A Young Plant at Khyber Pass

Be they a hundred years old,
patriarchs of conquest cold
nodding on thrones of porphyry,
never have they seen, like Mehri at ten,
what she had witnessed then,

When metallic brutes of prey
stole her father’s breathing dear,
bedimming the daylight’s way,
bloodying her beauty clear.

In the playground of oligopolies,
of dirty old orders of war which sear small birds still,
ambulant, benumbing hostilities
ravage the biophile ethic of Summerhill.

The loess of bellicosity
in Badsha Khan’s tenacious hills
obscures those archaeologies
which bring forth nobility
through solar, gentle pedagogies.

In a lair as blind as this,
what could she have learnt of
art, and logic, and peace?


Daniel Jakopovich is a writer, researcher, vegan abolitionist and a peace campaigner. He was the founder and editor of the Novi Plamen journal for peace studies, politics and culture (on the territory of former Yugoslavia), and was a guest lecturer in Politics, Political Economy and Sociology at the University of Cambridge and at several other universities. Previously a trustee of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (England) and a Council member of the International Peace Bureau, he is currently a national organiser for the Stop the War Coalition. His forthcoming book is entitled Towards Revolutionary Peacemaking: Essays for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence. Read other articles by Daniel.