The sere bare shifting dunes waver
in charcoal-white crackling heat,
scalding wind searing bone to ash.
The molten sun rains desert fire upon the earth,
cracking skin and baking rock.
Dirt and dust and grit and sand
all flay the land and fool alike,
all scour the land and fool alike,
in the kiln of Sahara.
A stark brown knobby cactus sags alone
in the heavy arid drifting haze,
a thorn of spite with thorns of pain.
A lonely vulture drifts above the land,
a lofty prophet of deadly end.
Its ghoulish gaze betrays no balm
save for a palm as hope renews,
but for a palm as hope renews,
in the land of Sahara.
Blessed water coughs through mangled throats
and smoothly slides down, running free down the skin
past the burns, past the grime,
welling deep into the recent camel tracks and camp remains.
Smiles of hope and righteous sleep;
others will come soon.
But nighttime days dawn cold and chill
and blessed water turns to ice
on hands and legs and clothes and sand
and wracking shivers thrash forlorn
as fatal frost soon ends the strife
and steals the life from mortal fools,
all steals the life from mortal fools
in the doom of Sahara.