The Old man of Merces1

Written by: Mohammad Yamin

The Old man of Merces  

His wrinkled face bearing slaps of time
His eyes barren like a desert starved of rain
Glittering they must be during his prime
Crumbling body holding spirit in chain

His trembling hands resting on knees
Sinking and floating in thoughts deep 
Oblivious of dry leaves falling of trees
Looking exhausted from lack of sleep

Unloved by loved ones abandoned by friends
His profile silhouetted like a ship aground
Tired of beleaguered life’s twists and bends
Wishing his soul ascended the chariot Heaven-bound

A loveless life senseless for him
Agony and heartache ceaseless for him
The society appears as heartless for him
A longer living meaningless for him

My heart urged to stop by and greet
His souring thoughts from confines of chest release
The man with love and compassion treat
But alas my tongue isn’t Portuguese

Each day in the morning cold
The snow-haired I found, resting on a boulder
Wearing a coat lusterless and old
With the muffler around neck hanging over shoulder


After absence of few months as I return
I find him no more on the boulder dozed
Like boiling waters in vapor turn
Seeing everything with eyes closed

With spirit in bondage and soul in chain
The picture of despair in a society blind
The symbol of affliction, anguish and pain
The venerable old man I failed to find
			---
 1 A small town in Sintra District in Portugal

Feb.2010