Abdul Rasheed
There Was A Maldives

There was a Maldives before the saint of Tabriz
Who in hagiography was lavishly praised.

There was a Maldives before any kateeb
Glimmering off the coast of Sarandeeb.

There was a Maldives of sea shells, redolent with breeze.
Before the Buddha preached his creed.

There was a Maldives known for demons of old
In ancient South Indian folklore.

One thing, though, remains odd about those times—
That’s how Maldives endured prior to jails or crimes.

Translated from the Divehi by the author.