Saturday, October 11, 2014

Marrakesh


The whistling thorn tree, - wattle in softer climes -
now blows loosely across this parched and emptied land.

In the city, the beer-fart smell of the morning sewers
breathes confusion into my waking moments
before we go down into the inked and echoing courtyard,
where orange blossom perfumes the iced tea,
and wild birds come to fill our oasis with song.

Later, when a days work is already done by others,
and almost under the colonial midday sun,
we venture out to visit the market of fresh foods,
where among the corpulent water melons,
mountains of fresh cut mint,
wait wilting, eager to be scalded.

In a separate area,
cages are packed with exhausted chickens,
their lives waiting to be plucked and hefted for value, 
before being moved from cage to slab.

Rainbows of fruit and veg,
are perched on top of the piles of rubbish;
piles that are turned every day,
in the hope that a further use, 
might be discovered;
turned over and over again, 
until finally set alight, and left as smouldering sores,
under the already jaundiced morning sun.

Tourists pass quickly by,
editing images to make perfect, recollection.

A horse slips and falls
between the traces of a caleche*, 
and his companion stands patiently waiting
for him to rise again, or be carted away.

Tourists take  photos.

Orange blossom perfumes my iced tea yet again,
as I sit in shade, and on the footpath outside,
a man in smart uniform, threadbare shoes,
sweeps dessert sand away, with a bundle of twigs.

And tourists take photographs.

Resignation does not breed despair.
Survival places little value on others.
A smile and a blessed greeting are no celebration,
merely an acknowledgement
from one man in harness, to another.

I put away my camera.


This is Marrakesh.

                                                                         ©niall oconnor 2014
*Caleche: called calash or cal├Ęche, is a light carriage with four wheels, inside seats for four passengers, a separate driver's seat and a folding top.Favoured by tourists for sightseeing.








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