Propped against a table at the edge of the flea market
are the windows, Moorish in design, all arches and iron,
glass long lost, broken away. The iron rusted,
the wood half rotted from age and too many seasons
And yet, somehow, they still call to you,
There is something evocative in them,
something that leads you to books long read
and places you have never been, except in your mind.
You can hear the market streets, the Imam calling morning prayers,
cafe music and Turkish coffee in tiny, stained cups.
For a moment you are almost lost in a reality
build entirely on words and books. More real
than the reality that surrounds you: tourists
in T shirts and bright flip flops.
Mediterranean spices fill the air
and you are not so much lost in the literature of your youth,
as found again.
About this poem.
The picture was taken at a local antique fair in Washington County, NY.
I learned way too much history and geography from fiction. I read voraciously from the time I was young and the novels wound create my image of places and eras in history that were for me, more real than reality.
Now, when I am blessed with the chance to travel, much of that travel is colored by a lifetime of novels. It is the same with my sense of history. I am not sure it’s the best reality, but it adds a different layer to life that I don’t think I would like to give up in exchange for raw reality.