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The Conversion to Islam of Conor MacArt (part 5).. [R]


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An Comhshó a Ioslam de Conchubhair Mac Airt



Tá sé an mná nach olc, na mná go maith,

a dhéanamh, dar leat mar fear


November, 1563


Yardım et, yardım et Effendi! Genç kız ağrısı vardır!!

O for God's sake, what now? Yardım et, yardım et !

She was a young girl, trembling, not unattractive,

the principal handmaid to the alluring Yasmin Nur.


I swore. Ne diyorsun? Never mind. Is she sick?

No, no, she has a terrible pain in her little white foot.

Her little white foot. Seven hundred people in this caravan

and this girl has a pain in her little white foot.


Onu bana getir! Şimdi Şimdi! ... Evet, evet. B'duymak ve itaat!

Bring her to me, now. Yes, yes, go away ... . I have enough bloody

trouble without these silly women, the pair of them

tacked on to this serious mission at the very last moment.


This serious mission. Just what in the hell am I doing, tell me?

The Sultan called me in, spoke softly, opaquely, sent me off

in charge of 300 camels, said he would send messengers

and so far hasn't done so. Bert sharpens his killing sword.


I didn't want to bring him. I never wanted to see him again,

but here he is, leering, grumbling, farting, fussing about,

picking his nose. I give him a lash up the arse, distractedly,

just as the women walk in. Two young women. Silence.


She is ... like nothing I have ever seen before

in all the days of my young and nerve-jangled life:

she is covered of course as custom demands

but the fall of her robes sets off a perfect figure.


A slight embarrassment occurs between my thighs,

so I sit down abruptly, cross my legs (ouch!),

and attempt a very lordly masterful languid tone

which to my shame comes out as a squeak:


Nerede acı nedir? ... where, pray tell, is your pain ?

Ağrı benim ayak bileği içinde ... here in my ankle.

Ah, the ankle. A very delicate portion of the female anatomy,

and then I remember my Granny, by God I remember!

Suí síos le do thoil! ... no, sorry, I mean Lütfen oturun!

and immediately she sits like an obedient child,

a child with a burning blaze in her greygreen eyes.

Greygreen? Warning!! Circassian, a concubine?


Granny, ah, yes. Bert! Sah! Bring in a female goat!

One goat, as ordered, female, present and correct, sah!

Milk her into this bowl then slit her throat. Sah??

Give me your blade, poltroon, I'll do it myself.


He hands me his sharpened sword with cautious eyes,

knowing he could do this killing business a lot better,

but I do it myself, and mix the blood with milk in the bowl,

now I need to piss into the mixture, according to Granny,


but how can I do that with this goggle-eyed murderer

staring at me? Jesus! Not to mention the two women.

Depart please, all of you, I need privacy and time to pray.

Out they go. I piss like a racehorse. That should do.


Now, the next thing is to lick it on. I stir the mixture.

God, it looks vile! Out, out, please, we must be alone!

I take a firm grasp of the lady's ankle, slap on a handful

and start licking the mixture home. Ooooh, oooh she says.


That should do it! I smile. Yarın daha iyi hissedeceksiniz!

You will feel better tomorrow. She trembles, she smiles.

Bert comes bursting back in to reclaim his razor sword

and the handmaiden hustles the limping Yasmin Nur away.


Wanna wotch that koinda thing, sir, know what I mean?

Get out of my sight you grinning reptile. Go, disappear!

But I knew he was right. Omigod that slim lovely ankle.

I knew I would dream about it, dream of all of her as well.


Eileen was gone and long forgotten. Her and the wee children.

Ireland seemed distant, so very far away in time. Damn your soul,

Shane O Neill, damn your black and murderous soul. I wept.

In a little while I felt only slightly better. We moved into Syria.


And then: Yardım et, yardım et, Genç kız ağrısı vardır!!

Bring her to me. Goat, milk, knife ... slice ... get out! Piss.

The pain is a bit higher now, my knee. Oh, your poor knee?

Let's just see what we can do. Oh, Hakim, my dear doctor!


Don't like the feel avit, mate, not this country arahnd.

I am not your mate. Orright, orright, keep your shirt on!

Bangin that little Circassian bit, then, the boss's little bint?

What the hell has come over you, you little shit?


Oooh, sorry, sorry, boss. Gonna be havin' a bit of a do then?

He's right. We are going to be attacked. All the signs are there.

The pain is moving up beyond my knee, yes, here ... and here?

O Granny you never knew what you were leading me into ....


They came down at first light, as usual, attacks on the flanks,

Bedouin horsemen, misaimed muskets and lots of noise.

I called for a circle, shouted commands, Bert was fast and efficient

and it was only the edges they over-ran, and they threw the heads


at us, the heads of our unfortunate comrades, their tribal way

of putting the fear of God into their enemies. I called for the cannon

which took a time to unload from the spooked braying camels

and then we blew them to bits. A touch of modern warfare.


In the middle of the confusion, before we were sure we would win,

Bert looked at me with a devilish smile and stroked his blade.

I knew of course what he meant. I had fought and done what I could.

I could have done more but I made my way to her tent


for I had but a single thought in my mind if I was going to have to die

or at least in the few minutes before I was going to have to die

I was going to ... and it turned out she had the same idea as me

and in the end we did not die but achieved... a separate victory.


But if the Sultan finds out, or if anyone finds out ...

why is Bert, that bloodstained idiot, grinning?


(to be continued)

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Whimsical. But was it really necessary to convert? I started to read about the origins of the Irish people and came across the purported "Milesian" roots. Could Middle Eastern origins be closer to home than one would expect? What are your thoughts on all of this?


In any case, I like picture and the poem. Thanks for yet another thought provoking read.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Whimsical. But was it really necessary to convert?

Well, yes. If you go back to Part 2 you'll see where the Sultan offers Conor a choice: a new life under the Sultan's protection or a return to slavery. The price is conversion to Islam, which the Sultan makes out to be a quite minor but necessary detail.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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I forgot this is a poem and got lost in the story-telling :-)

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Your stories are most entertaining. The Irish have a distinctive way of expressing English. Some say that there is a form of Hiberno-English (or Irish-English) that is different to standard English. Irish speakers of English have their own usages and grammatical construction, and it's widespread. The brogue that so delights people, sets Ireland's English apart--Celtic sounds are found therein.

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Interesting information which coincides with a current BBC History of Ireland I've been watching.Ben

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