Rows of phoenix palms at a national border,
The Somalian-Ethiopian wall by a highway near a city,
English-built in rocks like Cornwall,
The white resident smiles and explains in friendly talk
That life was good anyway.
A small death ahead and we go on towards
At cruising speed in a beamer,
The palm trees at a wall by a circular highway,
My driver smiles and chats with me.
There’s not a breath of wind,
I could barely see a shadow,
Except for at the vast graveyard,
Which was all one as though imbued.
Quiet, this place, as though a time-lord had cast a hush,
Over road and desert.
Deeper into the city there was a statue,
An historical memento in a large kasbah,
Of a bronze lion, still in constant pride.
Hundreds of figures in burkahs,
And dozens of men in turban, tunic and sandal.
Whatever the Kiwi television crew were doing there,
Was beyond me. We marched them and south we went.
To the Phoenecian ruins and tombs and the temple of Ra,
Even to the Mesopotamian sculptures,
Lost in the White Nile.