• Tony Frobisher

The Traveller


The Traveller (Of tea & timeless scenes) Set adrift in a shock of culture Of endless tea & timeless scenes Immured in labyrinthine streets Lost to a morass of sound and sights And aromas that please and repulse Drowning in a rising tide of tongues That spill mellifluous and rhythmic From corners of mouths And corners of ancient courtyards That absorb every word and guard jealous every secret Where the sea of believers Handshake and embrace as if meeting for the first time or last time Aging wizened and wise, respected A country's history contained behind opaque eyes These wisdomed few sit around smoke stained tables Obscured by pungent clouds Draining endless cups of lip scolding tea Cafes more home than the places They daily discard from morning til nightfall And between each furtive sip They berate and bemoan in toothless whispering angered tones The loss of those pleasures of youth And the politics and pain Which constant intertwines and pervades life's rhythm An unwelcome interruption and incovenience As ubiquitous as the dust that rises and settles From the clouds created by the crowds of wearied feet That tread the worn streets of millenia The crackle of static shatters the humid hum and sultry reverie As the soporific mosque wakes and shakes To the discordant cry of the ancient muezzin that decries and beseeches Those who believe not to ignore This call to prayer that is carried in pious air Which secretes through cracked windows and splintered door frames And swirls in time with creaking ceiling fans And now the flies gleeful flit and dance from glass to glass As the cafe deserts and the tea still steams undrunk And the anger and ire cools For now the faithful stream beckoned to the shadows of the minarets That play in dusk's gently fading light To await the promise and purity of prayer They shuffle with resolute purpose Passing shadows that smile unseen Behind veiled faces and sparkling eyes Which gentle fade too in darkening passageways The narrow pavements slowly empty Leaving only the flies that gather To sip the sweetened tea That sits ignored by the lone traveller Sat silent impassive in the narrowing night Closing his eyes in fervent desire To ensure those thousand images Are forever recalled And the muezzin's call silent fades Absorbed by those dutiful souls And crumbling walls _____________________________________ Written to recall journeys spent in the chaotic pleasures of ancient cities and cultures foreign and bewildering...Pakistan...Iran...Egypt... Turkey... where tea and prayer hold importance and are revered now as they were centuries before. Seen through the eyes of the traveller. Photo: Taken in Lahore, Pakistan 1996

#travel #journey #life #experience #islam #people

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