I wonder if
the Moroccan sun
going down
into the Mediterranean
sea(or seemingly so),
noticed us
kissing on the beach
by the tufts of grass?


We cared not,
but went about
our business
as lovers do.


Loud music
from the base camp,
some one sang,
guitar, voices,
silly laughter.


It was quite
some time
ago now;
age has set in,
have become stiff
and ache,
but it was
a good session,
as I recall,
for time-sake.

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Miryam sits at the bar
sipping a Bacardi,
bumming a smoke
from a packet open
on the bar top.


Hear you went
to Fez today,
she says.


Yes, it was like
something out
of Bible times,
you say,
camels, donkeys,
people in head gear
and gowns and such.


I would have come,
she says,
but I was too
shagged out
after the night before.


You eye her,
the tight curly
red hair,
blue eyes,
red lips.


I made it ok,
you say.


Don't know how,
she says,
you left after I did.


And you didn't come in
the tent
for a goodnight
kiss or more,
she adds,
staring at you.


Thought moaning Minnie
would be back,
you say.


She didn't show
until hours after;
been having it off
with that ex-army guy
of yours.


So that’s where
he went,
you say,
taking a quick sip
of your wine.


I'd have stayed
if I'd known.


Miryam inhales deeply,
then exhales.

Where's Army boy now?
she asks.


No idea,
joined the navy
for all I care,
you say.


We could now
if you like,
she says.


You take in
her tight blouse,
tight skirt
with a slit
at the side,
showing thigh.


One of those
sand dunes,
they're deep enough
to hide us,
she says.


Why not?
What if someone
comes over
and sees us?
They see us.


Nothing new
in what we'll be doing.


She drains
her Bacardi,
puts the glass down
on the bar top.


the Moroccan sun? 
Either you do
or you don't,
she says,
getting off
the bar stool,
showing more thigh,
slim legs, sandals.


You drain your wine,
and follow her
from the bar
of the base camp,
and down
between the tents
and onto the beach
towards the sand dunes.


She has a fine sway
of hips, you note
as she walks in front.


The sun warms you,
sand beneath
your feet, some one
plays a flute
from across the way,
a voice sings.


She finds
a deep sand dune,
and you both
get down inside,
she kisses
straight away,
lips to lips stuff,
hands undoing,
and taking
stuff off,
her body drinking
in the sun.


You and the pecker,
ready to go,
and the guys
still singing
from the camp,
flute still playing,
and she smells
of sun oil
and Bacardi
and stale
but its all go
no time
for regrets.

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Miryam walks along the beach
in her swimming attire, some red
and flowered design, Benedict
notes, walking just behind, having


left the two Moroccan guys behind
with the camel, with whom she'd
posed while he took camera shot.
Bet they don't do that everyday, she


says, swaying her delicious backside
side to side. No, guess not, least
not by the look on their faces,
Benedict says. She laughs, does


a Monroe kind of walk and wiggle.
We came down here last night, she
says, it was quite romantic what
with the moon, stars and warm air.


She stops and turns to look at him.
Was it about here? she asks. He
gazes about him, at the sand and
tufts of grass, the sky blue and the


odd white clouds, could be, hard
to say, it being dark and all. You
found your way around all right,
she says, smiling. Well, a guy gets


to know his way around after a while,
bit like a seaman gets to know the sea,
the rough times and the smooth,
the high tides and the low, when


its best to set out and when to stay
in port. She frowns. Is that what it's
like for you guys? Just like that? No,
he says, just being philosophical, in


fact, it was a good evening, a fine
fuck, he says softly. Is that all? she
asks. She stands there her hands
on hips, her head to one side. No,


of course not, it's just us guys hate
to get all soft about these things,
he says. She pouts. Soft? These
things? she says. Can't you just


say it was romantic? She says, is
it hard to say that? A fine fuck? 
Is that easier to say? It's just one
syllable instead of three, he says.


She turns and walks on through
the sand. He follows, taking in
her figure, her side to side ass,
the tight red hair. OK, he says, it


was a romantic night, I loved the
whole set up, the stars, the moon,
you and me, the sand, the soft tufts
of grass, the sex, the kisses, the holds.


She stops and turns and gazes at him.
It has to mean something, she says,
otherwise we waste our lives in such
pointlessness. He nods, zooms in on


her small tits, her eyes, her whole features.
Sure we do, he says, you're right, it
was one fine romantic never to be
forgotten night. She smiles and walks


to him and kisses him and holds him.
He holds her, feels her, senses her lips
on his, and out of the corner of his eye,
he sees the two Moroccan guys and


camel walk away up the beach, they'll
never know this, he thinks, feeling smug,
far beyond their lives or random reach.


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Derb Al Hammam

A dream of determination
And a desire to seek the unknown
Lead me to discover
Complexities I did not understand
That existed in this bustling city
Far from my own
Oozing with poverty, cats
And that strange old book

Lost in a labyrinth of twisting roads
Donkeys, carts of fish, motorbikes
Took priority on the streets.
The smell of mud and leather
Of sweat, olives, hard local bread.
My first day.
I existed only in the warmth
Of the Riad at night.

Evenings, they went to the square,
On the streets of this clay coloured city
The women and men
They came together in light coloured cloth
That protected and hid their bodies
Gathering in groups
Sipping scented mint tea
Singing songs of their history
Part of their passage of life

I yearned to join their celebrations
To speak in their tongue
To exist in this red city
Beneath the palms, dates
Those abstract squiggly lines
Only they could understand
Fear separated us like a large clay wall
As did my skin.

Then I met him.
He greeted me with dark, wide eyes
The same warmth from back home
"We say Salam Aleykombe.
Now its your turn"
A fortified wall crumbled
And he painted the city
With colours I knew

Scented dishes of Olive, lemon and chicken
Our souls were nourished.
We sang their prevailing tune
We walked the ever familiar streets
Friendships grew
The roots of the palm flourished
In red soil, as we crossed
The river of time

It flowed eagerly for months on end
Yet it forbade
My life here to continue
I kissed his dark cheek
In his tongue I told him
I would see him again
His reply:
Come back to your place soon.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I wrote this poem after a trip to Morocco. I really felt a strong sense of belonging with the landscape and its beautiful people toward the end of my trip, and readjusting back to my old life in Australia was incredibly difficult.

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