17 May 2003

The Winds
(from the Arabic)

At fifty, the Khamsin can ruin your day
and the foul Simoon poison
a week of revelry. When you were young,
your garments loose, with a curved sword
and a town girl in a swirl of perfume
hanging on each arm, you?d laugh at the wind.
Now, rising from the arms of the rosy-fingered
Goddess of the Egg, the Sirocco
reminds you that here under the dusty sun
in the tent of one you despise
you?re missing out on the F�hn.

Oh, that the Bora, Master of Migraine,
might sweep down from the north
and clear the air. The Mistral is the master here
on this bitter coast, and speaks of yachts
as fodder. But when the sky holds its breath
and a French eucalypt drowsing in the heat
decorates the surf with a fringe of scent
a young man, too long expatriate, dreams
of a Southerly Buster and a cold Australian beer.

John Tranter

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