Shahriar Shahriari

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Poems - Critique of Society - Group 9
i. Forte Lahore


I was a tourist in Forte Lahore
Once upon a time this was the core
The city grew and there was more
But let's start from the time before
There even was a Forte Lahore.

The Mongols came and built the forte
In one century, walls, palace and court
Then the decline says the report
All history says this in some sort.

The Sikhs attacked in a quick war
Of course they won, they did not come far
Once more glory, city and bazaar
Forte of Lahore, bright northern star.

The king then died, left three sons heir
All they wanted, power without care
They all struggled, then battled there
And left the Forte needing repair.

British merchants took their foothold
In the bazaar, so we are told
Then the army made their move bold
Captured the forte in search of gold.

More was destroyed
People annoyed
The Brits toyed
In power they buoyed.

They built a barracks
To fend off attacks
Local labor packs
Broke their backs.

One century later
Muslims found shelter
The Forte their center
Their wishes cater.

Thus history turns
While the fire burns
Phoenix from the ashes
Forte through lashes.

People come and go
Centuries thus flow
The Forte is constant
History consistent.

I wonder why
We buy the lie
Of power and brute force
Replay history's course.

In the end we lose
Whoever we accuse
Power and abuse
The Forte amuse.

Forte though cruel
Constant and cool
Will always rule
People its tool.

We are the fool
Ourselves we gruel
To build such tower
When love's the real power.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
April 21, 1997

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