Mortar & Stone; Kabul amid history and ruin

photo c/o pagebreab at


Nestled in the Kabul Valley the capital city of Kabul, wedged between the Hindu Kush mountain ranges of Afghanistan, sustains a 3,500 year history, albeit scarred by the crossfire of mortar fire under intermittent siege of battle.


From the early Islamic conquest to Mongol invasion, Timurid and Mughal era, Durranic Empire, Afghan State and invasions by the Soviets, US and British, sporadic war has been brief in cessation. Taliban militant insurgent factions continue to rain down their mortar fire amidst the narrow, crooked streets of a city struggling to survive.


The children live for tomorrow amid the fear of war and death today.



Eyes of deepest innocence gaze upon

A festive bazaar bearing fresh fruits

Amidst shattered hostel, pillared stone

Palaces tower, august grandeur

Fragrant aromas permeate air

Dried fruit and baked nuts, treated leathers

Afghan rugs summon robust barter

Ajmal peers dreamlike to Hindu Kush

Mountains of the Province, majestic

Castles of stone in silent vigil



Child of the village, ambivalent

Draped in salwar kameez, keffiyeh

Orphaned by the gun of Taliban

In crossfire of ideologies

Tears of the lonesome would cease to fall

Sun-scorched earth lay beneath blistered feet

The bloodied stains linger on his hands

The soil of windstorm dust upon face

His youthful words fall upon deaf ears

Battles waged in anger, no refrain



Copyright Don MacIver 2010; All Rights Reserved


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