We crossed the streets in silence, a silence enhanced
by the the sharp, invigorating cold, our breaths steaming in the thin air,
our even heel clicks evanescing into a barely rememberable echoing quiet.
Further down the ChaharBagh we could see horses standing in their shafts,
Blowing their protestations at being left to wait,
While their owners drank tea, sucked Qand
and slowly awoke to the beginning of the bustling day.
The day grew hot in the sun,
but leaving the magenta-blue tinted snow
in the shadows,tingeing the peaks, hiding them,
as if wishing to join them to the still colourless sky.
From the high ridge, the city looked open,spacious,
inviting you to see, hushed,
stilled in the crystal air.
We descended again,
and entered the trees of the wide quiet streets,
and crossed to a cafe;
uncomprehending, but eager, the owner showed us samples of his foods,
kash-qe badam-jon, kooft-e-Tabrizi, polou sabzi , and more;
the strange flavours distilled in our minds the strangeness of the place,
liking, but perhaps apprehensive of knowing more.
by Neill Edwards