Musty fumes belch out
of Kabul’s downtown sprawling mass
of rambling rickshaws, tooting Toyotas,
trotting horse drawn carts,
heaving and straining
with the weight of rotting carcasses
and the salvaged wreckages of time.
But she does not sigh with disgust.
Her breath is taken away.
She sways her head gently to and fro,
chadour hanging loosely
The ancient breeze of darya Kabul
blowing through her hair,
which she now absorbs, gladly,
in the throes of her freedom,
because the Talibs have been chased out of town
and the misty sun, casting its gaze,
gives her the promise of a new age
a prospect of progress,
shedding the old skin
of the worn out trends of myopic mullah men.
She strides, confidently, past
A seated apparition on the sidewalk
who sits cross-legged on a flattened cardboard box,
living behind a worn blue, gigantic shuttlecock,
a row of chadri clones laid out before her
displayed for only 500 Afghani.
But this woman from nowhere
would make jealous even the eyes of Socrates
as she sits on her throne, the universe,
where she basks in eternal lights
which flood through her, like the rolling sea,
reducing the world around her and the cosmos
to a floating speck of dust,
which would have lived in the shadows
if the light of the One had not revealed it.
And while the winds of time and war
wreak havoc around her,
beneath her prison,
because she has freed herself
from the shackles and cells of time and space
for she had learned to recite the Name
until the Named was all she witnessed
and now she bathes in the Sun, mesmerised,
while selling her clothes, seeing to her brood,
putting up with her poor excuse for a life,
gazing, unfettered and unrestrained,
at the haunting beauty of His Face.