Fallujah - western teardrop of Bagdad,

Flare lights streaming down onto the face of

The land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Anointed by holy oil.

Embers of white phosphorous glow

Near a lighted mosque

Where the only voices heard are sounds of


Silent screams echo from hostage “slaughterhouses”,

Empty and bereft of prayer.

The beheaded cannot speak.

Body bags delivered before carnage,

Obscene gestures of practicality.

Booby trapped trash cans,

Cannon fire, machine gun bursts

Guarantee they will be filled.

Fallujah - magnet for warriors

Where hunters and prey are one,

Trapped in a maze of blood,

Draining into the spiral of tears.

Videos of slaughter, sold in the marketplace,

Whetting the blood lust, the contagion of anger, the cycle of revenge

Insurgents - sniping, fleeing malignancies,

Spreading like cancer unseen -

Metastasizing, invisible, waiting to strike

Living on to fight another day, another place

In this, the “cradle of civilization”.

The bough threatens to break, the cradle to fall.

Massacres erupt in Boqubah, Haditha, Haqlaniya, Mosul.

Over 1,500 American Forces,

35,000 civilians

Fallen from the tree of life

Onto dry desert sand .

Tigris and Euphrates,

Rivers of ancient lore,

Refreshing desert land,

Flowing on beneath bridges destroyed,

Flowing on after Death’s work is done.

Virginia Atkinson


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