The Chains of Al BP

30/1/95

Through a smokey mist, barely perceived figures
drift past this peripheral life.
The smell of the souq is strong in my nose
and my ears brim with the sounds of its
everyday life.
If I push hard, my fingertips can register the
feel of rough stone and sand.
When I eat, at the prescribed times, my
tongue is allowed the full taste of the fare.

But, what a joy to be able to see !
To talk like a European, to have a say in
where to eat and decide where I can go.
This dream billows in the wind like an
elusive dust devil.
Gliding forwards the beggars are unseen
until I trip and feel the keen pain of a
broken ankle.

I exist to make more of them.
I exist to serve and obey them.
I have no rights under them
and may not look upon them.
No original thoughts are permitted
or changes allowed.
My time in life is chosen by men,
honourably following the Koran.

And yet, I have arms like them.
I have legs and feet and toes,
my heart beats like theirs.
I have a brain, and a tongue to speak.
My folly was to be born one of the meek.
I cannot change this,
no matter how hard I flail,
Their power is endorsed by the West's
thirst for oil.

Rebellion is death.
A life of living servitude is living death.
I am a Bedouin Ghoul.
To live like them would be just.
To have sex how we like, when we like,
To marry those who please us,
To have free thoughts and
Travel with the breeze.
Men's rules are strong for men and
crushing for us.
Through this mist how can we see the
way to end this ?
We are the undead.

I exist to make more of them,
and so I will until the oil's gone.
But what then ?
Who will want to know these men ?
When life is hard and pulled from the
dust,
what changes will that present us ?