Shepherd, Shepherd
Where Are You?

Arab Spring, 2011

I.

It was a season cracked open


II.

flowering honeysuckle
full fragrance of saffron,
mint, and thyme


a season of ripe pomegranates
and aubergines, olives,
and figs on shared borders.


III.

The people awakened, rose up,
raged at tyrants
garbed in uniforms and robes.


Gouty, engorged by their plunder
gated and guarded
they fell,


IV.

awash in their own blood.


V.

It was a time
of blinking characters
on my four walled screens.


Hawks perched, vigilant.
Shepherds slept.


VI.

I cocooned under a black sky.


VII.

We are your sheep,


VIII.

spinning,
choking
in our own dust storms,


IX.

a herd without water
or fruits of the pasture
or peace under the stars.


X.

Shepherd, oh shepherd?


XI.

I awaken, as


XII.

on morning thermals
the red-tailed hawk
lifts,
sounds his cry.


And don’t miss:

Reader in a Rush,” a poem by Abdellatif Laâbi


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