Monday, January 10, 2011

Adjule - People of the Veil

This is part of a new project I've just begun and am very excited about. I'm writing poetry on different cryptids. It began a little under a year ago, when I heard about the mothman, allegedly seen in West Virginia. I wrote several poems in response to the sightings, but more about the West Virginians themselves. I think the myths and legends of an area have a lot to say about the people and their culture, and they've certainly captured my imagination. So, I guess you could say I'm focusing more on why these legends have come to be and who contributes to them.

This particular one is about the Adjule, allegedly seen in Northern Africa. The nomadic Taureg people in particular believe this dog to be a person's spirit come back in the form of a ghost-like dog. The Taureg are muslims, but interestingly the men and not the women wear the veil for modesty.

Talemt is the constellation Ursa Major, but the Taureg call it "She-camel." And a taghazamt is an adobe hut built for a semi-permanent dwelling.

Adjule - People of the Veil

And the sand sleeps
Silent touching our ever moving feet
Trying to find where the waters run
The phantom dog comes
White cool in the evening
Our lives ever in expiration
And the desert creeps
Into our eyes staining our hands
The camel runs
The phantom dog comes
Under Talemt we plod
Seeking water in the white-blue silence
Adjule, Adjule could you be my wife?
Peering under my veil and noting the tears
Streaking my skin as the blue, runs
The phantom dog comes
My taghazamt holds my quarantine self
Unable to feel the sand the sun greets
The heavy tread of the camel’s feet
And the droppings from the camels’ run
The phantom dog comes

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