11 May 2007

Shall I tell you about the land where people hurry across?

It was a strange land,
With many roads and few destinations.
There were signs everywhere
Instructing people to do this
Prohibiting people from doing that,
But mostly people did as they pleased,
And the only rules that were enforced
Were the one protecting those people in power,
The people who broke the rules most often.

In the blink of an eye,
The soft, irregular shapes of the land
Became hard and regular
And the people swarmed over them
At incredible speeds.
No one remembered the voice of the land;
They had forgotten it had one at all.

But the land cannot forget.
Everywhere are sad traces of its history.
Confused and astonished at how quickly it is dying
The land grieves and waits.

What does it wait for?
For someone to listen, to recognize its voice,
To hear its story.
But it also waits for its eventual rebirth.
It will happen, sooner or later.
The question is,
Will we be there to see it?

— Sharif Ezzat, from Like Stars in a clear night sky, in Electronic Literature Collection Volume One, October 2006. See also his site, www.youwerehere.com.


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