Terfeziaceae, Tamarix gallica or Acacia erioloba
Qur’anic name – al mann
Arabic name – turanjabin or kazanjbin
Qur’an reference – 2:61
Was it the desert truffle,
all these three thousand years
known to be edible,
or the sweet gum from the tamarisk tree,
insects – Coccus manniparus –
puncturing the bark,
releasing the saccharine exudate?
Or was it Camel’s thorn?
Or perhaps simply the name
for all strange nourishment
the Israelites found during exile* –
manna meaning what is it? in Hebrew.
Today is it the Kurdish manna,
produced from a desert shrub,
Dried sap, or honeydew excreted
by bugs who eat the sap?
Point is no matter what it is or was,
manna came and was obtained
without struggle or strain,
keeping humans alive to thrive
and tell their story. Glory
be to the Sustainer of all life,
Creator of all matter and manna.
* Israelites in exile/desert Sinai complained about manna, longing for the food of Egypt. Old Testament reference: Numbers 11:5-6.
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