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 Kabul Press, World Media Home

Impending War

Jennifer Longer

Over the towns and villages of the Middle East

Thousands of stars glint oblivious

In the navy sky

The moon a crescent

All is still, silent

In Baghdad, Suleimanya

Ramat-Gan and Tel-Aviv

Streets deserted

Whitewashed houses, blocks of flats

Stand serene

Tough leaved plants in pots on balconies

Tired washing blows listlessly on rooftops

The heat is rising

The tension is palpable


Inside, couples feign sleep

But toss and turn exhausted

The imagination is active at night

Fear unloosed and unchained

Only the little children sleep deeply

In Israel strange shapes rise up from bedside tables

Gas masks, tried on umpteen times

Everywhere cupboards and cellars stacked full

Rice, sugar, chickpeas, lentils, olives, flour, tinned food…

The sound of a door slamming

Someone shouting

Enough to bring on a frenzy of nerves


Outside, strange men in camouflage creep from shadowy doorway to shadowy doorway

Lost in the gloom of the alley


A whistling sound, a flash darts down

Too fast to comprehend

An explosion, screaming

A house in ruins

Concrete falls spasmodically and settles

An ambulance screams through the night


In the buildings

Chaos and confusion

People rush down to cellars

Hide under beds and tables

Shivering and shaking

Staying there for hours


The stars glint on oblivious

In the navy blue sky

Over the Middle East














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