A Desert Song

Written by: William Kershaw

I found the bottle lying on a dune of wind-swept sand,
And I brushed the grains upon it with a weak and trembling hand,

I was crazy-mad for water, I was more than three days dry,
So I pulled the cork with sand fouled teeth and spat it at the sky.

What came out wasn't water, it tasted more like smoke,
So I thought myself the victim of some fools cruel joke.

Then standing there before me, like a Muslim houri dressed,
Was a damsel more than beautiful, who my flaking face caressed.

She said "you've given me my freedom from my prison of the ages.
So I offer wishes numbering three as payment of your wages."

I knew what I desired, I knew what to wish for first,
I said "give drink to all upon this world who now suffer thirst.

But give those thirsty, a love of fellow, more than words upon the lip.
So they offer the bottle to a brother, before they take a sip.

And give those brethren gratitude, to kneel before they swallow
And thank whatevever God they serve for allowing them to follow."

When this was said I realised, my wishes all were spent,
Which was what I knew I'd wanted, from my first intent.

She said "o man, I see you're one, whom God has truly blessed,
So take a drink of water, and lay thee down to rest.

I grant thee freedom from jealousy, from earthly want, from sin.
Accept these gifts as tribute from an Effete of the Green Djinn."

My reason for wishing as I did, to this day seems to flee me,
But nightly as I slumber well, I still dream of Genie.