Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Life Returns to the Nile – a poem

by Badri Raina


For decades your endless waters
flowed quiescent,
all your fertile powers spent,
vassal to far-off matters,
as a despot had you in thrall.

How you have now turned
from  slumber, O Nile,
and already spurned
with the memory of ancient might
a regime of cruel guile.

Your children of all ages, both sexes,
and all religions
fill Egypt shoulder to shoulder
and end to end—
their vision not of violence
but something far bolder:
as their conglomerate voice waxes,
they are determined
that in the Egypt to come
not just some, but all
shall feast of peace, prosperity
and democracy.

Children of true Islam,
the revolution you make
bids fair to shame
a world of perfidy that has given
to the faith such a bad name.
Your chant of human liberation
already rings in nation after nation.
Never will either the Arab world
or the rest of us be quite the same.

O Nile, your waters pour a needed balm
on a desecrated world;
do receive our salaam.
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