There’s a candlelight vigil in the evening;
All gather near the shelters, the rotunda, and they sing
For swathes of the oppressed and lines of displaced refugees,
But who will light a candle for the cause of this disease?
My lion has a calm and pleasant manner when he roars.
He’d never sanction poor behaviour, in or out of doors,
He has a birthday coming up, so let us light for him
A special taper carved out from a line of seraphim.
Off you go and wring your hands and change the way you feel,
I’ll strike a light for al-Assad and bring its glow to heel.
***[nb ‘al-assad’, in Arabic, ‘the lion’, was the nickname adopted as surname by the President’s grandfather] [Update: in the wake of fresh evidence of a chemical attack by Assad forces, we suggested on Facebook in April 2018 that it was time to go (perhaps with family and retinue to a safe estate in Vladivostok.) This evoked a massive response, roughly 50% agreeing, the other 50% suggesting that we ‘butt out.’]