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This poem was inspired by an article I read about the endangerment of incense in myrrh cultivation and trade in Northern Somalia. As a Somali American, I’ve always been fascinated with the history of incense and myrrh in the country and how significant it is not only to Somalis but the rest of the world. Furthermore, the country is the largest exporter of incense to regions such as the Middle East and the Western world. Not to mention, is it believed that the three kings of the biblical nativity carried three precious gifts to commemorate the birth of Jesus, and from then on this region of Somalia (it’s Somaliland but from my perspective and the UN it’s always going to be Somalia) has been the epicenter of cultivation and distribution of Incense and Myrrh for the world to enjoy.
A sweet and smoky aroma to share
The billowing smoke dances in the air
A pleasant and calming trance.
Let the fragrance envelop the room,
It’s an elixir of comfort and bloom
Bringing delight to those who are near
But the motherland’s horn is in fear of losing what is dear
To their hearts
Sour like a Sweet Tart
A nomad’s cherished land is being taken apart
Operation mining for Gold,
but the perseverance in these people
Won’t allow them to fold
Reminiscent of times long gone,
Reminding us of times we soon won’t forget
Though the days will pass,
The night will bring something new
A smell of Incense that’s sure to rouse