Brian P FitzGerald


Where Moses Crossed the Nuwebian Shore


Where Moses Crossed the Nuwebian Shore


He ponders the tide caressing the beach -
Its ripples cross the glist’ning sand,
From Sinai’s cliffs sun-setting rays reach
Far-distant peaks that shimmer in desert heat.

Across the darkening sea, turquoise and blue,
The haze begins to change on Midian’s face, whereby
The golden russet transforms to purple hue,
As rays from sun-set reach across the sky.

A ferry sails by; its wake now washes ashore.
A gliding crane appears and lands on water’s edge;
The boat is safe in port and seen no more.
On one leg, the crane surveys a rocky ledge.

The sun is hidden, the horizon dark,
The water is quiet, the air is still;
Jihad now scribes in sand and makes his mark,
A breeze so softly stirs the dust; a chill I feel.

Generations whose names, inscribed in shifting sand,
Now fade in the dusk, like the crane on the shore,
And those, who make ripples that die away,
Pass into port and are known no more.

My footprints are covered; what augurs await?
The ripples have died; generations come and go.
What names survive the sands of fate?
No Red Sea will part for me, this I know.

19 October 2012

Submitted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 03, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem was written while on holiday in Egypt close to the town of Nuweba on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba - opposite the coast of Saudi Arabia. This is one of the places that lays claim to being the crossing point of the Red Sea by the prophet Moses.

It was brought about by our friend Jihad inscribing the names of our families over three generations in Arabic on the sand. This is one of my favourite poems.

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