It stinks, said she—
the orderly tourist held her nose,
passport in bag,
brain in a different sort of cage
from the one I'd be signing up for
were I to choose a life in the medina

A life of fascination
with monkeys, spices, smoky men— 
a life, possibly, of
selling carpets and offering mint tea
to others like myself—
minds trapped, from a lifetime in a society which values
order – money – rights
unable to embrace the natural order of a life that is

messy, smelly
—the way life truly is—
a covered bed of cous cous topped with different things, 
arranged in
no particular order.

Written in a poetry workshop led by Jackie Kay at the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival. 17 May 2013.

Scroll to Top