by Aidan Andrew Dun


Dedicated to imperialist hooligans and man-stealers everywhere, of every political colour and creed, this is for you.

Some believe that the term ‘hooligan’ derives not from the Irish Houlihan but from the name of the third son of Jenghis Khan, Hulagu, who inexplicably turned back his army in the Himalayas when a mysterious single-horned horse blocked his descent into India in the 13th century. This historically-attested retreat spared the oldest continuous civilization on the planet.

From snowbound highroads
Himalayan sky-passes
over India
from the late
thirteenth century
you look down on
the Hindu sacred land
in the shadow of
the Great Khan
half-forgotten, seldom named
but driving down suddenly hard
like him, third son of Jenghis
golden lord wheeling clawed
above a country
from which the sun of
non-violence shines;
treasure-house of
mythological wonders
tantric liberation-scriptures
empire of white cities
lying underneath
the high-speed
descent of legions:
dust-storm of sword-bearing
murderous horsemen of rapine.

threatening from heights
you soon approach the country
hovering on black iron wings
above the land
which is miraculous.
From white Indus canyons
thunderhead of history
you, son of Temujin
race downward to
annihilate everything.
The military evolution of
your confederated armies
on horseback
advances the subordinate
unconscious footsoldier
of the battlefield
who governs and orders
the tense ear of his war-steed:
a violent democracy!
The Tartars riding
at arctic wind-speed
down into defenceless Hindustan.

Transoxus southward
your father reduced
opening the way to Christian Russia.
Great-walled Cathay
was soon undermined
by dark global
forces of the day.
Hulagu, ruling
all Mohammedan Asia
excluding Hindustan
at this very moment
Luciferic splendours of
the iron hand are well
within your reach
if you can drive past
the white star-animal
ghost-horse snorting fire:
single-horned charger of
ferocious energies and
revolutionary forehead
stamping in the snow at midnight
which throws out red sparks.
You are face-to-face
with the unicorn
stern horse of thunder!

Drive forward
set fire to India
depopulate the subcontinent!
But you stop
monstrous two-horned
white and shaken!
And now the long
wolf-trains in visors
are made to turn homeward
which once moved in clouds
across steppes and tundras
when you spoke the guttural
word that discontinued civilisations.
And the riderless white beast of
freedom from the star-clouds
vanished like the Great Khan’s
frontiers of omnipotence in death
returning to the void
in a body of glory:
furious white-horned horse.

unicorn 2

image: Abdul Latip Talib