Desert Camp, Merzouga
The Bedouin in you stirred
at the sight of undulating dunes
and camel caravans waiting
to take their charges across the sands.
The guttural sounds of a Semitic tongue
drifted across the compound where you sat
wondering whether this evening
a voice might yet resound.
You had come in search of something more
than a swanky desert camp
or a glimpse of one more sunset
atop an ochre-coloured land.
You hankered for a message
from across the pale of time,
a fragmentary image
to reconnect the dotted lines.
If you come to the desert with longing
the longing will pull you in
for you carry deep within you
the cold swooshing of the wind
and the memory of distant soundings
from an ancient threnody
along with words once uttered
which you never scribbled down
doubting that you’d been chosen
to return from whence it began
if but for the briefest of moments
before the desert turned longing to sand.
Messengers who flash warnings
of what the end of time portends,
messengers who whisper cryptic lines
of life’s mysteries and the great beyond,
messengers who ride off on a camel’s back
in search of a holy land,
messengers who lose their footing in the dunes
and cross sanity’s fatal bounds.