Take one look at the face and you believe that you have seen through them, that you have looked into their hearts and heads and found them empty and vacuous. Your poems from pains are personal. And from the fields nearby emerge a throaty singing, songs about justice, about secrets only women knew, songs that mocked the system, songs that did not apologize for the colour of skin or the texture of hair.
For centuries, things stood like a rock, solid and unmoving although the hubbub of activity was hard to miss. The surrounding green pools of water, the sloping roofs created an idyllic setting - a place where knowledge could be shared in confidences, where life could be lived out painlessly.
Inside these walls there was the sound of ringing bills and chanting, sacred lessons that bounced back from the mud walls, voices of boys with skin as smooth as amber on whom you see the beginnings of a protruding paunch and the start of a lifetime of sitting down, folding the legs, expanding their minds.
For those that resided within, the thoughts of a better world were like old familiar roads, they could visit them at will. These young men knew that they stood at the precipice of intellect, looking eagerly over the edge. Many of them came very close and left having mastered their subjects. Some dared to go even further, armed with a new philosophy and a brimful of humanity that constantly overflew within them.
Then came men, who sang a folklore or two. If you cut them they both would bleed.
Bridging the wide gulf, balming pain that was particular with a healing that was universal stands a tomb today shrouded by a verse. As the flowers fall on it before the first rain and when those that scuttle by stop for a few quiet moments, they share a moment so brief in love and connectedness that stretches across centuries.
Sarah May John.
Now is blessed, the rest remembered...