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The Waziris call them ‘bangana’ (Pashto

for ‘buzzing wasps’) as they drone day and night –

like Doodlebugs in perpetual motion –

endlessly visible, unremittingly

audible, five thousand feet above

the clay-walled villages and towns, the markets

and the farms, the madrassas and the schools,

until some CIA operative,

in a Nevada mountain bunker,

or RAF personnel near Lincoln,

wakes and, after his/her double espresso

and cranberry muffin, identifies

the true enemy and left-clicks the mouse.



Note: the piece has subsequently been published at





© Copyright David Selzer
4 Responses
  • John Huddart
    November 12, 2012

    Such on-form observation. Drama withheld – peaceful, domestic, ordinary. Then more domesticity from the brave new free-world. Then that mouse! Ouch! Even the title with its echo of “Sleepless in Seattle” lends it’s part. More! More!

  • zem
    November 12, 2012

    Sleepless in Waziristan?…..we should all be sleepless about this. Our turn next? It is only a question of time I suppose.

  • Ged Hayes
    November 18, 2012

    The simplicity of the poetic form beguiles the horror of the situation, all the more poignant at this time of renewed horror in the Middle East.

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