Syrian tragedy has been unfolding almost on daily basis, the avocation of blood has now entered its 8th year and humanity seems to have been sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik and naked power play. Syria has lost more than half of her population through death and migration, with 600,000 killed, a million wounded and 6 million becoming refugees. It’s a tragedy on a gigantic scale.

Not long ago, Syria was the bastion of civilization. According to the World Heritage Convention, the old city of Aleppo reflects the rich and diverse culture of its successive occupants and that Aleppo was ruled successively by Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Romans, Umayyads, Ayubis, Memluks, and Ottomans, who left their stamp on the city. Aleppo was once a thriving metropolis, with a strategic location that made it a commercial and cultural center unmatched anywhere in the world.

What is left now is the signs of savagery and rage, as described by Lyse Doucet of the BBC, it’s a city where in what was the rebel-held east are still strewn with mounds of rubble and the detritus of those forced to flee. A child’s’ shoe, a mettle teapot, a t-shirt are all that’s left of their lives. War is etched into this urban landscape; pancaked buildings and rows of houses with their fronts blasted off.

Meanwhile, the world saw blood-stained images of children and elders, and smoke puffs rising out of already destroyed neighborhoods indicate new spate of barrel bombing of eastern Ghouta. Actually, the ugly smoke puffs rising out of the minarets of the city are the collective shame of humanity; yes the humanity died in Ghouta. Unable to write an article on the death and carnage in Syria, I dedicate this small snippet to the Children of Ghouta and all the people of Syria who were massacred and maimed in the dark and dusty allies as a result of the collective failure of Islamic World and the international community:

 

HUSHED HICCUPS OF A SYRIAN KID

As the jets rumble pass my gutted home

And I glance over the dusty mosque’s dome

The skyline devoid of birds and painted in monochrome

Whispers, choked throats and hushed tones

 

Screams, sirens and blood brine

Haweija, Deir Ez-Zor, Aleppo, Mayadine

Like blackness in the depth

of a coal mine

The country side has become a large guillotine

 

Greetings from the hell holes of Aleppo and Damascus

To Tehran, Moscow, Riyadh and Kansas

Of dead bodies and carcass

Ghouta’s blood stained canvas

Shameless death of humanity’s colossus

 

Ghouta has a dusty wild mosaic

With systems gone archaic

Of burnt streets and shacks

Like a town of smokestacks

 

Fathers carrying slain bodies of kids in hides

And Kids burying their parents, besides

Atomized neighborhoods, clans and divides

We have become ‘Posters’ for all warring sides

 

Dogs gnawing at the flesh of

human bodies

The stench of blood in dark allies

Tanks and guns passing

through valleys

Daish traumatizing us through rallies

And Assad counting death tolls

and tallys

 

Dead bodies tangled in the rubble and broken chairs

We hold daily funeral prayers

Ah, Ghouta has become a graveyard in media glare

No more rainbows on our sky,

my dear

No gaggling, no laughing, it’s a

city in despair

 

Life has frozen in a dark tunnel of corpses and coffins

Of phosphorus smells and toxins

A city of human dust bins

A slaughterhouse of Muslims

 

You cannot bury the dead in time

Wait for intervals in the

bombing rhyme

In daily routine of gun fire chime

The earth is soiled, filthy and begrime

 

And there are no seasons in

Aleppo, just burnt grass

No more chirping sounds of sparrows, alas

No bustle of market, no school,

no class

Life is like walking daily

on broken glass

 

No colors, no play, no hobbies

No memories left in the house

of Zombies

Daily count of dead bodies

No meadows, gardens and

green Wadies

 

Grim destiny and the short span

of smiles

Fetching water from ten miles

Our scary lifestyles

Heaps of boulders and trash piles

 

I am hushed and scared

Uncertainty stalks the neighborhood, left uncared

Dark shadows of snipers on roof tops, prepared

The shrieks of someone slaughtered or snared

Or hurled down from a five story block, score squared

Here humanity is impaired

 

The sparrows of Ghouta are no more

My young brother lying bare on bloodstained floor

I peep through the front yard’s broken door

 

For there is nothing left but a twisted baby cot

As I clean my brother’s blood clot

And look up to God in distressed fraught

I see the angels descending

for final escort

 

His bruised legs are getting cold

And the blood oozing out uncontrolled

My tears cross the threshold

His hushed hiccups becoming breathless, behold

 

n            The author is a freelance journalist.