poetic journeys: letter to the moroccan sahara

                        Letter to the Moroccan Sahara

Dear Erg Chebbi,

It's that time
- listen -
when silence stirs,
after the vanishing roar
of the quads,
after the words 
of the tourists 
are muffled by 
tightly wrapped turbans 
against the onslaught 
of sand.

My day is done.
I shrug off the wind,
the sting of sand,
and admire your voluptuous
ochre brilliance
- fading -
as the sun drifts into
your sea of dunes.
I chew on your thorny plants,
dry grasses and saltbush,
manna in the desert.
I thirst for nothing.

Even after all the moments 
you've graced my life,
you catch me by surprise,
as you fling into the vast
     of sky
          ... pinpricks ...
     of sunlight
that you hoarded by day.

They float into darkness
on the whippoorwill's song,
notes serenaded to the night,
and take their proper places
in the constellations,
like a musical score 
to an entrancing ballad.

The night deepens,
the sand chills.
The Egyptian jars
and desert warblers
have their heyday,
singing one thousand
and one nights,
promising not only Scheherazade,
but a long line of virgins,
another morning,
when they might 
shake their bellies
and throw off 
their impenetrable scarves.

With wonder and hope,
An anonymous dromedary

*Erg Chebbi is an extensive set of sand dunes that are part of the Moroccoan Sahara yet separated from it by a vast hamada (barren, rocky plateau).  It is situated near Merzouga.


Erg Chebbi


dromedary in the desert


“POETRY” Invitation: I invite you to write a poem of any poetic form on your own blog about a particular travel destination. Or you can write about travel in general. Concentrate on any intention you set for your poetry.

One of my poetry intentions for my trip to Morocco was this:  Write a letter poem. The poem can be to a town, the sky, a camel, the desert, a famous person, a part of one’s body, to myself, to an idea. Make up a name to sign with. You can write inquiries, or about little things that happen, or things you’ve seen, or made up things (Poetry Everywhere 86). Express affection, fear, curiosity or hope, outrage or gratitude, pride or shame. (Getting the Knack, “Letter Poems,” p. 24-36).

You can either set your own poetic intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: poetry. (This page is a work in process). You can also include photos, of course.

Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, March 5 at 1:00 p.m. EST. When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, March 6, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the first Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!