Sunday, 20 January 2013


This is a sample from my Kindle novel "Not In My Name"  about the development of home grown suicide bombers in the UK. Part of the novel is told in the form of internet forums, since that is where the new politics is being fought out, but the sample below is a poem. There is a long tradition of Arabic Poetry, including both romantic and courtly verse. As Islam consolidated its influence, the more ribald aspects of poetry disappeared and the object of the love expressed by the poet frequently was that of Islam and faith itself.

Capitation (poem by Aki)
Eyes cast down, neck braced by the wood
Impressed grain logs the ineffable ruling.
Court artist sand, worm’s upraised viewing
Death mask imprinted with my blood.
I blanch while the ascending ground darkens
Trading places, I divine sacrifice not martyr.

In the arena, a recount of the charges
My basket case nerves nod mute accord.
There is no bucket beneath to slam dunk
Neither Jacobin traitor, nor political agitator
My poll will not be mounted upon any pole.
All glassy eyed it will be held up high
Revolved around, to be cheered all four sides.

My lolling tongue and foaming maw
Are requested to shape the words of Shahada.
Lip service paid now, whence in default before
Churlish to supplicate for a miracle.
I hear the soft sandalled tread
An executioner’s shadow enshrouding
As the sword’s molecules dash on deck
Each anticipates bloody anointing.

I shut my eyes, no desire to see
The separation of my apostate head,
From my mutinous body. Instead,
An involuntary prayer, to whom I am unsure.
I hearken the shimmering swish of a scimitar
Perceive behind a field of dancing light.
Beauteous spectral wake as blade parts the air.
Not taut like steel, but floppy green
Long-stemmed bloom presented afore me

A declaration of love, gift of life
Revivifying my enervated senses.
I unfasten my lids, unshutter my gaze
Winch my head up from the stump
And view only the one, you my love
As you drop your veil, to reveal
A different red hue sun glinting.
You shake away the baying dogs
With a sweep of your head
Your welcoming arms grant private audience

I stand and stride, a little shakily
No mirage you, unflinching in bearing
A cradle of acceptance
Perfectly tailored for my body
Hands safeguarding my bare crown.
On approach they spangle and change
Now palm fronds provide our joint canopy
My bride elixir births me anew
Returns me to my root safely.
Intact, yet only half a man still
Unblockishly lower my gaze and modesty

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