Birds fly for pleasure, flashing light from morning minarets.
Lace up and run down stairs leaving guidebook and map,
drawn like pilgrims to floating domes and ancient towers,
blue tiles and the genius of ancient architects.
Stride along city walls built, torn down, rebuilt by long forgotten hands.
Stones in palace walls speak of princes, born to death, power, or madness,
while elegant garden trees swaying in whispers from the Harem.
Hooves ring out and crowds cheer across history in the hippodrome.
The sun heats up and across the water colossal cruise ships threaten a flood.
We dodge down narrow streets, returning to drink too deeply our first coffee,
coughing and laughing over pomegranate juice, olives
and other Turkish delights.