Nigel Holt


Ill Wind


A Sinai wind is an abrasive tongue, spoken rashly.

Its words are licks of paint lifted from the lids

of Gamal Abdulnasser’s red-star Sarcophagi.

The desert sun scours father’s skull; a glazed rictus

of a face torched in tallow –

till the wick ran dry.


So his children burn.


A Gaza wind is an ancient hand, waved imperiously.

Its gesture, fingers of contempt that cover the red

of a covetous earth, hubris calls its own.

The desert sun scours father’s skull; a dry patch

where bloody-eared crops once bloomed into menorahs -

till the flood failed.


So his children pray for rain.



Nigel Holt © 2010