Johnny, Me and Istanbul

By Lourda Delaney

Istanbul, a mosaic of life in azurite blue,
purple, and red,
 
bustling with visitors
on sunshine breaks – Parisians,
 
Spaniards, Arabs. And meanwhile,
the dog smoked his Hamlet cigar,
 
dressed in a green velvet jacket,
as we played chess in Taksim Square.
 
The Man in Black,
confers with Hendrix,
 
Cobain and Mercury in the far corner,
deep in thought about fashion and change.
 
Mosques tower above the horizon
and the city’s Muslims lie prostrate,
 
praying to their God
like their mothers and fathers,
 
their grandmothers and grandfathers.
The purple sky, streaked with green,
 
and the orange grass a burning ring of fire.
Too much raki confuses the senses
 
and I see the Man in Black cast a line
over Galata Bridge that spans the Golden Horn
 
When dusk descends
to the shrieking of gulls,
 
Johnny takes me by the hand
and we fly through that purple sky
 
to land in Dreamland Ballroom, Athy, 1963.
The local lads cheer like hyenas
 
and his deep sexy drawl
sees the girls wobble and swoon,
 
this legend, the man of my dreams,
who now sings with June.

Lourda Delaney is from Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland.  She has two children.  Lourda admires Paula Meehan, Eavan Boland and Simon Armitage.  She is a student of creative writing at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s.  She loves to write poetry, short stories, plays and has even tried songwriting.  Her work has been published in A New Ulster and ASP Literary Journal.

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