A Sinai wind is an abrasive tongue, spoken rashly.
Its words are licks of paint lifted from the lids
of Gamal Abdulnasser’s red-star Sarcophagi.
The desert sun scours father’s skull; a glazed rictus
of a face torched in tallow –
till the wick ran dry.
So his children burn.
A Gaza wind is an ancient hand, waved imperiously.
Its gesture, fingers of contempt that cover the red
of a covetous earth, hubris calls its own.
The desert sun scours father’s skull; a dry patch
where bloody-eared crops once bloomed into menorahs -
till the flood failed.
So his children pray for rain.
Nigel Holt © 2010