Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Damascus Scent (A Poem to Syria)

You smelled of night and white washed walls,
the donkeys chewing with sad teeth,
the empty suq with the mild-mannered ghosts
coming out to barter, coins on their breath,
always praying, smiling, welcoming you
with kindness in their hearts, a century of bargains,
apple juice, water pipes, hummus, jasmine,
Damascus was 1001 Nights and home to dictators,
staring at you from every shop, wall, shithole
fools with murderous moustaches,
father and son, both of them killers, assassins,
cold hearted clowns, listening in on your thoughts,
tearing through your dreams and emails
cutting out your hearts with their butcher knives,
Saint Paul used to walk down Straight street
hoping to make it into the Bible,
He had his vision outside a gift shop,
I wonder if he bought the same cheap gin
I picked up outside Bab Tuma,
I even took my breath into the Umayyad mosque
with its thick carpets, the courtyard prayed up
by thousand of saints, the eternal sound of God
keeping the murderers out for a dreamy minute,
gorgeous kids playing hide and seek on holy floors,
the hope and dreams still alive for Syria
because you can't keep them down,
     hope was tattooed on our chests when we were born,
     hope was sprayed from mosques, temples, synagogues
and emerald Buddhas, you'll never find love in weapons,
only in the dreamy scent that never dies.

Copyright Peter H. Fogtdal, Global Poetry Month, April 26, 2017

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