The harem girls dance
in turn, daily nightly
evanescent bubbles in the hookah
of his pleasure.
They serve their finest dishes; tender
quails trembling with ginseng, coriander buns
redolent of cinnamon, to tempt
his failing appetite.
Each day brings another exhibition
trapped satellites of a heavy sun
turning only the loveliest warm face
outward under his needle gaze
but behind hides the cold hemisphere
of darkness, pitted waste of light's
rejection. He ponders the pale moon
breasts of the new one from Tangiers.
In the tamarisk each night
whichever one performs
the blue nightjar snaps moths and sings
straight through to the dagger dawn.
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Challenge: Poem Sketching
Ella asked us to 'sketch' out a poem from a short list of words as a writing exercise, as promoted by poet and teacher Sandford Lyne. I used my own list of these four words below:
Image: The Harem Dance, by Giulio Rosati
oil on canvas, Public domain via wikimedia commons