Bahrain Souq


I enter through the caverns mouth,

Into a bustling fair,

And all about there’s shouts without,

Of rumoured trades allure,

And goods not seen before,

Which tempt me to procure,

The promises of treasures yet,

In prizes that assure,

Their purchase is reward offset,

By lures that reassure.


Rewards for detoured routes along,

The crowded alleys throng,

Show value which desires convince,

Are things that must belong,

And rambling round with quick turned views,

Towards the coaxing news,

The voices claim there’s bargains where,

My presence needs to view,

Temptations chance to sense delight ,

In thoughts that looks excite.


And narrow lanes enclosed as walls,

Where shadows lurk in dark,

I hear the voices spot me through,

The jostling crowds remark,

That hustle me upon the sight,

When calling to my shoulders height,

They aim to bring my eyes about,

And once they’ve caught me with their stares,

It forces me to see their wares,

Through captured webs that now ensnares.


‘It’s real fake gold, and genuine,

And guaranteed as well!

Authentic bargains forged and caste,

To reproduce the feel,

In copied imitations which proves that makes them real!

Invented replications, the first that’s made to last,

These bargains from originals,

Cannot be passed for class,

But values shall determine who,

Will buy them with a clasp.’


‘Khaki style is very nice,

Great quality’s the price,

Expensive watches that are cheap,

And lovely scarfs to keep,

Buy two! Their soft, Designed by craft,

As presents for your wife,

Plus phones are here, made smart for life,

And never give you strife!

Fine sir! see shoes, I have good news,

Look here I’ve what you want.’


Material that’s tough and strong,

Adjustable to suit,

The shapes are fine,

The length is mine,

My size is cut anew,

In colours long and true,

The price is fixed,

I turn amidst, the frantic deal that’s done,

And once my venues trades complete,

I’m left back on the street.


I leave to brave,

The next new wave,

Through alley’s tight with song,

Of yells that roar about the treats,

That stir commotions strong,

And various the products throng,

Calls out the news in beats,

As carpets, hats and glasses long,

To mix with pens and fabrics, sheets,

In answers from the streets.


Each shops a stall of passaged strength,

That’s packed to cramp each inches length,

Supporting of the space that’s meant,

To never waste through empty room,

What chance the counters can but show to whom.

You look below your ankles height,

To find the floors a display site,

And shelves rise up in acme’d flight,

To reach the ceiling packed upright.


And narrow spaces at the end,

Opens a cave that scents transcend,

Exotic smells that waft about,

Are odour’s as my dreams reach out,

Towards my weakness for the taste

Of what lays bare a flavour laced,

With taunts for senses that embrace,

The mocking of the baste I face,

Consumed by what I ate to see,

Enchants the savoured fare in me.


This souq’s a tour of strange pursuit,

An abstract quest through charms delight,

Attractions draw my course and route,

As witness sent by its invite.


This life’s enlightened maze and track,

Ensures remembrance brings me back.

David Hollywood

David Hollywood co-Directed The Bahrain Writer’s Circle and founded and ‘The Colours of Life’ poetry festival in Bahrain , The Gulf, and latterly worked in Antigua, The West Indies upon a variety of poetry in performance events. He is the author of an eclectic collection of poems titled ‘Waiting Spaces’ plus co-author of ‘My Beautiful Bahrain’, ‘Poetic Bahrain’, ‘More of My Beautiful Bahrain’, ‘Lonely’ and a variety of further publications. He was the in-house poet for ‘Bahrain Confidential Magazine’ and is one of the most widely-read poets in The Middle East.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.

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