Phantoms in the sky

Elders say the drone people give my country money, that is why they kill us, under the guise of keeping world peace.

Aalia Suleman November 07, 2013
There is again a funeral in my town,

Of the three people,

Who died last night in the raid,

Of the phantom dark planes,

That fly themselves.


When I hear them

Above the majestic mountains in my land,

It is useless to hide,

As they kill indiscriminately.


A few months back

My father was exultant,

That my country had chosen a leader

Who had pledged to take a stand,

Against the people who control the machines

That fly these ghostly apparitions called drones.


But now he feels disillusioned and deceived,

That the seemingly trustworthy, infallible leader

Went to the land of these deadly drones

Dressed just like the drone people.


And did not demand

To have the drones stopped.

So that we wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells

Day and night,

In our own land.


I wonder why my leader was so ashamed to talk

To the drone people who are

Shameless enough to kill.


The elders say the drone people give

My country money,

Which makes us apologetic and sheepish,

Even when we ask them not to slay

Our young and our old,

Under the guise of keeping world peace.


So have we sold our souls

To the devil who is now free to kill us?

But, sometimes I do wonder

That if we have to die anyway,

Why don’t we die for the country?

Rather than in the country.

Like the soulless, insensate sitting bait

That we have become.


Why do we have to die namelessly,

Like unarmed cowards in our own land?

That is raided,

By the self-proclaimed warriors in the skies.


That strike on dark, moonless nights,

Silently when we sleep.

And on warm, bright days,

When we are awake.


Today I heard my father dishearteningly say

That we will probably have to wait

Another five years for a leader,

Who might be braver to stand up

To the drone people.


I hope I live to see the day,

When the skies are manned

By the soldiers of my own country.

Rather than the dark, sinister

Phantoms that rule us by night with machines,

And by day with their money.


I cower for fear for the time when these phantoms

Decide to raid my country by land,

Instead of by sky.


I wonder if my leaders will still continue then,

To dress like the leaders of the drones.

And smile with them in pictures,

Because they pay us money to do so.


I hope I don’t live to see that day...
Aalia Suleman A freelance writer and poet who is keenly interested in the status of women in 21st century Pakistan. Her writing also zones in on Pakistan's new social and political status on a redefined global chessboard. She has a masters degree in English Literature and blogs and invites debates at 'Socio-politically Pakistani'. She tweets @aaliasuleman (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Wasim Khan | 10 years ago | Reply That was just awesome I would say
Noman Ansari | 10 years ago | Reply At least these black phantoms avenge thousands of our people killed by terrorists, because we don't have the guts to.
Dante | 10 years ago Yet kill even more innocents and civilians in the meantime. Great strategy, right? Just some collateral damage, /s
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