Only a Pawn in Their Game


Imam Zaid Shakir

Posted Posted on 2015-04-09


This poem is based on Bob Dylan’s song, “Only a Pawn in Their Game.”

Bullets from the back of a bush a dune or a mount
Shells too numerous to count
The hatred he cannot surmount
And the religion he flaunts
So blindly he aims
No crime brings him shame
Emotion has stolen his brain
But he can’t be blamed
He’s only a pawn in their game.

An Arab of Asian Jihadi recruiter
Admires his skill with a computer
He’s searching for justice to uproot her
Or rape her or shoot her
Like a fish meandering into the internet
Incapable of remorse or regret
All in Allah’s name
A halal delusion like dope in his vein
For the politician’s gain
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.

The amirs, generals and kings all get paid
While the poor Jihadi who is used
In their hands like a tool
Becomes a murderous fool
Being all he can be
And his land far from free
Left to ponder his fate
It only deepens his hate
Dying amid broken dreams and shattered panes
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.

The injustices pound in his brain
The film loops over and over again
Until innocent folks are to be slain
And he feels no pain
Murdering in the mosque, mall or school
Breaking all of Islam’s rules
A mission of vengeance he is on
Until he is carpet bombed
His blood mixed with mud washed with rain
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.

Today a lost soul was buried from the bullet he caught
His death all for naught
Thinking he had risen to prominence
Fighting full-spectrum dominance
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
Who manufactured and then sold him the gun
Or the tank or the plane
The American calculus is the same
And on the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game.

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