Robin Yassin-Kassab

Victory is Guaranteed

with 4 comments

This old man has habitually kind eyes
but now he’s in a rage
arms flap cheeks bunch hands wave

If you burn the earth under us
we will not leave
If you kill us all
we will not leave
If you bury us
we will not leave

The victory of a man on the floor of a cell
or hung from the ceiling
who does not count
who no longer feels the blows

The victory of a woman
who knows her rapist’s honour is wrecked

of a child
who draws a picture of a different city

The triumph of the stubble
the earth which sucks in carbon

The triumph over time at the instant of death

And if you kill us all
we will not leave

The victory of the wheel that lifts
deliriously in the air
of metal pipe liberated, glass smashed,
the self-creation of fire
the singular moment
when wind and stone are one

His arms swing from his shoulders
elbows flap, a crowd
to his sides, men tumbled to their feet
in an environment reorganised
by the relentless orgasm of material things

In this place, at this time,
victory is guaranteed.


Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

December 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Syria

4 Responses

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  1. Thank you for the poem. Have you any idea when that video was shot? I am in the process of studying the Oireachtas videos – including of course your own contribution, which I have just stumbled upon – and aim to write something on these, and also the background contribution of Declan Hayes, at https://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/ where I have been an occasional contributor for some years. Are you often in Ireland?


    December 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    • I was eventually able to watch your whole submission to the committee and thus finish and post my own take on the delegation, which I described as “the Devil incarnate and his gormless handmaidens, hastened by malignant spirits emerging from native burrows, [coming] amongst us”, effectively last night, in practice on Thursday (8th) afternoon: https://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/i-have-been-much-troubled/. If you’d like to answer my original question, above, and you are in fact in Ireland, I’d be keen to meet up with you, whenever that may be convenient for both.


      December 9, 2016 at 4:32 am

      • I’m sorry, William, I was only in Ireland for a couple of days. The video was shot in Aleppo a day or two before I posted this.

        Robin Yassin-Kassab

        December 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      • Thanks for getting back to me, Robin. If you’re out west in Ireland at any point, you could hook up more directly, for example by DM via Facebook or Twitter. I can’t remember why I am “wiliamlambton” here. William Lambton is the actual name, as is probably fairly obvious. In fact, I have just changed the setting accordingly.

        William Lambton

        December 18, 2016 at 6:41 am

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