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July 2014

9 July

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My Favourite Planet > Blogs > Edwin Drood's Column > July 2014
back Edwin Drood's Column
9 July 2014
 
While the Drood's away at Edwin Drood's Column
Who is the stranger in the hall?
 
The Ethiopian

Who are you really,
Ethiopian?
an unclear figure in the hall
who will refreshing cordial pour
for the tired student at the door

Where do you come from,
Ethiopian?
I see the merchants of Shiraz
buy you at the slave bazaar
in coral towered Zanzibar

What do you smell there,
Ethiopian?
eucalyptus, cinnamon
impinge upon you, nostrils flare
with fear upon the spicy air

Are you a servant,
Ethiopian?
or are you bonded to your Lord
by spirit only, title clear
to Him who calls both heart and ear

Can you now enter,
Ethiopian
the room that I once saw in dream
and do you stand now in its space
and see each brick of it in place?

And can you tell me,
Ethiopian
though priests laid waste its perfumed heart
in these dark days of witless will
the scent of roses ...
                                   ... does it still
the breath of that sweet city fill?



From Bird under water, a selection of poems by Hugh Featherstone

© Hugh Featherstone


Another poem from this selection will appear next time the Drood's away.

The Bird under water homepage includes a foreword by Hugh Featherstone
and a linked list of the poems as they appear.
Edwin Drood's Column, the blog by The Mysterious Edwin Drood,

at My Favourite Planet Blogs.


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