Arabian Nights

Before Aleppo, Baghdad and Damascus
smelled Bazaar and spices, crimson carpet
business sealed with coffee, neighbors
said goodnight and never locked their doors.
Before the alleys grew to borders I dreamt
Arabian nights, Scheherazade, genies
and of deserts stars above the ancient sand.
Before revenge became religion — I believed.
Before Brussels, Nice and Paris.

In Baghdad by unknown street artist

In Baghdad by unknown street artist

Michael (grapeling) wants us to use at least three cities in a new poem at toads


August 12, 2016

10 responses to “Arabian Nights

  1. Poignant poetry.
    In my childhood Arabia had a fantastical conotation attached to it, and it is so sad that the Middle East region has become synonymous with dark ideals, terrorism etc.
    The few always managed to taint the rest.

  2. Some very cool writing in this. I picked up a bit of a Cohen-esque vibe in the intermingling of exotic images and human acts (for lack of a better word) – by that, I mean to say, simple and complex human dramas playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Actually, it made me start to contemplate going a bit more in that direction myself, which would be outside my comfort zone, for sure.

  3. What a smooth ride. Your white wall tires clean, convertible, merciful, blood and explosive combustive fumes concealed under the hood. And all the shhssss, ending with Paris. What rails. Immediately my ticket was punched for an extended ..

  4. The amazing history, people, the learning in those wonderful places – and what is going on there now – It’s all overshadowed and so much is being destroyed – or in danger of being destroyed. Will “those times” of unlocked doors ever come back? amazing poem.

  5. Hi Bjorn, this is a very powerful poem to me–the alleys becoming borders especially. What a difficult and sad situation Europe is dealing with, and all the world too. Very well done. (There is a very interesting author I was listening to the other day – NY Times woman reporter who has written a history of ISIS, she is originally romanian–I am trying to remember her name–she interviewed a German recruit – Harry Sofar–something like that– so so interesting and sad.) Thanks. Hope you had a good break. k.

  6. Bjorn, so good to read from you again. I hope your recent travels went smoothly, giving respite from the places in which we live every day. (Though I do hope those places have good, and relief, in them too) — Yes, I believed too. I don’t always have believing days now, but I wish for them. I too long for that time before, and for the dreams in fairy tales. Thanks for sharing.

  7. A haunting sho and tell of reality. Especially the detail about not locking doors. It is something the elders here at Serbia also mention frequently, as a vanished token of their gone days.

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