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Afghanistan : Time is Beyond Us

Article Submitted By: BashkaJacobs
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 Time: 4:01 PM



Atop a minaret

overlooking the dusty town of Herat

Afghanistan

I watched from my perch

Dust filled the air

as all life

was waking up

 

A sepia day break

A cycle that has been repeated

for thousands of years

 

Round wooden wheels 

spitting yellow sand into the air

The donkeys all crusty eyed

The children darting in and out

The bobbing of the men's turbans

their long shirts flowing

The women

black pillars

moving among the rickety

weathered wooden stalls


And I marvel at the hues

this land contains

The soft browns of the rolling landscape

The fawn colored camels

The softness of the rippling wheat

 

I shifted
to be more comfortable
Crouching

 

From there

I could see the the mountains

in the background

Their tips touching the sky

like jagged finger nails

 

 

The city

a giant labyrinth

sprouting out of the desert

Shops

huddled together

like men over a desert fire

keeping the cold away
A maze emerging
as if from a dream

 

 

Morning
 coolness
brushing against me changed
as the temperature climbed


The
 ruffling air

called my vision

to a huge
 bird

sitting next to me


Time froze


I looked into his large black eye

and he looked back at me

It’s head moved just a bit


Clearly

I was sitting
 on his perch


I had no idea who he was

An eagle, a vulture,

a griffon, a raptor
?

 

Sitting on a minaret

in Afghanistan

just out of San Francisco

still wearing Haight-Ashbury


I knew nothing of birds

except the ones I'd seen

during excursions
 out of reality

or the ones my father showed me

when I was a child on his knee


reading national geographic


It was big
very big

almost as big as me

crouching down

but
 I knew he accepted

my being there


We sat together

neither of us moving
Both quiet

watching

I felt the power of this great

creature

I looked at his feathers

smooth, glistening
The sun lifting umbers

from deep in his cloak

I didn't stare

That would have been impolite

We sat for what seemed

a long time

I moved my mouth slowly

thinking

 be polite and respectful
I must not show my teeth


This is a wild creature

that has evolved

ingenious ways of surviving

Strategies I probably could not comprehend

 

I asked 
quietly

What nourishes?

In my head

I hear
d
“What does not?”


How long have you been here?
“Since time began”


How long will you be here?

“We will be gone

in your lifetime”


Startled


Now I hear no voice

Instead I see pictures

of glistening planes colliding

with majestic wings

Of capturing
of destruction
I see a way of life

soaring over the land
suddenly ending

Mice and locusts

proliferating

Disaster to the eco system

 

After
 a while

I hear him say
“It is the new people

that begin this

They will come with their

powerful metal
 birds
that will not eat rats or vermin

Their rubber hooved behemoths

will change the landscape

They will scour
like fire

and ruin the fields

of the future”


My heart raced

but there was no wrath

no anger
from this wild creature

Only the gentle knowing
 that

now where animals graze

and farmers plant

all be gone

A living cemetery

for his kind

 

I am so sad

He is not

It is the way it is

“There is still time”
he says
“for the stars”

Crow remembering

that time is beyond

us



About the Author

bashka's muse ( daemon) is the crow


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Comments

Wed, 1 Jan 2014 at 11:45 AM, by Paul Fraser
Abstract precision runs through the lines conjuring beautiful magic . .

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Submitted: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 Time: 4:01 PM