Hagar’s Silence (Revised)

I watched in silence as violent winds

stirred grains of desert sand to clash

and bury each other in mindless waste.

Here I am, Hagar,

a noble daughter of the sacred Nile-

a pharaoh’s political gift

to a wealthy nomad chieftain-

a harem gift to serve him

and his clever sister-wife.

The sun god swiftly rises

and breathes hot upon

our smothering, restless tents.

I awakened thirsty for freedom

and rush to serve another’s needs.

Combing her hair in silence,

I begin to wonder

how it all came to be-

humanity’s enslavement

to the gods and goddesses-

the endless blood sacrifices

of man and beast

before, after and between their wars…

Suddenly aware as I humble myself

to glorify this woman and her hair

that I, too, in lifetimes past

glorified war and death by violence-

justified blood-lust

of mad men and angry gods-

angry men and gods gone mad

with conquest and revenge.

How did it come to be

that the all-powerful

Creator of all

was so powerless

as to need a nomad tribe

to fight as ally in a minor war…

The reward of promised land,

great wealth, divine favour

and countless children

to be born like desert sands…

Fierce warriors these nomads are-

the war prize covenant contract

a deed begetting countless deeds

that serve the warrior god of theirs

in continual sacrifice…

His angels come.

The chieftain calls his sister-wife

and I must serve these men

with need of food and drink-

these honoured guests of

flesh and blood.

The Order of Melchizedek

brings more secret messages

from their grateful god.

Then I watch them throw the bones-

divining a future to manipulate

and shape to their own ends.

They throw the bones for others

but I can also see

what lies ahead for me-

false promises and deceiving lies

to me and mine, used and abused-

cast out to die-

then when life itself seems lost

they come again-

these angels of an ancient Order.

It is not the mercy of their god

for me and mine

but the keeping of a covenant contract

and the power of their beliefs-

separation and superiority codified-

the Creator’s supposed favouritism

clearly defined.

I see their god selects

only the chosen few

through race, rituals of worship,

commitment to obedience…

only the chosen few

as worthy of divine favour,

the ‘promised’ land of heaven and earth,

great wealth and world domination-

‘kings and priests forever’.

This is their promised inheritance-

this divided family about to feud.

I wonder how long this could last-

this feud over inheritance such as this?

I shudder in the blazing heat

seeing the role I’m forced to play.

I must keep my silence and just pray

we’ll all find our way

to live a more enlightened day.

(Dedicated to my late dear friend Sarah T. This poem was written in October 2007 and revised September 2019)


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