More Than Once
By Israfel Sivad
Lost. A seed by chance was stolen,
blown by wind streams softly gusting,
landing lonely, to awake in
barren fields where silent dust sings.
Here, amidst a dearth of dreary,
here, the earth, for rain, begs, lusting,
here, where skies whisper with weary,
life lives only death dying slowly.
Far from home, that seed wind buried.
Desolation strains to scarcely
breed a parasitic thirsting
breathing what lives stolen only,
leaving thieves forever starving.
Now these torments plague another
helpless sapling feeling living
wrenched away… This lifeless reservoir’s
weeds slowly strangle, bit by bit
by means of choking scavengers.
Roots reach forth in pain’s gasping fits.
Struggling towards heaven’s open land,
I choked and died.
(When I looked away to search the darkness,
I stumbled in the gravel on my downward slope.
I landed face first in sharpened mud
to scream against my own false step,
to bleed amid earthen rocks,
and you stood above me…
Like the sun to trees reaching towards it,
a beam of light caught hold of my hand.)
More than once, I’ve lost my way down different
paths of life by slipping in rock-strewn sands,
falling to live on this lifeless descent
where starving stones supply a barren field.
And more than once, I was scared, lonely, sent
to grow alone with weeds whose roots will steal
my life, now young, though stumbled, still begun –
A piece in pieces that may never heal.
But more than once, always, you’ve stood right there
to ease this starving soul who gasps for air.
From Israfel Sivad’s collection of poetry At the Side of the Road, available here.