R.S. Thomas Series: Mujahideen at the Fair

^ this video might auto-play on some browsers, if it does I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but know there is nothing I can do to stop it.

The Fair

The idiot goes round and around
With his brother in a bumping-car
At the fair. The famous idiot
Smile hangs over the car’s edge,
Illuminating nothing. This is mankind
Being taken for a ride by rich
Relation. The responses are fixed:
Bump, smile; bump, smile. And the current

Is generated by the smooth flow
Of the shillings. This is an orchestra
Of steel with the constant percussion
Of laughter. But where he should be laughing
Too, his features are split open, and look!
Out of the cracks come warm, human tears.

Yuval Noah Harari:

When the Islamic State conquered large parts of Syria and Iraq, it murdered tens of thousands of people, demolished archaeological sites, toppled statues, and systematically destroyed the symbols of previous regimes and of Western cultural influence. But when its fighters entered the local banks and found there stashes of American dollars covered with the faces of American presidents and with slogans in English praising American political and religious ideals they did not burn these symbols of American imperialism.. for the dollar bill is universally venerated across all political and religious divides.

“An orchestra of steel with the constant percussion of laughter” seems as accurate a description as any of what the world witnessed as the Taliban overthrew the American yoke with ever increasing American means.

but “look!”

God secreted
A tear. Enough, enough,
He commanded, but the machine
Looked at him and went on singing

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.