The MADina 

Marrakech, Morocco

The mayhem of the Médina

If you catch anybody’s eye

It will cost you much in dirham

Empty pockets

Outstretched hands

Abject poverty

In this barren, desert land

The dust and the dirt

The drought and dilapidation

You wander through the labyrinth

Confused but with heightened sensation

The frenzied streets

Pulse rapidly with traffic

Rudimental modes of transport

Compete for space, direction erratic

Cars, mopeds, horses and donkeys

Darting all around you

Knocking you off-course, making you wonky

A flock of chickens

Pecking at your feet

As you peruse the trinkets

And the million artisans’ treats

Pungent aromas

Permeate the air

As you battle the persistent onslaught

Of beggars everywhere

Souvenirs aplenty

They want you to take them all home

Your wish is their command

As you stare and aimlessly roam

Eventually lost

Defeated by the maze

You seek to leave the souk

That by now has you severely dazed

Helped by ‘Fatima’s’ hand

In Limona you finally find shelter

A welcome, familiar haunt

Shaded to cool your swelter

You rest there for a while

Recover from the ordeal

Of arriving in a land

So alien and unreal

A taste of something exotic

You’ve never before encountered

Culture shock a grenade to your mind

At the foot of the Atlas Mountains

You gladly drink the wine

Given freely for your nerves

That by now are shot to bits

In this place that you traverse

The kindness of these strangers

A needed comfort at last

The pace finally slowing down

After starting supersonically fast

You eventually wend your way

To the sanctuary of the riad

An oasis in the eye of the storm

A place to unwind and find peace

Tomorrow is another day

A new adventure to behold

It’s what you signed up for, after all:

An awakening for the soul.

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