A strange garden of breads, sweet and unleavened,
is spread beside a row of painted cups;
the shopkeeper’s Assyrian beard is topped
with glinting eyes, like little shards of heaven.
Here, towards evening, over flickering fires,
gathers a throng of lookers but not buyers
to while away the slowly fading day;
fezzes pushed back and tassels all asway,
Kemals engage in serious debates
about their many joys and many hates.
Across the bridge, a stream of painted faces –
a brilliant carnival – flows gaily down the street;
the town is cheered by cars, bleating and racing
through its electric multi-story pit.
And yet the heart by far prefers the sight
of those who bravely scorn time’s heedless flight.