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Friday, April 15, 2016


by Cally Conan-Davies

Clashes around Syria's second city Aleppo have killed at least 16 pro-government fighters and 19 members of al-Qaeda's affiliate and allied rebel groups, according to the Syrian Oservatory for Human Rights. Inside Aleppo, the Observatory said barrel bomb strikes by government forces on Sunday hit the northeastern neighbourhood of Al-Haidariyah, injuring a number of people including children. —Middle East Eye, April 11, 2016

For ten minutes every hour, a light shines on
this gorgeous Ardabil carpet covering the floor.
Seated near it, waiting for my spell of illumination,
I close my eyes and dream of flying
on a rug ‘of singular perfection . . .
logically and consistently beautiful’ as William Morris saw it.
Before I was timewise, as a child, beautiful
Persian carpets existed wholly to transport me,
who believed that things behave on purpose
to pick us up and set us safely down in far off places,
the perfumed journey made in the blink of an eye
because weren’t we riding carpets, on which we sat
with our legs crossed, listening, rapt,
to tales of lamps and princes, thieves and flying carpets.
Nothing could unseat the singular perfection
of our balance in the wind, we didn’t even have to hold on—

the light comes on, I blink, now Assad’s forces carpet bomb
Aleppo, and here are children ravished by the carpets,
intensifying beauty at the knotted borders, and here
the weavers who warped it, and here a storied museum
where an old carpet on the floor is logical
as dust, and near at hand, and difficult to reach.

Cally Conan-Davies is a writer who lives by the sea.