Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Xanadu, er...Baghdad

did Kublai Khan... um, Saddam decree a...uh, mediocre pleasure dome decree:
Where Tigris the, waste filled river, ran
through qanats dug by man
Down to a sun baked sea.
So twice five meters of trash strewn ground
With T-walls and checkpoints were girdled round:
And there were a couple trees, right with post-no-bills,
Where blossomed not many a pigeon-bearing tree;
Enfolding overly sunny spots of mundanity.

But oh ! that shallow sluggish chasm which slanted
Down the green non-hill athwart an urban cover !
A savage place ! as holed and disenchanted
By woman wailing in fear of her Uday-lover !
And from this qanat, with ceaseless turmoil not seething,
As if this earth in dust filled pants were breathing,
A broken sewer pipe momently was forced :
Huge fragments vaulted like horrid hail,
Or plastic bags as the trash collectors fail:
And 'mid these crumbling blocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the Tigris River.
Through palm grove and city front the polluted river ran,
Then reached the qanats dug by man,
And sank in oil slicks to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult the now dead Saddam heard from far

The shadow of the cement dome of semi-pleasure

Floated midway on the waves ;

Where was heard the honking measure

From the traffic and the drivers' raves.
It was a miracle of traffic device,

A traffic circle blocked by a truck of ice!

A burkha with a dulcimer

In a bazaar once I saw :
It was an Assyrian crone (old),
Singing of Chemical Ali.
Could I revive within me
Her cackling and song,
To such a bet 'twould win me,
That with dollars and dinar long,
I would not build that crappy dome in air,
That shabby dome ! those bags of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Look There ! Look There !
Weave a noose round him thrice,
And close your eyes with R Rated dread,
For he on Iraqi oil profits hath fed,
And spoilt the milk of Paradise.

My apologizes to Samuel Coleridge.



Blogger sparrow said...


Major John, that is FANTASTIC.

8:18 PM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/14/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Maggie Goff said...

WOW ! Don't kid yourself, Mr. Coleridge is jealous! LOL

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's this Coleridge guy and what unit is he with?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Carl H said...

Hat tip.

5:05 PM  
Blogger LTC John said...

bob r,

Some Brit dude. I know he wasn't with the Scots Borderers or the Scots Dragoon Guards. Maybe he was Green Howard or Sherwood Forester...

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hats off, gentlemen, to genius.
The most literate military dispatch since "Peccavit."

Some do not know that the Academies are the only colleges in North America that offer a Bachelor of Science degree in English.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Major John:

Do the Brits really have "dudes"? Maybe Coleridge was the bloke to whom Imam Mahdi spoke in Basra, the one whose unpenned agreement with Mahdi is now broke...

5:23 PM  
Blogger LTC John said...

Anon - I have never been within 200 miles of West Point... I was prior enlisted and received my commission through the University of Illionis ROTC (2 years). However, I do have a BA and MA in History and a JD.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

I think Mr. Coleridge's drugs are wearing off and our consumption grows ever worse.

Very nice!

6:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

  • Wikablog - The Weblog Directory

  • My blog is worth $60,970.32.
    How much is your blog worth?