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He was only a common man.
A sailor,
whose heart had been abandoned,
pierced by his true love.

They say every heart is born as one, until shared by the soul of another.

Adrift on a sea of cruel uncertainty,
ceaselessly muttering 'What if',
he mused on the sombre subject of his distant love -
a memory he revered.

Although they were oceans apart,
hidden under golden shores,
a gleaming pearl slept soundly in her shell.
He could feel her under the sea.

As his heart trembled, he thought fate
must have been kind -
for a common man like him
to discover her shell.

Despite his grievous afflictions,
it was as if she rose from the abyss -
and as he opened her shell, he was
spellbound; stunned by her beauty, magnificence.

And as she revealed herself,
the common man could not control
his unutterable emotions; mesmerised by her
silvery eyes.

He could've sworn it was a
dream of his old Beloved -
until the tenderness of her fingertips
graced his imperfect soul.

Aboard this ship of pleasant surprise,
the sailor and his Beloved were suddenly
floating, below the myriad of stars
dangling in the night sea sky.

She was his salvation whilst on sea,
and without saying a word,
the magic in her eyes shined
as they acknowledged
his immortal love.

How lucky he was,
to have seen the sight of her smile,
to caress her lips and honeyed hair,
one last time.
A little piece describing a man's figment of imagination, whilst sailing on sea.
Near the end of the hall, I treaded again through the stark cleanliness of the sanitized air,
Hearing breathless cries
from an empty room.

Hesitantly, I entered the white space.
An old woman, living beyond the natural lifespan and muttering to herself, perked up as she acknowledged an uncanny presence.
Her skin, containing a dash of red pigment, shrivelled with age,
so fragile that it could rupture with any given touch.
Her hair, a layer now so frail,
constituted of white strings coloured with a splash of steel
from the grey of granite.
Her eyes, wearied by the passing time,
still captured a willingness to live
Shown through the faint sparkle dangling on the pale blue surface.  

I could sense her angst, unsure of her path to heaven or hell.
With the flow of words pouring from my mouth, I questioned:

"What do you fear,
When you wake up from a drunken slumber
Afraid of time and its slow drip
Like melting snow
Or the smoke of sandalwood drifting in the air
Trying to figure how to pause time as it trickles
Drop by drop.
             grip firmly your fear and stand in mastery, keeping the beauty of old age within you, not a terrifying frenzy.
Face yourself, and return to what you were in history: once an image of deity."

"Do not let guilt, unspeakable guilt, determine your direction to eternity."

And with that, the heaviness of her soul strolled out, as I listened to the echoes of her chosen destiny.
I wandered for a moment, surrounded by the white tunnel
In which I smelt the metallic tang from stainless steel
Travelling in the open air.

Glancing, I saw the disarray: nurses dashing in assistance, paramedics charging through the gaping doors with emergency cases
And doctors immersed in the plight to save lives.

I slid a door open,
Discovering an image so brief and profound,
A man, varnished with red, ached as it
Dripped through his hair -
Hesitantly, he settled sideways,
You could see his hurts were spinal.

He had fallen from an engine,
Dragged along the grating metals,
And as he lay, half sentient -
To his bed came a woman,
Who stood and sighed,
Her lips were writhen
As the sun had risen.

How desolate it was,
As she lied near the thundering waterfall of his heart,
Only to realise,
They were on the eve of their marriage.
I came across an old house,
In the tumult of the Marrakesh Medina,
Cluttered with a frenzied pace
And mutterings of Berber foreign to the Western ear.

Yet, this old house, which was anything but a
grain in the midst of the chilly hustle,
Possessed my curiosity as only mud was the floor,
Drifting to decay
As the wind howled through its door.

There, an impoverished family dwelt,
In a space so dismal and rude,
And though gnawing sadness they felt
They had not a morsel of food.

The children, dressed in tatters and rags,
Cried to their poor mother for bread
Of which she held none.
Cupping their faces with looks of despair,
She said "Do not cry, or my soul will not spare"

Well then, let the wealthy and merry
See such a scene!
That in an old house in the depths of a medina,
They may know miseries are declared.
The old grand medina,
Once famed for its great beauty,
With bustling alleyways packed with
common folk and thick smoke
Furnished with eclectic selections
Of vibrantly ranging djellabas
And glimmering lanterns,
Possessing the utmost variety,
And I, favouring a sultry red.

In this bracing climate,
I stroll pass a provincial area,
Witnessing the penury which lies
amongst dilapidated riads,
Surrounded by decaying sidewalks,
Forming the shape of deprecation
Across my face.

However, the most harrowing of all,
Is the plenitude of the crippled,
Deprived of everything but meagre rations,
And a penny to spare.
Pondering over the question:
Does anyone truly care?

— The End —