from Rising

by Steve Ely

In Mosul, Homs and eyeless Gaza
kids swarm the streets
of the dismembered caliphate
spouting freedom and riches,
styling with AKs and PSG 10,
theatres of dreaming and war:
the kops and graveyards of FIFA’s planet
are stiff with creaming boys.
This time it’s oil, not markets.
This time it’s oil, not borders.
This time it’s oil, not ideas.
This time it’s  money and power-
like last time and every time before.
ISIL striking at the bubbling black belly
of Pharaoh, Master of World,
his captains pressing the poor to war
for the rich man’s right
to luxury and ease: Blair,
Berlusconi, bin Jaber al Thani.
No homes for heroes
save the mortgaged grave;
no help for heroes
but straw-less Pithoms
of hi-viz drudgery and narcotic TV.
O spirits of Rigby and noble Farmer,
mown-down battalions
of wasted shires, rise
from England’s wretched earth
and from unwilled wars
pass gallantly
to wars of will and justice –