Northwords Now Issue 38

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Uighurs

by Richard Myers

We are a dry people
beyond the Taklamakan.
Winds from every airt squeeze out,
freeze out, the Earth’s water before
they lift dust and swirl smoke
around the old men sharing coffee.

East lie desert and mountains
and godless people who jostle
for space in smoggy cities
that spread faster
than heaps of dry sand
and demand that all must speak
alike lest jostle turn to
turbulence.

We, young and old, man and woman,
are strong in our opinions
and worship a single god,
a desert god.

As the East overspills
like a mountain belching magma,
they crush and burn the old life,
re-educate in camps cramped as cities.

Who needs, we ask, to learn the ways
of God and Nature?