Friday, 25 May 2012


Nimbly she trod the warm earth floor
Her bracelets merrily a-jingle
Weaving graceful arabesques
In response to the sonorous oude;
The sheikh was entranced by her
Lissom fluidity and vowed to
Take her to his tent before
The next full moon;
He flung a handful of piastres
At her feet and strode out
Into the sultry mimosa-sweet
Night and scrutinised the welkin;
Deneb, Altair and Rigel glowed brightly
Like jewels dripping from the heaventree;
He sensed her presence beside him
And pointed out Aldebaran low in the South
She leant in to him feeling his spare frame
Hardened by the exigencies of battle
But not brutalised like so many of the
Sultan's warriors;
He gazed into her kohl-dark eyes
And placed his finger on her lips;
They had no need of language in
The hours that followed;
As the sun rose over the distant
Crags she slipped from the sheikh's
Tent and returned to her modest
Dwelling at the edge of the oasis;
Lullabied by a bulbul bird she
Sank into a dreamless sleep
Muskily olent of her desert tryst

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