The poem Zayed’s City Lights reflects the Emirati nation’s mourning of the late, and much loved, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in November 2004.That night the moon and clouds were competing to shine
by exchanging seats in the calm starless sky.
That night, cities’ lights went off-
A grieving land after a frenetic life.
That night, for the first time in a while,
the stars rose from the dead,
but nobody noticed them shine.
The sullen eyes were out of focus.
That night we received the news-
Our father has moved on to the ground,
where he can no longer turn on the city lights
or watch the competitive moon.
The clouds were competing with the sun-
The sun failed to brighten our hearts.
That morning, we wondered where to go,
we wondered who to be and where
to find the switch to the city lights.
That morning, we needed light to see,
we didn’t want to misprint
the engraving of his name, our name-
on the marble stone he created.
That morning, we gathered as an orphan nation,
seeking refuge and absent comfort.
Our tears watered his seeds
and planted his palm trees.