Colin Crewdson




The Road to Kars

Mevlana, or Rumi, Sufi poet and mystic, 1207-1273 spent much of his life in Turkey,
where his tomb is still revered. Mevlana’s poems are also set to music.

We’ve tried every trick.
Gathered around the guts, black tubing,
glistening containers of mystery:
the engine won’t run, won’t

pull its busload of passengers
up the pass any further.
Choked, grit in its fuel
dust in its filters, fatigue in its heart.

There is no wind,
no movement, one voice.
in the solitude of emptiness, in the quiet
of eternity…

The air is eviscerated,
too weak to hold life:
the mountains are folded corpses, bent
and yellow, racked up

towards a plain blue sepulchre.
The sun, fat with heat in the lowlands,
is thin as a blade in these heights,
sharpening  the linocut shadows.

The portly singer in his white shirt
croons, beseeches, commands,
ends with a flourish of prayer beads:
he is the Seeker and the Sought, the Beginning and the Destination…

We slump back into our sweat-damp seats.
The bus roars off
on its way up to Kars,
Mevlana’s joy in its pistons.




Colin Crewdson (mostly retired)  lives in Devon, England. He spends most of his waking hours trying to keep a puppy from wrecking the vegetable garden.

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