Frigid Fire
Appreciating people’s pain, only a jaded man
                                    Knows how it is
Suffering himself with pain, the pain of others
                                    Knows how it is
Every moment mingling in some crowd, can you feel  for me?
Feeling like a loner only a hermit
                                    Knows how it is
Toils of those planting the seeds of dreams
The one farming the palms of affliction
                                    Knows how it is
Frigid fire that melts the core of a rock
Whomsoever has had a cold sigh
                                    Know how it is
The game of love where the lovers seeking the six
This backgammon impossible to play, the mind [1]
                                    Knows how it is
One intoxicant droplet of love poisons hundred seas
Whomsoever even took one sip
                                    Knows how it is
Wahshi, the one whose eyes cried much blood
Reason for yellow jaundice face
                                    Knows how it is
[1] Backgammon is used often to depict the game of life and dice is rolled and the most desired number is the highest i.e. the six. So the poet says that the lovers seek the highest score in the game but the mind knows the game itself is impossible to play and win.
Background: A father fulfills his promise to his son to bring him to the Wad Sherifay camp near Kassala, which holds more than 70,000 refugees from Eritrea. The boy had died during the trip. Sudan, 1985.  Photo by Sebastião Salgado

© 2003-2002,  Dara Shayda