Speckled with the sun’s golden light,
The companions stood behind their Imam,
The Prophet of God, dressed in white.
The journey was ending and home was near,
Near enough to long for its joys;
As the second salaam sealed the prayer,
The Prophet smiled, and looked for the boys.
How strong was their stand when they had been told
By their father and mother to forgo the ride;
The command only tightened their hold,
Determined to remain by their grandfather’s side.
Thus were the two little darlings counted
Among this group leaving their ground,
The horses were saddled, the camels mounted;
But not one trace of the boys was found.
Now let us visit our two little friends
Who wandered away, away from camp
Into the desert where the sun descends
Over the sands like a crimson lamp.
Down a dune they rolled and leapt
And wrestled playfully each other,
While nearby a someone crept,
Unknown to Hassan and his brother.
The snake, she started from her rest
And spanned her length towards the boys
To vehemently stage protest
With all the strength a snake employs.
The children’s eyes went wide with fear
They clutched each other, set to bound,
But stopped to see the snake so near,
And that was when they looked around.
They sobbed aloud, their tears flowing
And darkening the twilit day,
The snake inched forward, not knowing
What sense to make of this display.
Back with the Prophet and his company:
They searched everywhere, yet could not find
A clue as to where the children might be,
Despite their frantic efforts combined.
The Prophet looked up at the darkening sky,
Then down at the earth respectfully,
And taking the name of his Lord most high,
He bid it show what he wished to see.
And the earth did respond to his blessed request,
For to his good eye, the desert sand shifted,
Till the land was flat with its dunes depressed,
And the boys far and low were near, lifted.
Their crying had grown louder and louder,
Causing the reptile ready itself,
To strike; but then a sensation cowed her
Pinning her down to the sandy shelf.
A fragrant scent filled the air
That wrapped the boys in hope and strength;
They turned their heads with the greatest care:
Their grandfather at a hand’s length.
The Prophet motioned them to stay,
And stepped toward the confounded snake,
“Leave my grandsons and be on your way”.
And she vanished for the Prophet’s sake.
The children cheered, and jumped and flew
To hold and kiss the Prophet’s face,
And he in turn did kiss them too,
Then thanked the Lord for His grace.
This is where our story runs dry,
So moisten your eye and send down a rain
Of prayers and blessings of God most high
Upon the Prophet, Hassan, and Husayn.
And leaves me desiring no more.
Dawn is here.
I have a busy day at work,
So I shower down, and dress up.
As I look into the mirror to comb my hair,
My eyes serve me back a look,
A look that warns me to be wary,
A look that has me looking back, back at it.
Everything before my eyes
Gets to it at the speed of light,
And once I see it, its burned in my head
Like so many a forbidden delight.
But my eyes don’t want to be fed.
Not today, not quite.
As I look away from my reflection,
I can’t help but give a moment’s thought to the blind,
Thinking who was the more blessed
In the light of the thoughts I left behind.
Good men come to mind
And the answer is right there:
It is he who sees, and yet is blind
To the questionable affair.
I smile at the terribly winding path I took
To arrive at this obvious conclusion.
But I’m glad I combed my hair today.
The sand shifted silently
Like an amused spectator, curious.
Both sides had fallen into quiet observation.
My companion and I witnessed
From our vantage point atop a rock
The traditional advance of a trio, and its match.
The blows are symbolic, portending something.
The fallen are carried back to their mourning kin.
The next moments are cold and long,
Pregnant with a charge so strong.
I see a youth and his friend
Toss their meal to just belong,
And join in earnest to defend
The Truth, as they did comprehend.
One thousand, armed and confident,
Facing a third, weary, spent.
The battle lines are straight and taut.
The bow of faith and the bow of naught,
Strung and drawn by the sage fingers
Of generals once bound in clanship,
Now split by the sting of truth’s whip.
A soldier strutted and spanned the ranks,
Flashing his blade in haughty stride,
Raising resolve on the one side,
Causing the other’s eyes go wide.
The cavalry is on a canter,
Chilling battle cries ensue.
My friend and I are cold with awe
As blade and armor clang a charge,
The likes of which I never knew.
The walls of men are closing in,
Spawning swirls of sand, the din
Is deafening, its source unclear;
For to the scene, we are not near.
Then did our wrinkled brows unfold
As phantom armies now showed bold.
The sand around the charging groups
Spiralled to enormous hoops
Yes, presences. Their nature eludes me;
Horsemen gliding on an iron cloud, led by
One, a sun for his turban high.
I hold my breath as my ears are filled
With this clamor. And my peeled eyes
Are flooded by the scene thus willed.
And I know I live though my heart denies
It; my companion by all this killed.
One to crush, the other to curse.
They fill my eyes with poison dyes,
Cloud my ears with trifle fears,
And nibble at my rope of hope.
For when they set to play their wile,
They find in me such easy game,
Heedless to their simple guile.
I slap my face in horrid shame
When I see the one and I are same;
The other wears a gleeful smile.
I mend my rope, and clear my ears
And wet my eyes with penitent tears.
I now have one I so detest,
The other now my helper best.
I take my oath to never rest,
To never rest, never rest.
And I welcome all kinds of feedback, of course :-).