Birds Still Fly in Damascus
The hum of the flaming helicopter
for the new hole of
falling on Al-Marjeh, Damascus central square.
A flock of cuckoos fly
around and away.
Hiding from mediocre fate,
some high in the remaining cypresses,
some low under the wrecked rickshaws
they’d been nesting.
The bullets that constantly puncture
the walls of every standing building
digging to the inside
piercing the idle myth
Alas! The roofs they ignore,
it is where the sparrows have always nested,
each mother’s wings on her offspring’s hearing cavities
this new generation will not have to bare this fear,
- wishing –
somehow those men will respect her and cease fire.
At midnight the mayor’s house collapsing
on the corner house of the migrating lawyer
launching a flock of pigeons to the sky,
all dusted and wounded,
barely flying to keep up,
I’ve just grabbed a falling feather,
hoping it is white
but I’m just another blinded Oedipus
and I’ve just got married
to a mother called Battle
Birds, I once said, are still flying in Damascus.
Allow me to assure before I go.
- But wait!-
This old eagle isn’t.
Sitting in his huge nest
on the water tower,
waiting for something to change,
he has no eggs to hatch,
he has no mouths to feed,
he just sits there,
wings open in dismay.
Thirsty, are you, my king?
Why won’t youdrink
from the deposit’s ajar door?
Or hungry, if I may ask?
Why won’t you just feast
on the vulnerable rats
as they follow the centrifugal urge
of this city to empty up?
But if you are scared
why won’t you sneak late at dusk
to find a new home afar?
So quiet he is, an idle eagle,
a humble symbol,
of a dynasty ready to fall.
And now, full of days,
I am ready to draw my own conclusions
and partly disagree with my own allusion,
Some birds just can’t fly in Damascus
Author C. R. Tsiailis was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1974. He is an English teacher but his passion for writing consumes most of his time, when he is not out training as a triathlete.
His publications include poems in literary magazines ‘ArtAdsence’, ‘Dianysma’ and ‘Rogmes’, short stories in literary magazines ‘Parathyro’, ‘Fractal’ and ‘In Focus’, poems in the poetry Anthology ‘4th Team Poetry Anthology of Dianysma Publishing House’ andshort stories in anthologies ‘Athens this evening’, ‘To Epos TouFantastikou: Adiexodo’, ‘1st Cyprus Fiction Anthology: The Riverof Time’, ‘ParaxenoiErotes’ and haikus in ‘Diaspora Anthology’ in Australia.He has received numerous distinctions in Panhellenic literary contests for poems, short stories and theatre plays. He is the author of “Throwing Dice OnA Chessboard”, 2010,”The Green Divorce”, 2012, the sci-fi novel‘Klotho Surfaces’,April 2016 and the short story collection “ΨΩΜΙ (=bread)” 2017. He also writes articles, interviews of artists and book reviews for Literary Magazines in Greece. He is occasionally a member of Panhellenic literary contests’ committees.