Timbuktu and the abandoned caravans


I’ll water the river of Niger
to quench its thirst

** I’ll care for you

Plant daffodils and evergreen thorns in the deserts of Timbuktu
Run my fingers through the fine, ancient sand dunes
Place my feet on the footsteps of past Azalai caravans
** I’ll love you

I’ll dip my fingers in paint
turquoise, red, yellow
and colour the lightning in swirly colours
so that children might find the beauty in their fears

* *Hush darling, hush
Or maybe I’ll climb a ladder up the sky
with many,many lanterns
and hang them from the edges of stars
so that wanderers might find their ways on dark,moonless nights
when the moon sleeps , tucked in between clouds

** Fret not
I’ll light a bonfire in the desert
of Timbuktu, where I planted the daffodils and evergreens
A bonfire so wild and bright
Eager tongues of flames reaching for the sky
Billows of smoke tickling the clouds

The clouds turned away from the earth below, long ago

Enmity put a wedge between them
The desert scorched the clouds
and the clouds remained stoic
they ignored it
abandoned it
floated away
left it to die
and now that flowers are scattered across the plains like colour splash from stormy nights where thunder sounded like exclamation points
they notice it once again, marvelling at the flickering and crackling down below

This bonfire will marry the two once again

and I bid them to cry rivers to ease the pain of the quivering earth
and they release all that is within them
they cry Niles and Nigers and Congos
and miles and miles and miles of African tears
Validate their loss
And the desert gulps it all
absorbs the plants into itself
and once again, restores itself to its natural beauty
of plain blankets of sand layered with a thin veil of dust

**It’ll learn to love once more

You mustn’t belittle the pain that is within me
For pain runs through all humanity
and I will run through the pain
like a kite in the sky
on a stormy night
The  lightning will strike it
and a million beads of scintillating rainbows will come raining down
**and paint  the world happy


Contrary to popular beliefs, Timbuktu is not a mystical place, but a city in Mali. It is situated on the southern edge of the Sahara desert and is a World Heritage Site.

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