Aleppo: On Worst Times
By Bipin Khatiwada

Old man
Looks at houses.
Tears stream from eyes,
Beading dust where children played.
He puts on glasses;
Sees homes ravished, breaking hearts.
Soldiers enter houses.
Bring out four girls
Only in torn blouses
Amid screams for help.
Vultures rape justice and respect.
Girls plead against violence.
Hand bite costs a life.
Old man turns his eyes.
He sees a group of mothers
Shot by troops,
Blood fades into black dresses.
Blast turns building to dust.
One-hundred men fire at soldiers.
Now a battleground,
The old man closes his eyes,
Until silence replaces cries.
Cheers erupt from troops
Swinging guns.
Bottles of wine in all hands
Are surrounded by flags.
Sad old eyes see brothers and sisters
Stretch dying fingers in dust.
Why cheer, he wonders,
As an 8-year-old boy is toppled
In a black sack by five men in black.
An appeal from the old man’s tongue
Brings a bullet through his chest.
With no sense of humanity,
Everything happens in Aleppo.

(Editor’s note: NonDoc publishes poetry and creative writing in addition to commentary and news reporting. To submit your poetry for consideration, email

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