Lament In The Shadow Of Atlas

          Lament in the Shadow of Atlas

I wake upon an Amazigh night

Of music, dance and wine

To find a World removed by song

And drumbeats still, in time,

With hearts held high, in simple style,

Renewed in shared smiles.


There cooking slow in tangines, vast,

The echoes of a troubled past

That casts a shadow, faint, yet seen

But hard to read unless you grow

In parched brown hills

Where Arbor goats will climb

To feed above bright cloth

Wrapped tight to hide the female form,

So shy yet straight in gaze

With voice that issues challenge

To eyes so caught, to look away.

For they won’t give and who rules who

And who now should.


I searched the face and lost.


Then stood between the hill and sea

To ponder deep their ways and mine,

And reached a sharp and bitter end

That gave me thought and sowed confusion

In this, another time.


My soul does whisper and recognize

The smell of fire and starry skies

That now have gone the way of peace

To please the pocket.

So now we suffer wretched disease

Infecting all with no release from constant pain.

Yet have we gained from what we are

Or lost the heart within the land

In moving on. Condemned we stand.


Perhaps I’d rather be upon

The soft Saharan sand of simplicity

To watch for scorpion’s sting

And darkened eyes, alluring glance

With smoky sighs that beckon forth

The infidel from rigid form

To softened shade.


Squeeze the venom from my heart

To realise the truth not spurned,

A high price paid for toxic fumes,

Where consoles clutch at children’s dreams

As they consume tomorrow.


I’ll close my eyes on what has gone

From where I live,

For times move on.

But leave with me

Those scented sights,

So I may slumber deep

Once more,

Within a smoky, Amazigh night.


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