Sparks and Gods.
The Arab, on whose roof we sat,
picked red embers for the hookah’s bowl.
With a hint of ceremony, a piece of hashish
was taken from a silver box.
The bubbles were soothing, the blue smoke cool.
Sparks snapped off the palm wood,
their twisted ascent towards the stars shortlived.
They shone and died as the gods of Egypt
had done before them; a pantheon
gone in seconds.
Our sole drink was Stella, Cairo brewed,
no sweet coffee, kirkadee or tea,
beer brewed at Memphis in two thousand BC,
must have tasted better and no less crude.
Intrigue, and deal making;
three Bedouin and three villagers
haggling Arabic over a relic.
One of a hoard from an ‘undiscovered’ tomb,
a prize with a price unfixed -
for the deal was left undone, in fear
of mix-ups due to dope and beer.
I left them sitting on that roof,
some sixteen years ago,
yet in my head they’re all still there,
brown faces in the embers’ glow,
still bidding for a price that’s fair.