The Mirror to Beirut
The yellow building of Beirut,
Has been left as it was,
Beside the passing traffic,
Like a mirror to the past.
Its lilting window sills,
Are carved and singing,
Its sculpted columns,
Dance with decoration,
The waltzing symmetry,
Of its forms and facade,
Coloured yellow like silk.
Yet its walls are potted,
With war and bullet holes.
Like a modern painting,
Like lines of music,
You can almost hear,
The rifles rattling,
The machine gun stutter,
In the patterns that are left,
The bullet pointillism,
Sculpted into its stone.
There are so many bullet holes,
So relentless,
It is almost decorative,
Almost symmetrical,
Each column is holed,
Each windowsill is patterned,
With the holes of war.
Only the windows,
The eyes and ears,
Of the building are missing.
You are left looking,
Into this mirror,
With its disturbing symmetry,
Of peace and war,
Of dancing and bullets,
The past and present,
In this yellow building,
Decorated with life before,
And with war.
It stands like a sculpture,
A war memorial,
Beside the daily traffic route,
A mirror held up to Beirut.