Gone are these camps, smooth-floored
clear of tents and all that filled them.
Desolate the realm of the departed
brimming is the wind that rings of
war cataclysm and buoyant love months.
Beyond the mute or muting rock maze
clouds mumble and flash
percolating rain to feed our springs.
And so, this spread of verdant bushes
betrays the arid clay that clutches them.
How the gazelles dive across the planes
cataracting the air, cleaving the dusk,
cutting the billowy horizon; honey-tinted
clouds blazing over a blue mirror.
And how it all flows and pours amongst the rocks.
A few mules here show whipping scars.
They browse randomly over the herbage.
To give birth is to repurchase their past.
Their young yell and frolic in the wild
and reorient the elders to the land.
Stripped of humans, the deserted encampment
once again sings praises of itself in its own tongue.
But what of her, Nowara, who received your heart
and waited, but followed her people
so quietly we let the memory slip and so long ago?
Nowara the nimble youth whose feet
almond shape and color, coated with the fine dust
of the desert floor, carried her far beyond us
we racing the date arbors on festival day.
And she did grow to be a tender and noble woman
decorated in tresses, richness of eyes kohl-darkened
gold coins at her neck and breast.
It was to her we gave the soft red stone of our chest.
It was with her also that it finally fled
faded treasure, lapsed of time and patience.