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My Neighbours

For twenty years they lived in this country,
Working hard, praying to God, living lives
Of tolerance in this land of the free,
And now there is a war the hidden knives

Are out, twisting and turning pettily
In racist xenophobia from fools
Whose minds, it seems to me, are completely
Swayed by whatever wind blows, whose only rules

Are to side with the Greater, the Easier,
The most Inflamnatory, the Simplest
Course to Violence, whose only real desire
Is to fight, and destroy whatever’s best

In anything, everything, in my land:
MY neighbours, MY relatives – understand!?

8/10/01

Shortly after 9/11 the world went a bit mad. There were all sorts of organisations picking on Muslims. I lived in a Muslim street for ten years and though there was the usual range of crooks, philanderers, druggies and alcoholics there were also some top-quality people.

Last line – ‘my relatives’ – there was one high-quality family that treated me like a brother.

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