#poem #poetry #amwriting the muslim's tale xvi

slow turns against the lowered sky
vultures patient biding time
their tail-feathers angled down
to pick the bones of the town

dust settled about the reined in steeds
lowering the hammer of the sultan's gaze
their standards flick upon the breeze
more dour this scene than any battle won

in twos and threes and sometimes more
lay those who once had names at dawn
without rigour left to puff or preen
mortal rude remains of traduced spleen

the wine of gall cannot be sipped
except upon affairs of state
when justice weighs the balance tipped
and wisdom merits matters right

but not for this from satan's cup
doolia stands blood-drained before the mosque
discard of pomegranate shells surround her
before her that which was her baba

notched and drawn the arrows wait
bead taken true upon the heart
on commanding fall of the sultan's sword
these righteous men will slay the cur

not through courage or by fear
doolia stands boldly as a martyr
face to face with the teaming snakes
of the daemon that was once her father