Monday, December 14, 2015

A Cold Night in Istanbul


In the city of the world's desire
The night covered the lonely streets
With the rain ever falling
Visibility was a distant dream

Little Aleksandr cold and scared
Nothing to shield him from the cruel night
He strides on forward unprepared
Almost dragging himself with despite

Ever since father left
No happiness found little Aleksandr
Orphaned in foreign lands
Where Oh where would little Aleksandr go?

As the street loomed on forward
A distant light was shining at the end of the street
A translucent ray of hope
Little Aleksandr could do naught but stride on forward

The light stirred closer with every step
A blinding ray of hope
Cutting through the cruel night
The light stirred ever closer

The source was a building
A center, A center of hope
The sign on the side read 'Darulaceze'
On the other side read 'All is welcome'

The inspiration for this poem comes from a complex in Istanbul called Darulaceze, established in 1895 by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to help the city cope with the influx of citizens migrating from former Ottoman lands. Today, it continues to be a shelter for Turkey's elderly and impoverished in a multicultural/interreligious setting. Residents are provided with a place to worship in peace. Its garden houses side-by-side a mosque, church and synagogue. 

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