Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday's Poetry: "A Grain of Desert Sand"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Having spent the past several days reeling from the effects of desert dust, I embarked upon a search for a poem that might bear some relation to the respiratory malady that knocked me down.  Surprisingly, I found several.  This week's selection by 18th century Australian poet A.B. Banjo Patterson is short and simple, yet the poet was able to put the entire human experience into perspective with his few words.

We are the transients on this planet, and after we are gone the sands of time will keep on drifting.

A Grain of Desert Sand
by A.B. Banjo Patterson

Beneath the blue Egyptian skies,
With ramp and roller, guide and stay,
I saw the Pyramids arise
And I shall see them pass away.

I watched when Alexander passed;
I saw Napoleon's flag unfurled - 
The greatest and perhaps the last
Of men whose footsteps shook the world.

To each his hour of pride and place,
Arab and Persian, Greek and Jew;
Mahomet trod upon my face,
Darius spurned me with his shoe.

And yet I am not Priest or Kin,
Sultan or chief in high command.
I am that one unchanging thing,
A grain of desert sand.

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