The Culture of the Desert

By: Muhammad Syarif Fadhlurrahman

The desert, a barren land of sand;

So empty but so rich,

So frightening yet so romantic.

This be the culture of the desert?

Where noble kings and princes hail?

Indeed, 'tis it, the rich culture of the desert;

Despite it's appearance it bears wonderful fruits.

The elocution so high in value of the Bedouines,

Of colorful meanings and taste and form,

So rarely found elsewhere but here in the desert,

Bereft of so many other cultures, but this

The culture of the tongue thrives

So high the culture of the desert,

The ethics and mannerism thereof,

Chiseled from the full force of evolutionary might,

A Darwinian ethics, where stark are

The harsh logic of realism and the delicate altruism,

Both arose out of the cruelty and mercy of the desert,

Where the sharpness of the mind as well as

The tightness of the bond of brotherhood

Both means survival and life;

This is the culture of the desert.