My Dark Companion (Ode To Coffee) - Poem by Sadiqullah Khan
My dark companion, take me away
From my drunken frenzy, early morn's array
O boil the aroma, from my hangover, silent night,
Wake me up, O steaming Genie, let lose -
In Africa born, O Yemeni breed, in jute sack.
Coffea - many names you have earned
But by a soft afternoon, a sip hot down
The throat, cooled by blow, with closed eye,
Or end the cup, with a little sigh, incline
And watch the world go by, or in warmth
With ‘sohan halwa' of Dera Ismail Khan,
In lounge with family, share with children.
Or taken black, hands on beads, in autumn,
In the ‘Eagle's nest', not to mention
Coffee Republic, or another high brow locale.
On ‘cot', sitten, or by ‘bukhari',
My morning's huge mug, a beginning while,
Or bring headache on my table, thinking-
Or reference to color, brown and black,
My favored face, textured deep,
Or moss from in my perfume, woody
In cozy retreat, on the back chairs in the corner.
On lonely days, my isolation's relief
On heavy days, my feet's dust awash,
And windy days, what might hold tomorrow's fate,
Or in a distant memory, when the heart's afloat,
Or when love's remembrance haunts, some dream,
When the eye is dry, lips quiver hard
And when it rains, rains and rains, and sun shines.
-Coffee cultivation first took place in Abyssinia. The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In the Horn of Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in local religious ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the Christian church, the Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
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