You will remember this.

This poem is about Jean and I having to get up very early in Tunisia several years ago, to watch the sunrise in the Great Salt Desert. 


Sunrise Chott el Jerid, the Great Salt Desert, Tunisia. Image by Craiga, website
Nicky E Gardener's image of sunrise in the Great Salt Desert. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.

Packaged culture victims
timed by their paid guides watch
to meet the daily miracle,
the end of darkness.
Waiting like statues
on a road that splits
the vast grey emptiness
of Chott el Jerid.

In the colour stolen chill movement is illusion,
shapes crafted by the light, reflections of stranded rain,
germinating memory in salt abandoned from a looted Sea.

Faces urge the Sun’s flight
an orange smudge rims the sooted edge of sight.
Now ceremony develops meaning
racial memory thaws with the Desert’s warming
then bursts full blown to terror –
as unseen, a nomad’s dog’s nose touches
tourist  toes in another ritual greeting.

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