[the place of the dead]

I walked along

Zitoun Lak’dim


the smells

the sensitivity of the moment

as I crossed between

the sun-warmed street

and the coolness of

the corrugated plastic covered walkway

an early morning

water strewn by shopkeepers

in anticipation

of the heat

i rounded the corner

and entered

Djemaa el-Fna

the place of the dead

and, feeling a strange panic

ran towards the centre of the square

the ‘oud howling

the gnarled Gnaoua singer

the steam-whistling kettles

poured into the throat

of the street performer

for tourists

the toothless serpents

the camels

twitching their ears

taunted by flies

for tourists

and fortune tellers

crossing palms

dirham, dirham

finding only tall

dark strangers

fear not

fear not

i stood there, surrounded

the lame beggars

outstretched limbs

hands clawing

dirham, dirham

the wailing of the singer

the hustler’s cries

Marrakshi! marrakshi!

and then the silence

half an hour

And it started

a mighty rumble

the thundering

in the distance

of a billion feet

hammering on the earth

like rats


a drowning world

converging, converging...


out of their shopping malls

out of their armchairs

out of costas

out of waitrose

the gringas came

the whites

a mighty throng

running now

along the derbs



by the outstretched arm

of Ahab




by a vision


by a dream


by a prophecy

call me Ishmael

torn from the womb

of the beast

running, crawling, scraping on bare knees

pressing, desperate,

junkie eyes

gnawing, clawing

craving sensation


give it to me

fucking give it to me

give me more!

up Zitoun Lak’dim

down Mouassine

along Laksour

from all directions

the whites came

screaming, desperate

listless eyes

locals panicked

the mob continues

still clutching

in puffy hands

a blueberry muffin

2 days old, wrapper half on

drop it Trace, let it go!

can’t you see?

he is risen

He is Risen


Iessou Xristou

the Gate is opening

we can go

Ahab beckons

we have done it

a god that can think

A God that can Think!

our work is over

miller time

TGI Friday

Thank God It’s….

Judgement Day!

we can go

Ahab beckons

drop it, Trace

let it go

converging, converging...


Djemaa el-Fna

the place of the Dead

and as the first of the whites

entered the square

a mighty groaning

thundered down

I felt the Earth shake

and a great fissure


between my feet

a crack in the Earth

growing, growing

i jumped

as the Earth sprang apart

to swallow the whites

[possibly to be continued!]

Poems by Devaraj #2

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