The end of the world *

The End of the World

Winds, forceful winds, lash at heads swaddled in tagelmousts

Irrigate eagle sharp eyes with the fine sand of centuries.

Parched, parched skin, bleeds with dehydrating pain,

Struggling to breathe, against the shriveling of souls.

The Harmattan is relentless

Even so, it sighs at the decimation wrought by our kind.


They were there to rid us of our superstitious yoke.

Sought to obliterate brick by brick,

As others have done over centuries,

Emblems of our superstitions, totems to our fears.

For did not the impotent masses quake in agony at the thought,

That the portal opened would only reveal death and destruction?


The rationalists, boisterous, metal wielding cohorts, arrived, Allah willing,

To pull out this fester invested with the legitimacy of centuries,

And replace it then with newer fears,

Forceful, truer ambitions that please God, zealously guarding us from ourselves.

And thus began the end of the world for the Sahel,

Inundated with the desiccation of centuries and fears of divine retribution.




* On the destruction of the Sidi Yahya Mosque in Timbuktu and the turmoil in Northern Mali. There was a belief that opening the door to the mosque would lead to destruction and the end of the world.

Tagelmoust – cotton fabric wrapped around the head by Malian men.

Harmattan – Dry and dusty West African trade winds.