November 4, 2011

Recollections of the 'Djemaa el Fna' 1989 by Michael Holme

I remember a daily circus,
a belt enchained monkey and pacified snakes.
There was no high wire, but heights came 
via a whisper of hashish.

The sun was ungoverned. 
Canopied fruit carts were like oases.
No one direction could transfix eyes. Senses were jostled. 
A cauldron wafted its lure, and I couldn’t resist 
one too many local-priced bowls of soup.
The next morning I exploded after this digestive Cemtex.

Several grey bearded Water Sellers were beacons,
Santa red, tasseled and draped in cups. I shared a photo, tipping.

I stole an over shoulder snap of two hares, gloved 
but with no referee. Was it staged? They put sporting rules
to the test, in the shade of thinning light.

Like foxes, three men and a temptress appeared. 
No vixen, she was silent,
with intricate henna tattoos
curved like clefs and tile red.
Her dark blue, silk hooded garment 
hid pleasure. I sinned in thought
but risked no faux pas and chatted to the men.

I long to return to drink sugar-saturated, 
mint tea, looking down on the Assembly of the dead, 

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