A long time ago, before there were trains,
Before electricity or aeroplanes,
There lived at the top of a mountain along
The shores of an ocean, a family strong
Of eagles: a father, a mother and child,
Three proud and remarkable creatures of wild,
That well loved each other, lived happily on,
And so did it happen one morning at dawn.
You see, the young bird, Haytham was his name,
He’d learned how to fly, but didn’t know game,
And thus he set out with his father this day
To listen and learn and to follow his way.
They flapped and they glided away from the shore
To where little Haytham had not been before,
And when they looked down, they spotted a pod
Of dolphins that swam in formation unflawed.
“Will that be our meal?”, Haytham had to ask
So eager to start on his morning time task;
“Oh, no”, said his father, “That creature you spy
Is too large a beast to carry and fly.”
And so they turned shoreward and saw the sun fold
The waters in mantles of yellow
Then dove down together and scouted the beach
And noticed a crab on a rock within reach.
Asked Haytham, “Will that be our meal?”, as he eyed
The two muddy pincers that opened up wide,
“Another day, Haytham”, his father explained,
“For more must be learned for more to be gained.”
So westward again they flew over sea
And slowly descended till Haytham could see
The sizable quarry his father had sighted
Oblivious to the attention invited.
And then in that moment, the two eagles parted
For Haytham remained while his father departed:
His young eagle senses had grown to such heights
That all he could think of was locked in his sights.
So down Haytham swooped with both wings upturned
Immersing his talons that swiftly returned
With halibut catch so patiently earned,
Then upward he soared with the knowledge he’d learned.
There is but a Haytham in every child
With body and strength that the Fashioner styled,
We only need guide them to where they may find
What tends to the spirit and waters the mind.
To lead is to follow; to follow the blind,
You follow in silence and lead from behind.
Grab hold of my tail and walk me around,
My bearing Plecostomus-like on the ground;
The nothing I make shall noisily take
Whatever my kisser has found.
It is all just a thought that occurred
To a man shallow-minded as I.
Holds numbers and names and so many places,
And many a kind of beast and of bird,
Uncountable happy-sad voices and faces,
And many a word read, spoken or heard.
I’ll take your palms, your knees and toes,
My touch is soft, so calm your woes;
Exhale your anger, drain your mind,
Inhale the languor that you find
When I am spread, and spread I’m best
To kiss your head at every rest,
And hear the conversation sweet,
A conversation to repeat.
I’ve thought of this before
And I’ll think of it again:
What’s the purpose of creation,
And of angels, jinn and men?
What’s the purpose of the earth
As around and round it spins
Bearing all its many children
And their many, many sins?
What’s the purpose of the sky,
Of the stars and of the sun?
Each is born and wont to die
When the time of time is done.
As we turn and spin about
Through the dawn and afternoon,
Just before and after dusk
And through the passing of the moon,
There are jinn and there are men
Spanning every longitude,
There are angels flocking by
At each and every altitude
Such that every breath of time
Sends a prayer floating, one
That outlives the life of rhyme
And outshines the shine of sun.
When this planet stops to turn,
And the breath of time is spent,
All that’s left is is left to burn,
And what isn’t can’t repent.
So the form and the function
Help us out here once again
With the purpose of creation,
And of angels, jinn and men.