In a caravan drive me
laden with riches
meandering of a caravan
under the blue stars,
sequins aflame,
a caravan meandering forward.
From Niniveh, from Ophir, from Golconda,
from the saltpetre mines,
from the moon’s magnetic quarries,
from the wrathful caverns of volcanoes.
Silken rainbow sashes …
a load of lavender, saffron, chamomile,
exotic topazes and emeralds,
peacock feathers,
camphor and sesame oil,
unguents and incense, food and drink.
Secede from the seductive women,
blue-eyelidded and hair dishevelled
by the covered cistern.
Flee from the athletes
girth for wrestling,
the bullfight and the bull’s-eye contest.
Forward, overseer,
with whiplash!
Loiterers backbone slash,
the lingerers,
worn out by the heat and fatigue.
Roll out the damask lengths
beneath the camel hooves, roll them out,
unfold the carpet.
Unwind the purple bales,
like a footpath
leading on to the horizon of passionate hope,
towards a half moon rising with the velvety taunt;
a toy for which the soul yearns
in unfulfilled delirium
and impossible dreams.