The Mesopotamian Genius

By: Ersum Shahid
Competition Year: 2012
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Nine centuries in the forgotten past
Hailed a man from modern day Iraq,

A bearded fellow who had a vision
To inaugurate his beloved nation,

From the desolate desert terrain
To being of use, a productive gain,

Nothing domineering or extravagant
Truly selfless acts were his intent,

Supplying constant water to hospitals
Through hydro powered geared spectacles,

And also irrigating arid wastelands
For farmers to grow crops on demand,

Via the use of aqueducts and reservoirs
Which adds to his saint-like repertoire,

He also invented astronomical clocks
Befitting for a King's castle wall block,

Many feet in diameter with such intricacy
All powered via a constant water stream,

For all to see, for he mastered automata
A mechanical art form, a mystic sculptor,

Truly a Civil Engineer for the masses
Who provided facilities for all classes,

In most instances he actually did voluntary,
For no man can put a price on prosperity

Something that is lost in the translation
When seeing today’s engineering creations,

Where the people are only there to be paid
Hypocritical "working for the man" accolades,

A concept unheard of in the centuries gone
For the need to help people was once strong...
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