Woman in the Grand Bazaar
She half sat, half lay under dark shrouds,
dead centre of foot traffic on a cobblestone street of the Grand bazaar.
Toes were missing from her protruding foot, a stumpy end to a dusty leg.
She made no movement. Throngs of shoppers surged and parted around her
in the manner of white-water curving around a midstream boulder.
Less animated than the boulder – so bleakly still,
no glints of light, despite her eyes – this woman
was mere debris in the grand
but pitiless flow.
On Waking in Turkey
Dawn aboard this gulet bobbing
on the blade-smooth Mediterranean
beside a Turkish fishing village.
A sluggish sun ignites the cliffs one-by-one.
The local cock, nature’s bedside alarm,
gives a volley of full-throttle cock-a-doodles.
What a perky bird, so sure
of his global responsibility.
A chug-chugging sounds on the water:
husband and wife steering their outboard,
motoring away to catch worthy fish.
Other fishermen follow, the same
chug-a-chug of engines, the same type
of craft, small enough to lift and carry.
Now the village donkey bellows,
getting in before the imam,
who cajoles the villagers to prayer
from his loudspeaker minaret.
In the water to stern of our gulet,
thousands of silver anchovies have cracked
open the underside of the mirror surface.
They loop out of the water, prompting
a flock of birds to swoop for breakfast.
The cock pipes up again, less convincing,
in rehearsal for all the tomorrows.
Peek through the scaffolding
see the trappings –
baseboards, mitre joints,
I feel forty storeys high,
breezy in a good way,
the drop no longer
But where are the engineers
and architects –
Please don’t leave me
the airy skyscraper,
About the author:
James Gering has been a diarist, poet and short story writer for many years. His poetry and fiction have won awards and have appeared in many journals including Meanjin and Cordite, Rattle and Every Writer. A sample of his work can be experienced at www.jamesgering.com.