Nouri Sardar

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Nouri Sardar YAIMAM

Water I Threw Away

I remember / in Karbala / O’ Haider
This flagbearer / for his brother / O’ Haider
Water today / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

I recall as but a young boy… your death left wounds O’ my father
And around it I built a wall… of zeal, courage and honour
It hurt me that you sat bleeding… and kissed both my hands O’ Haider
You placed in one hand a canteen… and a flag within the other
It was written / for your children / my slaughter
Never hidden / for your Hussain / my slaughter
My own safety / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

Riding out to the land of death… I watch Zainab in her grief stand
I recall when you took her hand… and placed it firmly in my hand
I make a promise to myself… as the men of courage I band
I won’t let fear approach her heart… even if blood pierces this sand
No-one comes near / or leaves in fear / my sister
On death I peer / and hold her near / my sister
My night and day / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

I stood at the edge of the tents… watching as the women would mourn
And saw Habib coming to me… between love and sorrow he’s torn…
He tells me, “I have a story… in my aged eyes, it is still drawn
Your father told me that to die… tomorrow, Abbas, you were born”
This is my fate / a title great / a martyr
The night is late / on me a weight / a martyr
Doubt and worry / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

Was I raised in such a manner… that from thousands I’d run away?
A sight I see ignites my eyes… Ali’s children crying “thirsty”…
I take my flag & take my sword… watching their lives in my hands sway
My fortitude like a mountain… and no river stands in my way
In me a flame / and I became / like Karrar
A lion’s name / that none could tame / like Karrar
Yazid’s army / I threw away / O Haider

* * *

I watch the dust as it rises… and mixes with enemy blood
A mirror of you O’ Karrar… their bodies for all that I’ve loved
I do not care about death’s grip… and with my sword through death I flood
The way I sail through these men… they think I’m you O my beloved
I hear them cry / this is the eye / of Badr
Bodies, they fly / beneath the sky / of Badr
The enemy / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

With the scent of death on my hands… I reach the river in sorrow
I raise water to take a sip… and watch it between fingers flow…
The sweetness of the water near… I watch it both glisten & glow
I recall Hussain and those girls… from my hands, the water I throw
In thirst they sink / I will not drink / the water
Tearless, they blink / they speak and think / the water
Water, they’ll say / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

I ride out back toward the tents… feeling the wind brisk through my hair
And feel as my hands are cut… the grip of those children’s despair
An arrow hits me, I can’t see… but I don’t stop, nor do I care
Till an arrow hits the canteen… And I lose all that I held dear
The hopes I had / to quench their dread / would shatter
I feel my head / with blood it bled / would shatter
Hope, as I lay / I threw away / O’ Haider

* * *

London – 22/11/13