At twilight from the hills across the Straits, a sudden
drift of smoke – then a fire’s deep orange eye blinked.
We talked of cruising the Nile; of moon rise and sun set,
of the narrow compass of the earth’s curve;
the river pilots’ open armed, hand-on-heart salaams;
and the stars rushing through the night.
Later and sleepless in the early hours,
I kept watch at the bedroom window.
The hotel sign lit a faded Union flag,
threadbare at its outer edges.
The only hint of the far shore was
sporadic lights on the A55.
But the stars were unequivocal. In a cloudless,
unpolluted sky, how they teemed!
I saw the constellations pass
and the random magnificence of things revealed.
Understandably, you preferred to sleep.
And journey safely through the dark.