the muslim's tale vi

thrice the sun slides oe'r the noon
hawk-tail's catch uplifting drafts
widow's weep and mother's groan
for haunting death bestrides this road

his belly nags for want of alms
ali's knife stays out of sight
the pointed tip no longer picks
the diamonds of the cockled heart

crunched shut eyes he rocks and prays
for just two more - just two - oh lord -
to make redemption touching true
fulfillment of the imam's word

poor stubborn ali - touched by grace
neither barking dog or dead lion he
philosopher birds have shown the path
yet this donkey prays for century

O ali - the fickle faults of men that love
more grasping of their lack - than in desire
for the hand that holds nothing is bound
O ali - prepare for ankle-deep hell-fire

at last the proverb comes again
twelve thirsty months he dug this well
cutting hearts and bathed in blood
why wait for two - when it may rain

to the joyous taste of fresh picked almond
to the hidden cave he goes
to the city - one by one he'll take them -
for there are robbers on the road

◄ the muslim's tale v

the muslim's tale vii ►


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