poem by riskrapper
"

Homage to Homs

"

 



Maryam
turned,
moving
away
from the
caravans of
bulldozers
entering
Homs.


She
could
not bear
to look
upon the
the teeth
of steel
tracks
sloshing
through
puddles
of blood,
plowing
the rubble,
burying the
mush,
coolly
covering the
fingerprints of
criminals.

Maryam
beheld the
conquering
soldiers
standing
atop piles
of shrapnel
marked and
launched by
Syria’s finest
artillery officers.

She
remained
within ear shot
to hear the
victor’s
orator,
recite the
history of
the conquest,
carefully
spinning
suspicion,
and casting
blame
for the
devastation
onto the
vanquished.

The speaker
lauded the
efforts of
esteemed
comrades
commanding
black regiments
chasing the
last rats still
lapping at
the edges
of the red
pools;
hieing to
the dead
catacombs
as sanctuaries
of salvation.

The barker
goads other gangs
to commence a
surgical search
of hospitals to
root out wounded
insurgents. He
suggests they be
removed from
their recovery
beds and thrown
atop the piles of refuse
where the busy tractors
will push the rubble
into the far corners
of the mind where
obfuscation and
forgetfulness
blissfully anoints
unsettled memory.

Alarmed,
Maryam breaks
for the hospital,
to nurse the
injured.

She moves with
stealth through
the broken city’s
debris strewn streets.
Maryam eyes the
inert concrete,
blasted into
ghastly shapes,
burying secrets,
concealing terrible
stories of what
transpired
during the
pacification of
Baba Amr.

These
grotesque
gargoyles,
sculpted by the
mangled hand
of a deranged
sociopath
will hold their
silence for
only so long.

Dark secrets
never live
forever.

The distended heaps
of jangled rebar
pokes through
broken chunks
of concrete
like rib cages
picked clean by
the jackals
of war.

The pulverized
concrete forms
telling Mandalas
giving voice to
the stained
stones crying
the secrets of
terrible truths that
unmarked graves
never keep
silent.

Maryam
is desperate
to find
lost children.

She knows
the ungodly
conquerors
eagerly
hunt them.

The subjugators
are drunk from the
draughts of blood
they profanely quaff.

They thirst
for more and
have set
their sight on
the children.

The crucifiers
kiss the sword
to cleanse
the insurgent
city of its
youngest
citizens.

Bashar has
condemned
a generation
to death.

He desires
to purge Syria
of a heinous
memory stored in
the ripening minds
of Homs’ children.

They stand in  
witness to
the murder
of their
childhood.

Righteous
indignation
breeds a
long  memory
nursed by the
vanquished as
a cherished gift;
bestowed to
successive
generations
like a valuable
family heirloom;
but
resentment
makes for
a monstrous
coat of arms
vanquishers
bequeath to
the defeated.

Maryam
crosses over
the scattered
stones 
incapable
of bleeding
one more
drop of blood.

She hears
the howling
spirits calling
from the broken
ruins.

She glimpses
the dark silhouettes
of fleeting apparitions
moving through
the upper floors
of flame stained
buildings.

The ghostly
shadows of
lost children
wander, seeking
the rest of an
expired future
sired by their
state sanctioned
execution.


Maryam
grows anxious
as she
approaches
the hospital.

She arranges
her silk scarf.

She examines
her calloused
hands. The lines
of her palms
are soiled,
cakes of dirt
have settled
under her
fingernails;
yet sufficient
strength remains
in her arms
to roll away
the large stones
entombing
revelations
of love and
miracles of
deliverance.

The pock
marked
hospital now
in sight,
Maryam
enters the gate
of a ancient
graveyard;
clambering
over burial
mounds
of her dead
ancestors.

She remembered
a placard hanging
in the hospital’s
waiting room.

“Art is long; life is short;
opportunity is fleeting;
judgement is difficult;
experience is deceitful.”
Hippocrates.

As Maryam
neared the
graveyard exit
she was
overtaken by
Syrian soldiers
brandishing AK’s.

One stuck a
dusty barrel
into Maryam’s
face while
the other tapped
the back of her
head from behind.

A weeping
Maryam
knelt before
her captors.

She
washed
the dust
from their
boots with
flowing tears
and wiped
them clean
with her hair;
praying for
the power
of love
to once
again
overcome
the stalk
of death.

Prostrate
and prone
Maryam
waited to
accept the
shaft of
recrimination
through her
bleating gums.

If recollection is long
in the living,
memory is eternal
in the dead generations.

The only known cure
for the disease of acrimony
is the strong balm of love.

Maryam would
never again nurse
the wounded 
children of
Homs.

Music Selection:
Chanticleer & Yvette Flunder
There is a Balm in Gilead

Oakland
3/12/12
jbm

© 2012 riskrapper



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Added on June 2, 2012
Last Updated on June 3, 2012
Tags: Homs, Syria, Baba Amr, war crimes, civil war, Arab Spring, women, children