Tuesday, 27 January 2015

On the streets of Sarajevo (James WF Roberts)

On the streets of Sarajevo
(James WF Roberts)

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
a prince is killed by a mad
young man, wanna be hero.

Whole world turn to chaos
on the streets of Sarajevo,
the black hand struck
with lightning thrust,
sovereignty ravaged
by centuries of war
July crisis
who cares about international law?

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
man and wife we slain,
victims of nationalistic rage

their death marks
the beginning of the modern age,
Greatest family spat in history,
all first cousins on the thrones of Europe,
Serbia wanting autonomy
Austro-Hungarian want none of it,
Ferdinand a modernist, a reformer
innocent man, no blood on his hands.

Dotty old grandfather,
can’t see the writing on the wall.
One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
on the steps of city hall,
after they survived a grenade attack.

Bubbling away,
simmering, cruelly
and calculating,
more guns and battleships
no one seems to care
the Balkan powder keg,
like a child playing with
his father’s gun, won’t take
long for it to erupt…

Viennese coffee houses,
full of Jewish intellectuals
Parisian galleries young Pablo
is busy at work.

Slave wages for miners,
women get less than half,
Jean Jaures, gunned  down
for doing what was right,
Le Croissant, was never the same again.

Wilhelm—deformed little man,
so ashamed of his English blood
One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo






The great bear in the East,
will not survive this war,
Japan in 1904 handed them
back their balls,

Rasputin’s
dark and brooding eyes
sees all that soon will come.
his fingers upon
all the strings…

He foresees the destruction
of the Tsar—all that’s been built
in that grand old name.

Maps redrawn
borders eroded
national pride
handed back on a plate,
lingering hatred, frustration
burning away until 1938.

On the streets of Sarajevo
too many greedy mouths
not enough pieces to go around
soon poppies will grow
where once brave young men
fell in the snow…

One hundred years ago,
On the streets of Sarajevo
a prince is killed by a mad

young man, wanna be hero

the old world
of peace and civility
shall be gone forever

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