!t is like a mountain, so high no one can see,
Rising with the sun out of the sea,
Its painted caves in rocks bleached by the sun
Speak of what has passed and what’s to come.
Voicing its history to the listening town
From a cave carved by the wind to look like a clown.
Angels and animals and kings, designed
As moral symbols to the receptive mind,
Look down upon the unprotected child,
Destruction and history unreconciled.
He gazes at the ascending eagle’s height:
Her eyes are glistening and her wings are white.
But oh, the life of man: what can we say?
He is at once the hunter and the prey,
Waiting with trembling hand and shaking voice
For destiny to force him to his choice.
What the sun laughs at, what the mountain sees,
Is the fearless eagle’s unconsidered ease.
Is life the same whether we win or lose?
Night goes and comes, and day, too, comes and goes.
The man who’s conscious of all worldly joys
Is brother to the man the world destroys.
This is the point of life and destiny.
We bide our time. Our will and choice are free.
Courtesy of Qudulibri , poem first published in Italian language anthology 100 MILA POETI PER IL CAMBIAMENTO – BOLOGNA PRIMO MOVIMENTO, 2013.
Ali Moshtaq Askari is a Hazara Afghani poet and human rights activist.