Shishi's Doll…..0704-2k11

Shishi and I, just draped our doll,
Giggling, in the shade of a sacred scroll.

Stood by the well and eyed us long,
in weathered hands a goatherd thong.

Hapless I gaped at the towering palm.
Whispered to me a well known psalm.

Daunted and tender I looked at the fronds,

Wind In The Afternoon

An assault of cabbage leaves on the pavement
Tries vainly to cover up the manholes;
Splattered egg yolk on the serrated kerb:
Two men look from the window. Wind blows.

A young girl throws a loose bundle
Of waste material from the upper balcony -
The red one is an empty tea carton;
And anything spongy white, thin and long
Could be a woman's sanitary napkin.

Joseph’s Dreams And Reuben's Brethren [a Recital In Six Chapters]


I cannot blame old Israel yet,
For I am not a sage—
I shall not know until I get
The son of my old age.
The mysteries of this Vale of Tears
We will perchance explain
When we have lived a thousand years
And died and come again.

Come To My Rescue ~

When your thoughts still keep me awake,
I have no one besides stars and moon to converse.

All your promises fly like fireflies,
In the dark sky they keep teasing me.

What happened to those dreams you showed me?
Now my sleep has gone away carrying them from me.

Didn't that bath in the translucent holy river purify your heart?

The Bush Fire

Ah, better the thud of the deadly gun, and the crash of the bursting shell,
Than the terrible silence where drought is fought out there in the western hell;
And better the rattle of rifles near, or the thunder on deck at sea,
Than the sound—most hellish of all to hear—of a fire where it should not be.

On the runs to the west of the Dingo Scrubs there was drought, and ruin, and death,
And the sandstorm came from the dread north-east with the blast of a furnace-breath;
Till at last one day, at the fierce sunrise, a boundary-rider woke,

Ali's Prayer

The desert sand had covered most
of Ali's scrawny body,
his camel, down and bellowing
the sandstorm was ferocious.
So Ali raised his head and bowed,
he prayed for quick salvation.
His trusted friend ceased bellowing,
they both said 'Allah Akbar'.

An Untended Stretch Of The Great Wall (Zhu Zhu)

by Zhu Zhu
(translated by Denis Mair)

A label on the face of the globe, or an imprint
Deep in memory, fades in these ranged mountains
Weathered by sandstorm and drought
To a color much like our skin.

We were here once. Even a young soldier

Swirling Around In The Desert Sky

Swirling around in the desert sky,
Where not even the ravens choose to fly.
Down off the mountains in a furious gale,
Darkening the desert sky so pale.

Sand, like needles cover all pores,
Bearing down relentlessly, with a terrible roar.
Turning miday into a dark stygian night,
Blurring out everything, killing all light.


Flooding me
Like sandstorm

Here We Will Stay

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shrad of glass,
a cactus thron,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.
We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,

Sonnet: The Wind

What shakes the trees so violently? ’Tis Wind;
What moves the clouds hither/ thither? ’Tis Wind;
What takes the tornado around? ’Tis Wind;
What brings the sandstorm on the earth? ’Tis Wind.

What makes the cool and gentle breeze? ’Tis Wind
What makes the boughs and leaves to dance? ’Tis Wind;
What makes the autumn leaves to fall? ’Tis Wind;
What makes the honey-bees to fly? ’Tis Wind.


Sand arose
covering everything
A windstorm
shut our eyes
Noone could
see our end
Blessed are those
with a blind soul

Dance The Slow Music, The Sandstorm Swirls

The sandstorm swirls, pebbles and sand
Hitting dour walls
Dance, dance the slow music
Elements appeasing music
Music appeasing elements

Pulse and body and sand
The music is one with the sand that whirls
Hide, hide the face that burns
Close, close the eyes that burn

Good Idea?

<i>For Justin Clemens

Fin-de-Siècle</i> France
much more congenial

to the glum exuberance
of your thoughts. Exile

in the land of mediocrity
and gum-trees, no doubt

Stopping For A Walk In Reserved Land Near Murra Murra

It’s a stop-over on a Spring day
when, walking through the bush, I see them.
Bees. Wild bees, already clustered,

already swarmed. A galaxy of living honey,
they hang on a branch
in a swollen, brown gourd, a primitive shape

caught on the move. All gouache, clay, and bubble,
it’s hard to fix it for what it is,

Desert Beyond Comprehension

Walled behind thoughts of yesterday, gradually turning away
from past tears, an individual stands alone in the middle
of a desert sandstorm.

Watching particles of life being tossed and thrown by fury's
winds, all is lost in dunes of remorse, untouched by salty
water from hundreds of tears.

Life begins with a cry of surprise which gets waylaid in
sandy tides during daily storms.


'Oh! the howling of desert winds
You are blowing so fierce again
As you tried to restrain the minds
Of tough camels and sturdy men

The clouds of dusts is on the roll
That raged across the plains and skies
As it torments the wounded soul
That pain was felt and blind the eyes

Spells Of The Desert

Myths and spells of a faraway land
Where sun is like fire and skin is tanned
Travelling through the land of gods and pharaohs
My heart's pierced from love's arrows
And like the wind, it finds no rest
Like a Bedouin's eagle who never had a nest
Following the caravan to the River Nile
Sun, Pyramids, and a crocodile's smile
Cairo's old streets, cinnamon, dust and spices
Merchants with worry beads bargaining prices

Ozymandias (In Reply To Percy Bysshe Shelley)

I saw a traveller coming from the desert
wrapped in white cloth
and the man greeted me, asked for water
and told me about Ozymandias, the great king
whose broken statue still commanded respect
whose kingdom was now laid bare
from the covering sand

and suddenly the sky darkened
as if the sun for moments took flight


She ponders the fidelity
Of the stars and the moon.
And she comes to me
Like an angry sandstorm
Trapped in an hourglass.
Hurling all of her tears
At my dust scrapped heart,
And clouding my vision
With her endless fury.