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In a compound some two miles square, surrounded

by razor wire and guard towers, on a hillside

three miles north east of the airport and six

from Kabul’s centre, are rows of burnt out cars

and pick-ups. Beneath the vehicles

are solidified pools of molten metal.

Elsewhere in the compound are the ruins

of a mock-up village used to train

operatives to carry out night terror raids.

The recreational block is intact.

Inside are unfinished meals and abandoned

games of chess. The detention block too

is intact. Inmates gave it the soubriquet

‘the dark prison’, the cells having

no natural light – nor electric except

when the torturers came.

© Copyright David Selzer
5 Responses
  • Ashen Venema
    November 26, 2021

    Grim. Chilling collation of images …
    The solidified pools of molten metal,
    unfinished meals, and abandoned games of chess

  • Catherine Reynolds
    November 27, 2021

    If the experience of life is lived through darkness and light then the shadowy pall of this enclave summons up the demons.

    • David Selzer
      November 28, 2021

      The hypocrisy regarding ‘our time’ – i.e. the West’s – in Afghanistan is nauseating.

      • Catherine Reynolds
        November 28, 2021

        It is as though the bullish nations of the West know nothing of history other than the battles and victories they choose to flaunt. Afghanistan is a case in point. The arrogance of western empires both ancient and modern play out like a Waddington’s game of ‘Risk’ where territory and resources are all that matters. No account is taken of the ancient customs, the culture and beliefs, and their way of life. All ignored by British, Russian and American invaders, who in the end, vanquished by terrain and militia, withdraw.

  • Alex Cox
    November 27, 2021

    Poetry meets politics partiularly pointedly here. Well done, and thank you!

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