||[Oct. 18th, 2005|07:02 am]
My name is Anwar, my father was Hakim.
I was born in a desert tent,
In the tent of my father,
Herded goats with my brothers,
Became accustomed to the sands,
Until I could survive on the memory of water
And ride a horse as swift as laughter.
Each night, our fires sent sparks into the sky
Where they changed to stars
As my uncle spoke old stories
And my brothers argued over which were true.
We drew our future purpose in the sand
And their sand pictures showed great feats of war
Or herds that stretched away in distant lines
And mine? Mine showed a fair oasis scene,
With four old men to teach me to be wise
And one was from the east, one from the west,
One southern, and one northern, all as old
As the first stitches on my father's tent.
It was my wish, still is to seek to learn
The wisdom of all lands and of all men
For there is no tribe underneath the sun
Devoid of wisdom and of tales to tell.
My friend, my friend, was once to me a stranger
(Strange thought indeed, that we were distant once)
Came from the coast, a fisherman's first son.
Named Raphael, the son of one named Ophir.
His people and my people were one tribe,
But hearts of men forget such bonds for land
And now they have unending wars and fights
For land that he and I are glad to share.
As I dwelt in the desert, hot and sear
He swam with eager strokes about the sea
Until his arms became as strong as oars.
He would sing sweet songs on the sea breezes
And bless the boats with fair words.
He oft knew poverty and fear and grief,
And half the world seemed swift to curse his race,
Yet he, with heart unwilling to learn hate,
Spoke kindly words to strangers just the same.
His brothers spoke of war and he of peace.
He looked upon the power of the sea
And built a tower of sand to show them all
How all the things they fought for would decay
And wash into the memory of time
And leave the land as empty as before.
"But love," he said, "Is conquest over fear,
And love can build a city like the stars,
Enduring in a high celestial gleam
For what we build in love is like the sea
And what we build in arrogance is sand."