The old city was once alive People gaily flocked hither and thither Now there is a smell of death, in the chill of the air. Antiquity to ashes turned The sacred landscape and its horizons, Now inhabit a sordid state, My solitude, my refuge A blot of shame. Leaders, abandon without care Treachery in the corridors of power Rudderless, hurled aside We survive. Lives cast to ashes, by whim Too many, far too many, We have no count, Of precious lives lost To a charade, nay a travesty. Land and citizens forsaken, It’s a game of dare, We are miserable, still we smile ‘In this Land of the Pure’ This slogan is a mockery! What deviant words. We are amongst the land of the impure Tyrants speak in tongues Faces, masks of deceit, shrewd hypocrisy Neighbours, brothers, sisters, slaughtered We weep in silence or shout in despair. Oppressors are not leaders Worthy of compliance We are not slaves, nor born in bondage Leaders hide not behind arrogance Nor take pride in being called master, Leaders are but a guide to their people, A humble slave. The one who wears the crown Has a million obligations to fulfill To serve and protect its citizens, Where are our leaders? Why have we been abandoned? In times of our needs? Our country is sinking like a weak Ship, Deeper and deeper Into the pits of desolateness, Where are our defenders? The blue sirens of the ambulances, Sing the tune of death As they rush through dimly lit highways. Leaders are worthy upholders of justice The pulpit, should sing out Love, unity, brotherhood A tolerance for all. Bigotry, poison, division are unworthy Of a religious robe Is Satan dancing to a gleeful tune? A deafening silence prevails over my city, No fog can compare to this sickening silence Even the howls of the rabid beasts, Cry out no more. Every nook and cranny of my fair city, Lies desolate to man’s inhumanity. There is hope we will rise again, The city will sing, its chorus of love Lights will sparkle, Dance will lead the walk of death, To the pits of damnation. The city of love, Will love once again. The writer is a lawyer and social activist. She is an aspiring author who loves poetry and humour. She tweets at @ammara_gul Published in Daily Times, January 1st 2018.