Rose Red City

Stumbling down rock-strewn gulleys in a sand-storm,
the smiling ‘Bedou’ leads the squinting camel on.
‘Shamargs’ flailing, we lean,
grimacing, against the gale.
Soon, having wound through the fractured fissure as one must,
the baffling ‘rose red city’ emerges mystic,
and,
‘half as old as time’,
makes it all worthwhile.

Petra, Jordan 2004

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