Leaving Aleppo

The first clutch lands on al-Ajami street,
flattens the whole souq.
We cling to each other beneath the table.
Her nails pierce my skin.

When the bombs stop we emerge
like hatchlings. She watches her belly,
rocks it, bids it quicken.
In the street people lie broken.

We do what we can: lug stones,
keep the dogs away.
The sun dips. We light oil lamps,
make love quietly, talk of the best way out.

In Benghazi, militiamen beat us,
take our money. We reach a fishing village
near Al Nakheel, hide behind tamarisks.
The boat is late.

At sea the engine judders, misses beats.
Lights on the shoreline die.
The moon whispers. We dare not move,
a crewman’s boot the edge of our world.

© peter wilkin


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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