John-Ward Leighton CD

SINGING OPPOSING SONGS IN BLACK AND WHITE

somewhere in the dark of night
a song like a bird in flight
flies through the chill
into every valley and desert hill

the hum of sleeping city with occasional cocks crow
1965 was so very long ago
and the wailing morning call to prayer
and the donkeys heehawing there

a first night in a divided city
split by lines of religion and race
on radio watch armed to the teeth
the dusty alleys of the green line silent

peace-keeping maintaining the status quo
on the dusty Nicosia plain
wondering if it was ever
going to rain ever again

the breeze always hot never cool
dust and flies
and midnight patrols
and sweat stunk clothes

a shower once a week
and Keo beer hangovers
one week off in six months
to a then happier Beirut

a mail strike in Canada so no news except
by very bad expensive phone calls
and the Canadian media saying
we were having such a grand time

if boredom and sweat
are ever a good time
if it sits still whitewash it
if it moves salute it

six months and the day my company leaves it rains
flooding down the gullies and the drains
Cyprus only gets six inches a year
and they got it all on the day we flew home

I wish I could say we did something useful
but we only maintained a loose and often violated truce
and pissed away one billion dollars
but perhaps saved our faltering peacetime army
from disappearing

the island is still divided
and the power struggles persists
politics and religion fuel the ongoing fight
singing opposing songs in black and white

John-Ward Leighton CD: Singing Opposing Songs In Black And White