Mosul By Zaineb Alani


It will rain
as the blood finds its way
over the Mosul dam.

But no mercy can erase
the daze of death
in children’s eyes…

And no sanity cease
the glazed gaze of the crying elderly.

The science of breaking a people
is teaching its young
the art of slaughter.

Ripping up a nation
comes with
tucking fright into bedtime rituals.

It arrives with burning
centuries of memorized lyrics and feeding the ashes
to famished minds.

Rain cannot not wash away
the footprints of panic now engraved in rotting ground.

This fury of breath breeds stifled survival that all of God’s rains cannot revive…

Fear is ‘the thing with feathers’ that pecks at the heart of normalcy.

“Let’s all roll out the beds in the heart of the room (for the groom)…the (envious) enemy has
died and his colors have paled…”

But they burned the beds and they burned the grooms…

And lastly they set fire to all the remaining songs….

And no Mosul Monsoon could ever extinguish the lingering rage..

By Zaineb Alani


I am a published poet living in diaspora since birth. I have survived multiple wars and political and social transitions. My life observations are full of those and more.
This poem was inspired by listening to an old folkloric song from Mousl. It reminded me that the city once had life and rich culture before war tore its idenitity to shreds.

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