For Suleiman


Do you remember how that tree
flared bright against the setting sun,
a bloodstained hand? And the omens...
do you remember them, my friend?
The eagle with a broken wing
screeching for its young, the hawk
descending like a nightmare?

We shivered in the dark the night
the wind came down the mountains howling,
and prayed...
whispering without faith or hope
the half-forgotten words we’d learnt
as children, in another time.

But then you followed your path
and I, I followed mine,
though both paths led to ruin.
After the sun had sunk forever
in the sea of our desire
where else could they have led?
Do you remember how the waters hissed?

Pavlos Andronikos

Published in Antipodes nos. 23/4 (Dec. 1988), p. 13.
Also in Poetry Monash no. 32 (1991), p. 5.