Rhuar Dean is a poet, writer and occasional journalist based in London, England. He grew up in the Middle East and his Mediterranean experiences have seen him living, studying and working in Morocco, Andalusia and Egypt.
His work has appeared both in print and online in various journals and magazines. More information, including links to other poems and short stories, is available at www.rhuardean.com
As the battleship clouds scuttle
the damp sun
reveres in the crowning
of the mountainside
the wood trellis
a shimmer of falling
the balcony a quiver
of volcanic stone
The bones of lions rust
on the carpet floor
as outside the moon
struts an oyster
as thick as your tongue
This intense aroma,
a sickly smell of sheisha
the crusted toilet bowl
degraded orange peel,
I could swear we had been
on the other side
I bite on a lemon
walk through the knee high dust
skittle some uncertain dreams
out onto the rocks
I plume the hydrogen atom
up like a dense cloud of sulphur
to reckon I am Etna.
The rusted bones,
no longer silent,
pray in nothingness
like the soldiers
of forgotten leaders.
Spanish gypsy in Malaga
Here a Spanish gypsy
in the bedrock of Spain,
raps at the tables and chairs.
Her mounted shoulders are spun
until they hang like the abattoir’s meat
beneath liquid black hair
flowing in a mane of shimmering night.
She steps up on toes
to balance a pirouette
and landing with a shatter
of silver stuttering in the sun,
demands her due;
a payment for some essence
she was given at birth
that has since found its prime
mirrored in my racing heart.
Los Gatos (A version of paradise)
A stark, far off cry rings
the call of the short toed eagle,
drifting steadily on the rising columns
of herb-sweet Andalusian air.
The sheltered heat below an olive tree reveals
a baked valley and twisted afternoon breeze,
gliding wistfully between swaying branches.
I sit for a moment and listen;
I sit and breathe;
calm in this version of paradise,
this moment of an eternity at once becoming
but still long gone.
The eagle passes, seeking better hunting ground
over the furrowed hill, where memories
hang in the dishevelled ruins
of someone else’s paradise.
Here the heat lies still
between moments of rupture when the wind blows
and turns on up the valley.
Soon the peace will be set in night time
when the revolving stars pirouette the sky
and the damme de noche greets them in blossom.
Tangier out to Chefchaouen
As if turning a moment in time could
make any difference;
scorn falls on the head of each new idea
like a jealous father.
The era of isolation runs its course
the era of community and tribe plays its cards
to be superseded by the emptiness of endless possibilities;
the boundless reaches of the modern dream
At the edge of the old ways;
Wilfred Thesiger’s time with the Bedu;
a groaning jolt of the train lurching forward
carrying me mechanically into the world of some other stranger.
These unfamiliar faces belie the similarity wrought
by hunger for a destination;
by longing for a tomorrow
that is distant and abstract and raw.
Harboured in the cola that I drank,
in the TV that flashed above my head,
in the car that I rode later that day,
in the tagine that I ate after sunset;
diluted, muddled and unnecessary.
All poems on this post: © Rhuar Dean
Published with the permission of Rhuar Dean