by Mark Battelle

          rumblings of the past
         tumbling into the now
      we're among you" they cry,
    as the nomads trudge the dessert
      mere whispers neath the wind

           the mirage of it all
             sparkles within
          bedazzled with tales
    of magic carpets and the evil eye

          a speck in a shudder
       and oasis becomes a kasbah
         curious like the women
          hidden behind a veil

         the gipsi pours the tea
             and I wonder-
        could this be my people?

         the sebsi glows on the
              desert floor
        am I here to take my rest?

          take my rest when the
         scarabs raid the night?

the dunes turn a cold shoulder to the sun
 rolling over for a nap- a sliver of moon
       appears like a crown on this
      sleepy concubine, cradling the
        north star like a diamond

     -a guide for caravans and poets
           cowboys on camels
          we look on with awe
        hoarse whispers creeping
            through dreams,
        a silent slipper in the sand

        this land has no memory
         Its legacy is a cold bone
          poking out to trip you
        if you're creeping yourself

Sahara by Mark Battelle

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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