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,
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.