Sand covers all, and

Marble palaces are built on sand, and

Sandaled people swish across marble floors:

Turbaned men, women dressed in bizarre garb.

Music wails ever softly.


Lost empire haunts the marble palaces,

Haunts the turban men and burka women.

The minds of both are taken with thoughts

Of lost empire,

When the Caliphs ruled and the call to prayer

Pierced and lifted hearts.


But that is not all of Arabia.

Beyond the palaces there Is the sand-filled desert

Where Bedouins shepherd their flocks, and

The turbans are in need of washing, and

The womenís eyes unveil an inner life

Of great longing and distress.


--March 5,2013