Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thirty-three Tritinas (21 - 24)

21. Al-Muqit, the Watcher Over; Al-Qahhar, the Destroyer; Al-Majiyd, the Majestic One

Watch, if ever you are flying over
the western mountains, for marks of destruction:
bare earth, where giant firs towered majestic.

These mountains, serene in their majesty
since ancient times have watched over
the forests now destroyed.

And now in the wake of wanton destruction,
the mountains are disrobed of majesty.
Watch; bare mud and ash cover them over.

Can you bear to watch the destruction of such majesty?

22. Al-Waali, the Governor; Al-Khabir, the Aware; Al-Hasib, the One Who Keeps Accounts and Measures All Things

There was a man, high-placed in the government.
A good man as things go-- but unaware
he'd hired a crook as his office's accountant.

This man was trusted with the most sensitive accounts
and was ruled by terrible greed, ungoverned
by either caution or moral awareness.

Long story short-- before anyone was aware
great sums of money had gone, unaccountably.
It forced the resignation of the governor.

If you would govern, be aware you are accountable.

23. Al-Wali, the Protecting Friend; Al-Kabir, the Greatest; Al-Ahad, the Unique

This is how it is, to find a friend:
You are alone on the shores of a great
sea, and suffer for your uniqueness.

Yet every seashell at your feet is unique
and any wandering soul may become your friend
and sing you echoes of the ocean's greatness.

Human souls, both small and great
each one marvelous and unique.
And yet we take them for granted, our friends.

Your friendships are treasures both great and unique.

24. Al-Halim, the Soft One; Al-Jalil, the Mighty; Al-Bari, the Shaper

Twilight cloaks the savannah. Soft
shadows gather; watch, and you might
see the grass ripple round a passing shape.

In the darkness, fear creates many shapes.
Imagined terrors follow the softest
sounds; the least known, the mightiest.

But what passes there, silent and mighty
hidden by dusk, a half-guessed shape
with tremendous footfalls, inaudibly soft?

In soft dust, mighty tracks appear; we know their shape.

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