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Were storks here before the Berbers descended

from the hills, creating the ochre city

on the plain and sailing to Iberia –

or did the birds come to build their immense,

intricate nests because there were towers?


Flocks of satellite dishes point eastwards.

Beyond the Atlas Mountains, snow covered

deeply now, are the Sahara Desert

and the immemorial routes south to the green

and desperate countries of West Africa.


In the nearest mosque, the muezzin

(a youthful, mellifluous tenor)

sings the afternoon prayer – so close it sounds

as if he were beside us. A stork, nesting

on the minaret, opens it wings – its beak

like a prow – and rises surely into

the indifferent sky.




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Ashen
    January 26, 2014

    Enchanted ochre city, yes, and today’s satellite dishes. I’ll try and post an image of such a view on your facebook entry.

    • David Selzer
      January 26, 2014

      Thank you, Ashen – for the comment and the image on FB.

  • arthur kemelman
    January 27, 2014

    A very nice poem, David. I particularly liked the contrasting imagery here.

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