Forged Steel Hearts

Their ancient cities powder
to the sound of bombs
fine walls withstood assault
by warrior kings and warlord gangs.

Medinas filled with traded goods
once opium, slaves and iron knives
small children slipping free to run
women laughed, upheld the creed.

Their desert sands taught charity
yet we class them less than us
the refuge they had sought
denied by partisans.

Scarred by a war-free West
young men grow old in off shore jails
faces grimed with tears
our laws are bent as scimitars.


Salt water pulse
valves in and out  in and out  and on
coloured stripes  red yellow black  blend or clear
long tentacles stretch  drift and pull  death sting on touch
bellows puff  deflate  push against the depths
a rise of warmth  their bloom of eggs
gives billionfold increase
depletes fish stocks
till all we eat
is slime.

Turning To Dust

It comes by degrees
small acts of parliament
like white ants
gnawing in the dark
underneath our house.

Their glossy spin
is mere façade of paint
we’re told it keeps us safe
our rights are hollow beams
they have been eaten out.

Michele Fermanis-Winward is a witness and she will not be quiet. Please comment below, support Michele here, and consider donating a sum to this magazine as thanks for this experience.