The sunset melts above the Torrens,
The ode of Kookaburras resume the day
A veiled lady searches for her Qurans,
Dusted at the corner of book display.
The hilal spells a new moon,
the holy month of Ramadan
at the gate of winter in June,
brekkies held at the dawn.
Athan is sounded from minarets,
A call for a maghrib prayer
Beneath the sky the sun sets,
comes the eleventh month of the year.
Men in white caps; ladies in white veils
Reset the routines of evenings
Cold wind streams down the steep dale
The fasting month is beginning.
My dilapidated soul ashamed
Yet excited to see holy nights
Like a bastard longing for an innocent beloved
restoring intention to do rights.
My sinful hands were shaking
Holding anger, jealousy and greed
My days were ambition, my nights were dreams
O..Ramadan, my sinful heart bleed.
In the dark early morning I awake,
Before the first B10 bus passes
Suhoor meal and warm honey I make
Preparing the entire cells to fast
Fasting for a one day journey
From the sunrise to the sunset
My soul is not always ready
Yet it’s longing for a mental reset
In the land of mosque scarce,
My Ramadan of silence
Friends were worried that I’m too harsh
Emptying tummy for twelve hours.
Body resists from any pleasure
Food, lust, greed, enjoyment, abundance
Fasting is a soul training I assure
Emptiness teaches noneness and patience
By hunger I feel the famine of my brothers
In far far away lands of pittance
Mine is only a day withers,
Theirs is gluttony of constant.
By thirst I am longing for clean water
abundance for me, luxury for them
their thirst is eternal, mine is shorter
O gratitude, you are a gem.
As the sunset melts above the Torrens,
And Kookaburras resume the day
maghrib athan is my sirens
hunger and thirst met their gourmet.
The day of ambition has conquered
The night of dreams melted
My dilapidated soul needs a long run
O, the month of Ramadan.
Words by Arnis Silvia.
Image by Lisa Vuong.