The Flames of Tadjourah

The world had become a flaming hell – impossible to tame

Yet, every man sought to quell the fire in the village that day

Children screaming, women crying, explosions from inside

As alcohol and powder spilled into flames that only thrived

Goats ran wild, bulls thrashed, a man impaled upon a horn

With no water to fight our flaming hell, we were mercy to God’s scorn

We threw dirt into the fire that day, praying for reprieve

When water finally did arrive, it fell boiling at our feet

I didn’t need to speak her language to know what she had said

In a desperate voice “He’s still inside!” but I knew he was long-since dead

Dark pale men lay all around me, passed out from smoke in lung

Shoes melted from our feet by then, but still we all fought on

Heroes of Tadjourah, every villager – one and all

That fire burning ocean-side, raging ever on…

Men would wake from smoke-filled sleep, and into battle once again

Some fought from roof above the flames, in my mind’s eye they fell in…

I realized it wasn’t flames I fought, but demons of the mind

For no matter how much time I bought, I’d soon leave that place behind

I shared a name with a village there, half-day’s journey up the road

Where for months, I sought to help its children with water, food, and clothes

This strange family all around me, we fought yet hand in hand

Me, the welcomed intruder to their magical foreign land

Neither primitive, nor heathen did I find the people there…

A desert tribe, yet still they thrived, despite the land so bare

And never once did hesitate to share what Allah gave them

With open hearts, they welcomed men sent by governments to enslave them

Eventually we, together, prevailed against the flame

The man who died, I realized, was my old self gone away

I learned many lessons there, this but one amongst the pile:

You may think God sent you to teach lesser men, but instead you’re learning all the while!

2 thoughts on “The Flames of Tadjourah

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