"Coffee, Tobacco and a Kalishnikov" is a phrase that I heard many years ago in relation to arabic resistance fighters who could endure any privation so long as they had their strong sweet coffee, tobacco and weapons with which to fight their enemies. Anyway, I never forgot the phrase and now it's become a poem.
Coffee, Tobacco, a Kalishnikov
by Karl Stuart Kline 6/17/2008
Coffee, tobacco, a Kalishnikov
And a spirit that wishes to be free,
These are the necessary supplies of
Dedicated fighters of tyranny
Hard men who, having lost their families,
Will carry on the fight or die trying
To frustrate all the petty tyrannies
That left children dead and women crying.
Their women and children have been taken
Or killed by the peddlers in human flesh,
Leaving them with a heart that's breaking
And for their brothers, too, it bleeds afresh.
So they fight the war that will never cease,
Denied their happiness, denied their peace.
* * * * * *
After I had written this, I posted it on a closed web site that I had been invited to join. My interest in Human Rights combined with my outspoken tendencies has opened some unexpected doors for me. Very few Westerners have been able to take part in this group and I consider it an honor to be invited.
My poem hit very close to home for one gentleman and this was his response:
When I read the first line, it reminded me of a comment made to me by an old friend, who is now like me too old to go to mountains. Baluchistan being a mountainous territory one has to have lots of energy to pick up arms and fight. this friend told me that it was opium, fresh milk and strong shoes that kept them going."
That response was in turn inspiration for the following poem:
"Opium, Fresh Milk and Good Shoes"!
Opium, fresh milk and strong shoes would do
For the mountain fighters of bygone times.
A hard life breeds hard men – that’s nothing new
And Mountain Men who know that, live hard lives
Modern times mean little on ancient trails
That have been there longer than anyone
Can even remember, but they tell tales
Of would be conquerors that were broken
By the defenders who they seldom saw,
Unwelcome as they traveled untamed lands,
Missing unmarked trails that they never saw,
Seeing naught of the land but rocks and sand.
They miss the point, because they cannot see
These are people who truly do live free.
Karl Stuart Kline
Other pages that address matters pertinent to Mideastern affairs (including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran etc.):
" Banned in Iran",
"Saddam Hussein's Execution",
"September 11, 2001"