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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 2. March 20, 1946

Cairo Mosque—

Cairo Mosque—

The dark arched alley offers
A haven to the beggars, who sleep
Perched is its walls.

Sharp right and the world changes:
Four time-smoothed granite pillars
Support the roof opening to the sky
And the light glints on polished stone mosaics
Fourteenth century and
Filters through the blue chinks of glass
But the dirt-green water recalls
The beggars in the alley.

Through the portals (oak and yew
Intricately carved)
And under the dome: here light
Has lost the struggle;
Dusk reigns, flaunting its false gleams
On gold patterns, carved Koran verses.
And the incredibly beautiful inlays
Indicating Mecca.

Thoughts trander, even against
The guide's insistent prattle
But the fortune-teller plants
His sand-bowl at your feet,
Exploiting preoccupation with time
And destiny, recalls with outstretched palm
The beggars in the alley

Who at the due time will enter
Under the gold of the dome
Asking Allah to provide
And receiving the age-old answer.