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Night Sky

Mash’Allaah, I found this as I was going through poems for my new poetry book. I wrote this in Sana’a, in 2005, but wanted to share it with you all, insh’Allaah. Ma’bar is still the home of my heart, may Allaah preserve Sheikh Muhammad al-Imaam and the people of the Sunnah there, Ameen. It’s funny, I wrote it all in a paragraph, but it copied over like a poem, so I said, mash’Allaah, and am leaving it just like that, insh’Allaah:

View from our roof in Ma'bar

I wish I had a night sky shot of Ma’bar!

 

the night sky here is phenomenal,

full of cold light and shooting stars…

 

I remember when we first moved to Ma’bar, and how I fell in love with

night

all over again.

 

We had lived in Sana’a, off of a very busy and aesthetically offensive

street, for some

 

months, which hurt my country girl soul. In Ma’bar, most of our neighbors

did not have

 

electric lights, and of course the lights went out for at least two or

three

hours a night,

 

so it was DARK, dark like the middle of nowhere. The first night in

Ma’bar

Khalil and I

 

went up to the roof and sat, and I almost forgot to look up, I was so used

to seeing

 

nothing. But when I did, what a reward I received!!! I was looking at a

part of the sky I

 

had never seen before, at first I didn’t see any of the constellations I

was

used to…then

 

waaaay over where I least expected him, Orion showed up. And the Milky

Way…I have never

 

seen anything like that sprinkling of stars across the sky, twinkling like

glitter in a fine

 

powder. So many, many stars…I knew they were there but I had never ever

seen them like

 

that…and then we started seeing the shooting stars…it was like we had

our own nightly

 

show of them…I don’t know why there are so many here….

 

Sometimes wedding parties try to compete with the night sky. Here it is

tradition to shoot

 

off fireworks on certain nights of the wedding ceremonials…so you will

see

them shooting

 

up all over town, first in one place, then another…and then, there are

the

tracer

 

bullets…you wouldn’t think such a deadly thing could be so beautiful,

but

when you see

 

them shooting across the sky you catch your breath, and then, hearing the

distant sound of

 

the machine guns you realize the danger of the beauty….

 

I really miss Ma’bar, but we are in a quiet neighborhood in Sana’a now,

and I

can still sit

 

under the sky when the power does its almost nightly disappearing act, and

breathe in cold

 

mountain air, and breathe in the exhalations of the stars….

 

So now it is morning, and sun has finally pulled free of it’s mountain

coverings…at this

 

time of day, the light is like that of a soft filter, with only a hint of

the warmth to

 

come. The brothers rush by to the prayer with their head coverings

wrapped

over their

 

faces, looking like the essence of the Bedouin. Afterwards, when

it is barely

 

light, some of them sit and drink steaming cups of hot tea with lots of

milk

and sugar (ah,

 

how I yearn for decaffeinated tea!!) and watch the sun rise…Yemenis are

very good about

 

companionable silence- they do not find it awkward, like so many people in

our culture, to

 

simply sit and enjoy being with one another. Sometimes they hold hands,

or

put their arms

 

around each other and just sit….

 

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