the damas trees of sitteen


surreal image mashed up by SSJ from his photo of damas trees, and images from courtesy of aitoff, Capri23auto and Clker-Free-Vector-Images

the damas trees of sitteen 

green conocarpus
dinosaurs lined up in mid
island of sitteen

silent witnesses
to the flow of red-tailed worms
this side of the world

and yellow-headed
creepers on the other side
of evening traffic.

roots dig deep to ground the trees
lazy with the breeze

sad damas dinos
hovering under street lamps
weep with tears of leaves

they’ve seen the yearning
for home many times over
of jaded drivers

hush now the traffic
of sitteen tells of a tale:
you lead, you follow

for speed cameras
are lurking owls waiting for
the rush of hot steel

they’ll send e-tickets
to the broken body wrapped
around steering wheel.

© said sadain, jr.  2017

Author’s note:

The conocarpus lancifolius tree, according to Wikipedia, “has no common name in English”. In Arabic, it is commonly called damas. It is a fast-growing heat-tolerant tree with a dense foliage that can be seen all over Jeddah, mostly lining up the sides of roads and their middle islands, or towering over long stretches of walls and fences of residential compounds and private villas. The damas tree can grow up to over 20 meters (over 65 feet) tall and its roots can dig deep and strong enough to cause damage to walls, water pipes and waste drains, but is still the preferred ornamental tree for the greening of Jeddah.

Sitteen Road (or otherwise known as the King Fahd Road) is one of the major roads traversing Jeddah from north to south, on my route from residence to office and back. I prefer to endure the roads and highways of Jeddah by occupying myself with surreal thoughts that come with a foggy mind but clear side view mirrors. On days when thick sandstorms engulf Sitteen, silhouettes of hazy Godzillas can easily emerge from an orange landscape that can rival images of a locked-down lost city of Mars.

— SSJ, 28 October 2017 

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2 Responses to the damas trees of sitteen

  1. Precise yet imaginative imagery, very effective!

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