The Alchemists - Poem by Sadiqullah Khan
"They say this town is full of cozenage:
As nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin."
Chemists are Al-chemists of philosophers' stones
Political scientists practice political myths,
Articles of constitution are fables.
Physicians are quacks, the libraries contain:
Nothing of sort, they and et al -
In the museum hangs stuffed skins of horses,
Wooden sepultures, nosy statues.
Soldiers are warriors, on camel-backs
Swaying swords, and offices are as if,
An excuse to ward off the days' weary troubles.
A barrister had his bow-dinner under a tree
This is what he says, and courts are fish-markets.
Schools are naught, and the vigilantes spray
Acid on girls, and destroy dormitories.
Minds are enslaved, and the preparations are
A doomsday, and after death respite,
Priests wear, silk cloaks and spit fear
Ruin is total, refugees return to the wretched valleys.
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