Mullah Nasruddin was a Sufi visionary who is supposed to have lived in the Middle East during the 13th or 14th centuries (perhaps in Turkey.) Stories about him have been used for teaching in the Muslim world for centuries…
One day, Nasruddin was riding peacefully along on his donkey. Then, suddenly, the animal was startled by a snake on the path and began to gallop madly away.
As he sped off down the street one of his friends asked, “Where are you going Nasruddin?” “Don’t ask me?” Nasruddin replied. “Ask the donkey.”
Today my family and I will be travelling from Brazil to the UK, for a five-week visit.
It’s a long journey over (eleven hours.) Sometimes I manage to write something while I’m up there, in between places.
Once an incident on the plane inspired this poem…
FIVE MILES UP
Five miles above the cold sea,
I am asleep in the sky.
Then there’s an urgent whisper.
An air-hostess swishes by.
“Is there a doctor on board?”
she asks across the seats.
Heads shift on small pillows,
“A doctor? A doctor?” she repeats.
I wish that I could nod,
then stand up looking doctorly and assured.
And I wonder if one day I’ll hear,
“Is there a poet on board?”