by Nouri Sardar

Indeed I am hardship, and I have my eye upon you
You’ll shudder from my glare but of my worth I shall argue
Yes, it may be that my glare has excited very few
And I instil fear and uncertainty into hearts, true
Yet only those who I’ve embraced, understand my value
For I clutched them, so tight, that to escape my chains, they grew
They grew and became immortal, from them weakness withdrew
I raised them, with my strange sense of comfort, gave them virtue

* * *

I work in different forms, many sizes and many shapes
I range from death and calamity, to mere cuts and scrapes
I seem to cut off conclusions, block; destroy escapes
Upon the stars of hope, I throw my shadowed, darkened drapes
Yet in reality, when your small mind my hand “misshapes”
I’m just restructuring it, till your mind my hand reshapes
Till I loosen my grip, leaving new, powerful landscapes
Now soothed by the sweet touch of my virtuous seascapes

* * *

I have seen and done many things, not all of which I’m proud
I have raised tidal waves to which entire cities have bowed
For men to make and use destructive weapons, I’ve allowed
I’ve seen the poor die of hunger, whilst watches a rich crowd
Yet with each tragedy I cause, I swear and I have vowed
That I do not cause destruction, no, rather I enshroud
Men in tests from their Lord, it result in hardship or shroud
I look dark but truly I cleanse, much like approaching cloud

* * *

Yet with all the power I have, there are still things whereby
When I recall them, they make me laugh or make me cry
I laugh when I grab someone – on no Lord does he rely –
And he bangs his head against walls screaming to no-one, “why?”
Yet there are times I crawl up in a corner, tears in my eye
Like when I make children thirsty, “al-atash” their outcry
When I murder a man, and his sister watches nearby
When I leave women to cry for help, met with no reply

* * *

And daily enchained by my own fate, to my Lord I kneel
O’ Lord tell those who hate my clutch, of a story unreal
Tell them of Zainab, the mother of hardships, her ordeal
Of the regretful heart of Abbas, the father of zeal
Of the infant who in his father’s arms would coo and squeal
Of Hussain who stood alone in a tragedy surreal
Therefore he who of my clutch on him, to you would appeal
Tell them of this true tragedy, so that his heart may heal

* * *

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