Weep no more Land of Sheba

By Samira Ali BinDaair

Land of frankincense….
your blood’s resin is clotting;
forgotten episodes clinging to the dark edges of memory.
Dusty pages on neglected shelves …..
in extinct libraries.
Your soldiers? Scattered leaves lying….
in the midst of nonsense and commotion
Blown hither and thither ….
by the winds of circumstance…..
and greed
Who shall fight your battles? Who shall feed your young?
What surgeon mend the tear
In our hemorrhaging hearts?
What seamstress patch the broken lines of history?

What shall we offer you, children of Sheba? Your future on a silver plate…..
served from a broken cauldron? Geography without a road map?
Shall we just stand here and weep for the might have been?
Sit idle in smoked filled rooms building
yet more empty dreams in the Qat frenzy while the blood keeps flowing?

When will the Mother Conscience awake?
To rock its hungry babies shivering in the endless night?
Land of Sheba…..
Land of Promise…
Who will your ancient scrolls dust…
that lie at the feet of clay…
of false idols? Men came and went in this land of glory…
women ruled and prospered….
alas! the motherland died giving birth to twins…
the envy of Gallus and Aksum….
and modern giants.

Weep no more Land of Sheba…
the die was long cast….
our love for you the bait…
as we lay struggling in your turbulent net…
like thirsty travelers in the desert with no escape from your fettering bonds….
a Mirage holds our souls ransom with no Oasis in sight.
Where is that pigeon of my adolescence who spoke to us about peace and freedom…as we played hopscotch on the white sands of Abyan beach? Alas….
dreams that passed in the night like the ships at Aden harbor.
We built castles in the air…..
like the winds that blow in the Empty Quarter.
How can we be free when Freedom is not free?

We are Sheba’s lost anklet beneath the hot sands of Mareb….
We are the nightingale’s song on the barren rocks of Jabal Shamsan….
We are the Muezin’s call in the mosques of Tareem and Zabid….
We are the broken clasps in the coral and silver that adorn your beauties ….
we are bab al-yaman that like a steady rock ….
survives the abuse of its children.

Weep no more beloved land…
your penance is done…
ours just begins for letting martyrs die in vain….
like the lotus eaters we slumbered for far too long.
Though Time is a superior Foe…
Your blood did not in vain flow…
only watered the seeds of yesterday’s pain t
o grow today’s Tree of wisdom.
Today must sometimes die to bear tomorrow’s fruit of life.

Though fortresses crumble……
in the rushed tumble of history ….
the earth never dies;
So take heart dear land…..
for You shall never die.