Old LADY of Iraq and Holy Orders by Norah Mary Hamill








Old LADY of Iraq

What have I? What has happened?

Said; the old lady of Iraq.

Once, I had a Garden of Eden,

Then empires came, broke our back.

Corners of the garden root deep my memory.

Today, ISIS bombs make it cemetery.

Indiscriminate are these ISIS shells,

This garden now toiled to home earth’s hell.

We no-longer wait for shells to tear us from our beds,

We no-longer wait for ISIS to tear off our heads.

What have I? What has happened?

Said; the old lady of Iraq.

Once, I had a Garden of Eden,

Then empires came, broke our back.

The Tigris flows red, a country on the run,

With no food in pockets, no shelter from the sun.

Fleeing with only death on our breath…

I use lullaby sirens to silence screams,

Scenes witnessed, interrupt my dreams.

What have I? What has happened?

Said; the old lady of Iraq.

Once, I had a Garden of Eden,

Then empires came, broke our back.

Shattered ancient bonds in our garden of wisdom.

They, corruptors of a book, their evil devices reign

They, who would seek the spoils of oil came,

With rape, torture to hold humanity in crisis

They did make this monster ISIS.

What have I? What will happen?

Said; the old lady of Iraq.

I still bear life, even in death.

We will have gardens; my children shall claim it back.

So keep sowing gardens to nurture and heal Iraq,

Even when it’s difficult believing in tomorrow…

Drowning in sorrow; we plant the seed of truth until,

Gardens bloom olive branches that roots hope fertile.



Holy Orders

Holy Orders


I have witness the Holy Spirit rise from the ashes of a scrambled Africa and steal its children for holy orders. Holy Kony orders. Holy orders that maintain child soldiers obey and enforce the Ten Commandments. Holy Kony orders the children to kill kin in a strange Molotov of religious warfare. Holy Kony orders that say dig holes in the bush claim one of many wife’s to prostitute,

Enslaved, a child she waits alone under the earth in a network of snaked isolated warrens to be saved, but she’s claimed by holy Otti. not from a missionary position but a downward spiral. After cooking, cleaning she escapes but has no means to support herself so turns to the only trick she knows. She brews beer to help make a living, spends the hard earned cash on white angels to help ease the night, but the coke brings back the Holy Kony nightmare. She escapes Uganda for another den of despair.

Bright brown eyes burning with fire and I let her know she has the right to feel angry. Now she holds two bundles of hope wrapped in a swaddling U.K future. Bright brown eyes start to sink to a watership down as the judge says, “there is no further right of appeal in these circumstances and the appellant was in the same position as many other women. The appellant’s P.T.S.D does not impair her ability to function. The decision is sustainable. No arguable error of law has been identified.”

Brown eyes dull to the brown of a special brew and I cry.

© Norah Hamill Junes 2013


Bio: Norah Hamill is noted predominantly for her activist/ anarchic tendencies both in front and behind the scenes in many grass-roots activities from the grow your own movement Incredible Edible. As a permaculture activist she has urged people to reclaim power by printing their own money etc. Norah was born in Belfast in 1972 and most of my formative years where directly witnessing or being involved in The Troubles. Her experiences of growing up in The Troubles and doing hands on community work with vulnerable and marginalized  to date has influenced much of her writing, especially the asylum cases she I has been involved with. Norah feels she has gained insight into many areas from hunger to terrorism which she constantly researches away from mainstream media. Norah has a degree in Politics and Media. Norah has been busy as a single parent. Norah  was published years ago in a local anthology called Calder Voices when she lived in Todmorden and was celebrated in the local rag and has only recently started to write again Norah did her first open mike November and folk seemed to enjoy it and its been received on local radio. Norah is currently working on a few books which may have gained some sponsorship for publishing and is putting some work with music with a local musician.

Synopsis: Göbeklitepe – Urfa (TURKEY)


Sheela na gigs are often referred to as ‘The witch on the wall’ and can be found on the entrances of churches, castles and other buildings throughout Europe and beyond. Recently an image in Gobeklitepe, Turkey near the Syrian border may also be a Sheela. Some say the figure represents a warning against female lust: sins of the flesh historically being associated with blame on females.

My interpretation sides with other commentators who believe the Sheela’s are remnants of a pagan goddess. For me she represents a time when women were protected and protectors; that is why she hangs over entrances to ward away evil spirits. Thus she represents fertility, protection and a period in history when female deities resided in a more equal measure to their male counter parts which is not applied in modern monotheistic religions.

The first poem is shaped as a cross, often a symbol of death. The old pagan godess has been sentenced to death by monotheistic religions, as well may be the outcome of Boko Haram’s captured girls. This for me is paralleled with a history of atrocities upon women that often go un-noted. However, with the symbol of death there is also the cycle of birth associated with death and a hope that with the resurrection of the godess all women will be resurrected to a more powerful status.

The second poem Holy Orders is based on firsthand experiences of supporting a woman who was captured as a child soldier under Joseph Kony. For 20years Kony stole children wishing to get rid of any constitution and substituting it with the Ten Commandments. This is another monotheistic religion. This also Highlights the culture class of immigration in the U.K. It is also noted that mainstream media in the U.K didn’t report Kony in the same fashion as they do Boko because it aids the clash of western/Christian versus Muslim ideologies, yet another clash. The third poem The Old Lady of Iraq is for a friend who’s mother is still in Bagdad.I recently visited Turkey and stayed with many who had fleed Iraq. I feel the Old woman is the Sheela determined she will get her land back.Given that we are almost reliving the crusades again a clash of civilizations that we is being attributed to religion This for me is a culture clash and



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