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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

His face is a map of caravan years,

weathering the desert sun and

the seasonal flood by the riverbank

which brings in salt for a modest living.

 

As the sand windblown and collected

in the seams of his linen turban,

anxiety constantly snake through

the mazes of his troubled mind.

 

He needed money.

 

Like how the puff of smokes

from his cigarette escapes

are fragments of his ancestor’s past

excavated from walls of antiquity.

 

He is mulling to leave the landscape

of ancient ruins, the mud-dried bricks

and clayed houses and desert wilderness

for the glowing lights of the city.

 

The mosque signals the call to prayer

and he sat down on his cushion

unfurling a sheaf of parchment,

reading through his mangled glasses

 

the fragile scribbling of faded ink.

On its brittle yellowing pages appears

like gold. This manuscript he wants to sell

to tourists he is waiting to pass by.

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The clock strikes the twelfth hour.

As the familiar sound of wind chimes signals

another year of moving on,  slow and steady.

Remembering the images of the man

within the constant, shifting revolutions

of sunrise and sundown in this woman’s life.

 

Witnessing how lifelong travels have ended,

forging across countless dinnertime of growing old.

Around the fireplace, rekindling romance.

Recalling the stories of the fishermen,

of sailors down the Mediterranean.

Of cowboys in the Wild West

and the wildlife in Africa.

Of the mystical journeys

from the sands of Arabia

to the sands of Samarkand.

 

Those intimate exchanges of lofty dreams

and grand ambitions traveling marvelous

distances of north going down south.

The eastern spring and the wintry west.

Witnessing how she listened. And almost

forgot the difference, whether it is

the story of this man’s life in the stories.

Or simple make-believe.

 

Witnessing how she wobbled achingly

at her feet standing up and lighting a candle,

whispering a prayer. Memories became

mighty flexing arms reaching out for the years.

Discovering the man who makes her laugh

and who makes her cry the silent tears.

Witnessing a love that will never grow old.

Those quiet devotion as ageless and tireless,

pacing along with the hands of time.

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The walls are coarse to touch, hard and steely,

it was a challenge not to see but to feel with our fingers

sharp points that will prick a skin and bleed. By then

the grave of the earth has avenged its loss. The stair

is a winding wonder of wooden realm. Forest scent

permeates like sweat staining musk to the olfactory.

Curtains we plucked from the fibers of the grass

that exist  in some temperate savannah, polished

and handwoven by the nomads of Siberia.

The glass came from the silicates we scoured

from the rivers of Babylon, coal-fired in a furnace

by a hundred men impoverished with ten cents an hour.

And the floor is a polished limestone quarried

from some majestic mountains of the Far East. White,

cold slab, for our feeble feet resting on a tombstone. The chairs

are fabricated in hides separated from the meat of animals

domesticated and cultured for a trade in an African jungle.

We commercialized the organic in the will of the greedy generation

crazy for the avant garde. We are fond of collecting. Prized.

Natural. Unique. All, for the sake of a want  that cannot be satiated.

And at a cost, we hunger for more as we build our little kingdoms,

looking for some definition. Until we find that there is no more left

of the skin of the earth, we have stripped of its clothing

to cover our shelters.  Unless we travel to the moon

digging kryptonites to embellish facades of our own vanities.

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