The sea is soft today.
Shallow and warm, as it always is under this hot sun.
Across the heat-washed way, Iran
Quietly broods, the Persians seething
Their ancient hatred for the Arabs.
Old ship mines bob on rusty chains in the shallow tide,
Silent homes to silent fish.
Feluccas still ply the shore, the same creature
Centuries old, the same ship rebuilt decade after decade,
Hauling dates and wool and pomegranate
From souk to souk.
But some tide has turned and ninety floors of glass and steel
Now watch the distant burqad shore.
And while the ships drop their ferried tourists,
The machines haul oil, and the air chatters with voices.
Ah world, let us forget the past.
For history, which seems
To loom behind us as a whip or wave,
So tight with ancient grudge,
Is nothing but the shadow of a passing cloud.
And we are here as on the dawn
Of some new millennia, in the shadowless bowl
Of our own restless creation.
The mirror of the glass above us,
Our desperate lunge for the heavens,
Ever short but ever full of promise.