The Old Guitarist 

In a city of pale clay and blue skies, where the acacia sprawls heavenward and green bursts of olibanum trees rise from the dusted rocks, the old guitarist begged for alms and played below a darkened arch from morning till dusk, and from evening till dawn. The moon, sun and stars changed their positions. One day, one of the longest days, he plucked the strings as caftans and robes, donkeys and camels, cats and mice strolled by, vanishing into archways or down the twisted streets. Now and then, he caught sight of a black robe, hurrying about on heaven only knows what errands. In the evening, the black robe returned to splash copper and silver coins on his faded rug. Those songs are wonderful, so full of mystery and beauty, always changing, twisting and turning, like shadows and footprints left long in sun and sand. My goodness, you are a poet, the old guitarist laughed bitterly. I have been playing just one bar from one song all day long, repeating it over and over again to see if anyone would notice. The man in black looked regretfully at the sparkling coins on the blanket. And how did that feel? he finally asked. Like a thousand years, the old guitarist whispered. The moon rose. 


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