but what can i do…

the sand of the sahara
fears no man
nor pay homage
to graven images
on walls of up-scale malls
nor will it listen to your
whimper of
but what can i do
for it is the undefeated army
that marches on your cities
and villages
salting not only the earth of carthage
but every parcel of land in its wake
and it shall not stop
until you wake from your sleep
and see that one man is never alone
there is always another
standing in the shadow of fear
hidden from your view
within the ancient ruins
of political rhetoric
but you
you
do not hear
the timeless voices of the desert spirits
imploring you to listen
to see the vision of the future
when all that you will know
will be sand
sand
holding the ashes
of every conqueror of this land
and every dreamer
who chose
not
to
act

23 thoughts on “but what can i do…

  1. Yes the eternal dilemma. As British playwright and novelist John Galsworthy put it, ‘a man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it’. The reverse also holds true. A man of thought forced into action… see Hamlet… and so it goes ;-).

  2. Wonderful poem Charlie,
    I felt the sand in my eyes, ear, and mouth.
    Well today with my allergy it was easy to imagine the sand in my nose too:)
    Sand is amazing I cannot believe that such a small thing can have so much power!

    I love the picture Charlie!!!
    Keep it coming!
    Mirella

  3. “when all that you will know
    will be sand
    sand
    holding the ashes
    of every conqueror of this land”

    very nice image! Well done!

  4. I love this idea of the persistent thing coming, unconcerned with someone’s resistance. It seems like you can find your part in it, but not ignore it. I remember feeling that when first drove across the plains in the West (Montana I think), like the land was so big it wasn’t even concerned with me. I can only imagine how much more you experience that in the Sahara.

  5. A very poignant message here, not only because the UK have a general election tomorrow but because of the climate we live in. I hope you enjoyed your holiday, it seems to have inspired you in more ways than one.

    • Shakira…here’s wishing Viola a very happy birthday…tried to leave it on your site but as usual…I didn’t get it right…sooo…I’ll just say it here and try again later.

  6. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” (Yeats) This popped into my head when I read the end of this poem.

    Really like a lot of your pieces – great tone, sharp lines, and I love the audio readings that accompany them.

    Cheers

    • Yes! Yeats… The Second Coming. Love that one. It’s always amazing how Charles’ blog triggers so much interesting, intercultural, intertextual talk. What could possibly be better than this?

  7. Great poem love the graven image on upscale mall walls…great line. I will be coming back here to check you out. and thanks for the visit.

  8. Wow, I don’t know where to start with this. The message is deep and will stay with me long after I veer from this page, and the images are powerful. there are so many images but I guess the one that really grabs me is “the timeless voices of desert spirits imploring you to listen”. this is incredible…I really like it alot.

  9. Wondrous and powerful. “My kind of poem”, giving a concrete ‘real’ image or event to a thought or a sweeping philosophy.

    And you mean not even the $15 million Mr. Dadanu is willing to split with me will hold the sands at bay? 😦

  10. One of the interesting things about your writings is that no matter what your “positionings”, truth seems to fly out. Thanks.

  11. Oh Charles how beautiful and strong. I feel the presence of the sand down to the last
    bit

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us

  12. Really beautiful poem. I especially love the last five lines… I feel the imagery particularly invokes that dreamers who don’t act are like the shifting sands in the dunes – they start at the top with their aspirations and allow themselves to be blown to the bottom by not holding on to what they believe in.

    Has the journey inspired you? I am thinking of travelling around Latin America later this year, to open my eyes to the world a little more.

    • Very much so…I love to travel especially when I have an opportunity to discuss life with the people along the way that I meet…for me that is the best part of the trip….I gain a greater appreciation for what I have…but understand the beauty of what they have. Thanks ever so much for commenting.

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