Desert Tales

If you can hover in the heated air simmering over those shifting sands, will some primeval spirit begin to stir in your blood? Will you be able to hear the songs of the first camel caravan, smell the ancient wisdom in the flickering light of old camp fires and read the poetry spelt out by the sharp edges of the waiting dunes?

Can you discover in the depths of that brown ocean, the bleached lives of intrepid men and beasts and the lost stories of their impassioned journeys that the shadows try to recount every evening at sunset?

in the restless desert
like sand through clenched fists
time slips away

Merzouga Dunes, Morocco

30 thoughts on “Desert Tales

  1. I`ve travelled through time in one swift sweep….like a reel on fast forward. At the weekend my grandson and I watched several documentary videos on the age of dinosaurs and you cover so much in few words not wasted.

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  2. A beautiful series of questions, Rajani, that caused waves of awareness to lap against the side of the bowl, and spill over the side… I love the desert image. The emptiness that dissolves resistance. The finding of something dear in the midst of what seems so barren…



    1. Thank you Michael…I find the desert so intensely a way that one is completely humbled before the awesomeness of nature, and by that realization can find every answer one seeks.

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  3. Oh goodness…I lived in the deserts of Saudi Arabia for ten years…and loved it. .I can’t even comment properly so much did your haibun – my favourite writing form – infuse into me! Seriously, I think I gave an audible gasp. Very well-captured. I could go on. Better not.

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      1. Well, as said before, I am not one to throw flowers of praise, but you have a gift you have worked very hard at. You approached this haibun from a completely original angle, you caught that essence of the desert, but again, in a manner that frankly entrances the reader, and not with silly, light petals but reality. I wish I could teach this haibun in a creative writing class. I am particularly awed by the opening – the theme; nature, without cheap sentimentality, always a winner, and of course the delicate fitting of the quality haiku to the prose.

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  4. Touche. The tighter we clench the more the illusion we can hold on.

    Bocci ball is an Italian bowling-like game. The poem was written at the Italian winery AND I think Rip Van Winkle played a game like that when he was with the fairies or wherever he was while sleeping.

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