Sands of Shaybah

Written by: Wilfredo Derequito

From a big 737's porthole looking down
upon rows of endless, barren mountains, 
from the clouds to the wadis I descend
unto thy waiting arms among the dunes. 

Far in the middle of a vast wasteland 
right in Arabia's remote Empty Quarter, 
searching for black gold hardy men toil
amid howling winds and scorching sun. 

As rugged machines wander wildly free 
like tireless armies of booms and steel,
proud towering rigs on lonely oil wells
bore deep into earth's generous bosoms.

In desolation removed from the world, 
striking symmetries on shifting sands! 
behold the shy beauty of prickly shrubs 
on quiet hillsides waiting for discovery. 

While hues of softly changing colors rest 
on sunlit peaks and hills by the shadow, 
footprints I will leave on yielding ground, 
faint traces that the wind shall soon erase. 

Oh, just to frolic in these steep slopes 
flat on my belly on a cardboard ship! 
amazed finding that by just being here
takes me back to a childhood long ago. 

Shaybah, in coming I did not conquer
for it’s you etching imprints in my brain,
marveling why beauty and riches often
lay hidden in isolation, it seems. 

 

Note:
Shaybah is a newly discovered oil field 
deep in Arabia's Empty Quarter, one of 
the most desolate places on earth.