Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Waking in Alexandria

He woke up in Alexandria.
He didn't know where he had been.
He thought there was a woman
Who had mattered once to him.

He looked out a window,
Saw a madman called Khalim;
Uttering predictions
 In the dust and alley wind.

“There will be a great burning
In this city once again;
This town will be ravished
By an army of our friends.”

There were clouds of colours
In the street;
And dust on the laden wind.
Pyramids in the distance,
And crumbling new contruction.

The passing carts threw up the dust
A glimpse of neon in the street;
Someone was playing a clarinet...
Scales of an eastern variety.

“The great battle is within us!
The soldiers - our cells and minds.
You don't have to go downtown...
There's nothing you need to buy!”

This man down in the alley
Shouted up at him;
Waving a bottle of  whiskey
 Above his head   
And singing Sunday hymns.

“The priest sent you a message.
 Says, 'Listen! Now begin!'
The doubt you have within you
Is your only sin!”

The street crowds were distracting,
He wrote somehing down like this,
“You see cobra and the mongoose
   Fight until the death!”

The crowds were passing slowly...
Such a colourful array
Of camels, birds and monkeys,
It was hard to concentrate on the page

It seemed there was some dancing.
In the alley right below,
Dancing on the cobbles
In the scent of hashish smoke

“There will be a great burning
In this city once again!
This town will be ravished
By an army of our friends!”

He tried to close the window.
It was impossible to do.
He put his feet up on a table,
Leaned back and dreamed of youth...
He had a drink of something new.

The liquor in his glass was smoking.
The laughter in the street                      
 Seemed to be less racous,
A voice was speaking in a dream.
“The great mountain is within you!
Most difficult to climb
Most slippery of all mountains
You will ever find!”

The priest sent me a message,
 Said, “Listen:  Now begin.
The self-doubt you have inside you
Is your only sin.”

“Caesar and Alexander
Met on an island just one time.
They had one thing in common:
No division in their minds.”

He closed the window and went to sleep
He thought,”Is all of this a dream?”
He put his head upon a pillow..
And that ended everything.

                                          (C)2013 by W.G.Milne
                                                       North Bay

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