Whispers of the Desert Night Wind 

Beyond the bloodshed and bombing,

beyond the rubble and ruins of homes and hamlets,

hidden identities rise from beneath

the weight of authoritarian secularism.


Life is measured in mere statistical body count.

bid as a zero-sum game,

and traded at discount in the Shi’a/Sunni marketplace

where the oblivion of the dead meets the deadline.


Social harmony rises in jagged inequality

against the background of the shifting sands of an un-civil war

that turns into a foe any friend whose otherness is cast by faith.


Where body-clad souls are dumped in the heap of humanity,

the land claims those who once claimed it.

The neighborhood gangs spray paint Syria’s tomorrow

in shades of dark ideologies—

non-Syrian, non-Islamic, non-human.

In the nowhereness of the refugee camps

that dot the desert in ineligible scripted code,

children see life

through the sectarian lens of a fractured reality.


There, Syria’s otherness stands naked

to the stares of strangers. 

Its story yearns for a listening ear

to tell itself even if in discorded stanzas

and speak of the dreaded dark clouds

that heralded the season of change.


Syria’s story is whispered on the wings of

the night wind that blows across the desert.

Its sufferings have been etched

onto a nation’s scarred psyche

one painful needle point at a time.


Behind the shattered window panes of

an ancient temple of an ancient God,

a shattered heart traces its final thumping.

The minaret call echoes His greatness,

as the unfulfilled heart’s moments count down

to its final lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-…

Zaman Stanizai