Tuesday, June 7, 2011


++ *Anthem ++
To me the anthem always meant
Sore feet and a neck twinge
Standing at attention to a tune written
Before the digitalization of our economy
When horses were more likely than cars
The Wright Brothers were still dreaming
And blasting off to the Moon
was domain of Jules Verne and HG Wells
Now when anthem plays
I think of dust crusted soldiers
Fighting in those lands where Alexander once fought
Lands little changed in bleak outlook
Family and tribe interchangeable and immutable
The fields they crop and sow
Wild goats as lean as the people
Always been a struggle here
Developed a fragmented nation
Of tribal alliances and warlord rule
Never keen to acknowledge any law
Other than the law they call their own
As every invader from Alexander onward learnt
As empire fingers constantly burnt
By the challenge of taking the Land
Conquering the folk of Afghanistan
Who allowed you in and there greeting faded
More than one Empire discovered
Afghanistan was a step to far
The highest peak of ambition was arriving
To escape the land was mere surviving
And all the world noted your defeat
At home and abroad knocked from your seat
And confidence given to revolutionaries
Soon the empire will fall
For in Afghanistan the impetus of victory stalled
So now our men in khaki fight
Slouch hats discarded for hardier headwear
To assist the people who sought no help
Bring democracy where votes are bought
Little wonder as days and years past
We prepare to escape at last
Our ambitions grown smaller
As we realise this costly power
To change a world cannot be done
Without blood shed in Afghanistan.

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