Morocco - verse

Tanger is a town of chaos and colour
We tie to an old fishing boat
We almost are crushed b another one leaving
Like the rubbish we`re still afloat

The customs man sits with his newspaper
And searches in vain for a form
The medina has spruikers and beggars and twists
And a liberal food hygiene norm

The first exchange has no money to trade
The customs man eats until late
And through all this chaos the muezzin reminded
Tanger that Allah is great

We roll overnight through Atlantic swell
Which breaks over Rabat`s bar
Where the ebbing tide meets the big rollers
Better tied up than surfing,by far

Casablanca`s giant Husseini mosque
Stands out for miles from the sea
We eat couscous at Chakib and Fatma`s house
Moroccan style after sweet mint tea

Now we`re off again quite late at night
With Rashid at the wheel
We sleep in his van (the hotels are full)
And the angle is not ideal

But it means that we get to Fez in good time
To explore the Medina`s maze
It seems little has changed in the way of life
Since the first ninth century days

There are trades carried on of every kind
From cobblers to tanners and dyers
And the lanes are filled with donkeys and carts
And the warnings of their cryers

You want a new hat,new shoes,a shirt
A carpet,a bowl,a tray?
A necklace,a skewer,a juice,a chook?
Catch his eye and you won`t get away

When you stop at a roadside restaurant
Help the butcher to cut your meat
Add a steaming hot vegetable tagine
Bread and oil.Enough to eat?

Balbenou comes down to Impulsive
And invites us home for tea
A high-pouring action`s the trick of the art
And it`s thirst quenching,curiously

We sail again,overnight to Safi
And tie to an old fishing boat
The port captain asks for a `present`
In the form of a 100D note

We squeeze on a bus to Essaouri
It`s a stopping all stations affair
It`s blowing a gale and the harbour looks bleak
So we`re glad we didn`t sail there

We sleep at Chakib`s house for the night
And catch up on much needed rest
Finding transport then to Marrakech
Puts our planning skills to the test

We fluke a room at Riad Omar
Then absorb the life of the square
There are palm readers,snake charmers,monkeys on leads
If it`s off beat you`ll find it there

The High Atlas mountains has special haunts
Forming part of Chakib`s list
The Setti Fatma cascades and pools
And Oikameden`s mountainous piste

We meet Didier and Rashid again
Who drive us back to the boat
There`s time for a final meal on board
Before we`re again afloat.

July 2010.