First Communique from One Returning from the Zanj Revolt

I was in the army of the Zanj
A slave fighting for a dream that glimmers across the sun's face
Across the blind Gulf
That sleeps, awakens,
runs forward, stumbles
And when my dream and the dream of comrades faltered,
I carried my sword under my arm, and said:
The South is my sky, my face,
I have comrades in the South
With their dreams they went before me to the port of the sun
they are drowned in its radiance
after their bodies' fragrance had burned out
in the prison of the Imam
After dawn had died in their withered eyes
under the invader's alien whips,
After dawn had died in heads held high
that gave of their fire generously.
No, they are not defeated
The dream remains still, fertile with love and light
Here is one comrade
And there is another
My hand can almost touch them who departed with the dream
Touch the soil's wound
And when I went down the Gulf to the Great Water
I was smitten with the first longing
My feet burned
I did not pause to weep
I reined in my tears,
and loosed my voice to the wind,
took up the art of wistful song
I sang for the country whose blood was licensed to be spilt
I held the wounds of the people in my breast
From the bones of the fallen I fashioned flutes
And songs flamed out in the veins of the day
And now I knead the earth into my language,
offer it a cake for multitudes
for the child at the breast, for the father,
for the hawk, for the dove,
for the sword, for the flower.

Enter my garden safely, you poor of the North
Cast off your hunger at my door
Here is where the dream begins:
The face of distances approaches
The fountain draws near
In the age of love water and fire mingle
and sun and earth
All beings unite
The seasons of revelation are at hand
And the hour of Union approaches.
Author of original: 
Abd al-Aziz Al-Maqalih
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