Dick Davis


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Iran Twenty Years Ago

Each summer, working there, I’d set off for
The fabled cities – Esfahan, Kashan,
Or Ecbatana, where Hephaestion died,
The poets’ towns – Shiraz and Nayshapour,
Or sites now hardly more than villages
Lapped by the desert, Na’in or Ardestan . . .

Their names now mean a dusty backstreet somewhere
Empty and silent in the vivid sunlight,

[Hata Bildir]