Clusters of roses on every street corner,
cut petals and leaves colouring the sidewalks.
Streets filled with motos, cyclos and bikes,
smiling and handshaking, just saying hello.
The Forbidden Purple City was mostly green,
overgrown grass and scattered plant pots.
It felt so mysterious, enchanted and erie,
because in a gigantic courtyard was only me.
Classical music played on a piano,
a distant tune among stone-cold sculptures.
Windows were closed and classrooms deserted,
one student rides by on her bicycle.
It's weird and cold and uninviting,
like I've appeared on stage for a horror movie.
All of a sudden appear 3 male voices,
laughing together and saying hello.
They point in the direction of an open doorway,
framing an easel sitting inside.
I walk on over to see the drawing,
inside were rows of 20 more.
It's quiet inside until I get to the back,
2 students fine-tuning their accurate shading.
5 more people arrive, then 10, then 15,
no longer alone, they ask where I'm from.
I show them my sketchbook and take their photos,
we laugh and misinterpret eachother's words.
Time to leave, the teacher was waiting,
Thank you. A smile. The class resumes.
I re-enter the strangeness of abandoned ruins,
parts of walls, the rest destroyed from war.
These remnants of orderly temples and gates,
grew into a maze of walkways and gardens.
So much was gone but so much is the same,
as the outside city littered in flowers.