Reflections on the never-ending war drama in Afghanistan

The Guernica of Kabul

Projected perceptions

on Shayrdarwaza’s Lion Gate precipice

stare at the logic of skewed perspective

that glares at its own image

etched in self-deception.


The illusion of righteousness

and the fog of ignorance

play Central Asia’s Great Game,

the Buzkashi:

A ram’s head dragged the distance,

its horns spiral in opposite directions

drawing parallel lines in the sand

between the conflict and conflicted.

Shadows of familiar faces

fake accents of deception

between biting sarcasm and irking irony:

—Will we survive Democracy?

—Can’t be worse than Communism.


Against the backdrop of

tangled and twisted heads of

bulls and beasts,

horses and horsemen,

Guernica is painted

in ash gray and phosphorous white.

Life is mangled

in death-defying drama of survival.

The silhouette of a daunted woman

dies a third death,

but refuses to be mourned. 

Zaman Stanizai