July evening ii

It being so dry, the

Stale water in our paddling pool cannot be wasted,

So I chuck in the watering can and

Keep my bare foot on its neck

Until it is drowned.

The spout expels last air,

Thus –

And the can is heavy again,

Corpsed water which

Spills over on my walk to the vegetables

And the raspberries.

Does Egypt grow raspberries, I wonder

Full of the news from Cairo.

Or is her constant sun too intolerant?

And do her poor people have time between exchanges

Pertaining to such important differences between them,

To water their gardens?


If you wish to be a martyr for Allah,

Or perhaps you are an instrument of the deep state –

Neither allows present time for gardening.

In England we watch tennis, we bathe and we sleep.

Cairo’s families chant,

They do not wake England.

You are for America!  We are with Allah!

You are nothing. It is time my brothers shared in wealth

From which you have always excluded us.

I admire that young soldier, who fires upon you.

I am Tahrir. The Brotherhood.

A farmer unable to feed my children.


This evening on the corniche, in the concrete squares,

Groups of men and women rest from chanting furiously at

Others who might be themselves.

Scents of sweet shisha drift across the principal bridges

And down onto the wide river.

In Egypt, nothing is as great as this river,

A God blessed by every man.

Green with sediment,

Its grains of sand suspended

Faeces, plump-bellied fish sipping the

Rotting matter of this revolution’s fireworks,

The river rolls north,

Everything helpless and drifting.

2 thoughts on “July evening ii

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