On the Border

In honor of Moroccan Independence day, we present a work by one of the nation’s finest living poets.

Hafsa Bekri
b. 1948


Being on the border
on the edge,
on the verge
on the brink
on the brim
on the rim
on the fringe
on the coast
on the bank
of Scotland and
finding an open door

No boundaries
no barriers
no pillar of Hercules to crush
no Rubicon to cross
only a few stoned dwarf Wall
in a dreamlike nature
now veiled in mist
now blooming in the sun


People !
All the Grahams and Bells
the Ogles and the Pringles,
the Armstrongs and the Robsons
the Nixons and the Dixons
the Scotts , and the Elliotts
The Ridleys, and the Beatties

All these and other Reivers,
Once dreaded warriors
Now peaceful farmers or
Joined for ales or else
In Kingsarms Pub
with no arms but
darts to play and jokes to share

I felt tempted
In this land
Teeming with ghosts
To ask Hadrian’s soul
Perhaps present and invisible
In some corner of this pub
Where his fort once stood,
Ask his two thousand year old soul
About people and barriers.

And I could almost sense
A smile on his face
As he would tell me:
“Poets and poetry taught me
History’s ephemeral vanity and
The strength of life over stones
At the self moment I was building

And Hadrian’s soul
Suddenly vanished
As Lawrence in his Scottish kilt
Gave vent to a cry of joy :
He had won the darts game !

One thought on “On the Border

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.