At night I dream of Xanadu
And in the morning I rise to go to it,
I am surrounded by desert.
Far off is a forest.
Behind are the mountains.
Somewhere, there is a sea.
I look, and look, and look, and look, but
I cannot see—though I look and look throughout the world in view—
I cannot see a Xanadu,
Nor even a place for it to go.
So the nightly vision was mirage, then:
Remove the moon, the stars, the heroin of sleep
Nothing of it is left.
Nothing at all.
Xanadu is an illusion.
What then shall I do?
I shall continue as I did before the dream of Xanadu:
I will plant my staff and watch the sun,
Plot the course of a day,
Decide where the winds are blowing and
Let them carry me there;
I shall walk in sun and dust and rain
(Supposing I find a place
In which it rains),
And drink my water and eat my bread,
And at night lay down my head and watch the stars and
Wonder if there is anyone else out there,
Past the deserts and the forests and the stars,
And then I shall sleep;
And when I rise again I will follow the winds again,
The sun again,
Till it's night and I lay to sleep again.
I will not kill myself in search of Xanadu.
Living day to day, taking myself to new places,
Going slowly, slowly, slowly—
It is enough for me.
I am happy to live day to day,
Happy to care only for the next thing I see,
Happy not to worry about elusive mirages and dreams,
Happy to simply be—
Life is enough for me.
Plotting my days,
Making my way to wherever I wish to go,
Living through drought and flood, heat and ice—
This shall be my life.
I am content to live without illusions and dreams.
The desert sand is enough for me.
© Copyright 2016 Iskah E Shirah. All rights reserved.
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