John Short


Seville to Kurdistan 1988

At chiaroscuro dawn,
farewell to a narrow street
deep inside the blue mosaic city
with its wrought iron gates
and echoes of flamenco.

Days east then just off the bus
and soldiers want to know
what paperback you’re reading.
A tangle of black slums
leads to a guest house room;
loose change buys a meal
with apple tea in curved glasses

but you remember orange trees
that lined the narrow street,
those southern dark-haired women
who would steal your breath;
the genius who played guitar for coins
and the arid taste of solitude.

In a dust-storm village at noon
you see a downcast prisoner
led quietly away in handcuffs;
look north to mountains,
and east towards Lake Van,
your sadness reflected in his face.

John Short lives near Liverpool (UK) and is a member of Liver Bards and Chester Poets. Recent appearances include Lighten Up Online (LUPO) Dream Catcher and Heroin Love Songs. He's published four books. One of stories and three of poetry, the latest being Those Ghosts (Beaten Track 2021).

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