My ode to Istanbul

My ode to istanbul :

Istanbul or Constantinople or whatever else you may have been,
You are no doubt

a Asia overlander`s dream,

Iskander Kebab, Hagia Sofia, Galata Bridge, Topkapi Palace,
grand bazaars, ottoman mosques, and slow boat cruises,
your sights are plentiful, so diverse, bursting from your seams.

You offer enough


to holidaymakers, pleasure seekers,
But in the same embrace, you touch us,
With structures so OLD, so GREY, and majestically

in decay.

From the top of

Galata tower,

I view, breathless, amazed by how vast but compact you are, houses stacked on hills,
Like three great hands extended out into the open sea, your lands straddle the continent divide,
Blue waters, busy shipping lanes, connecting bridges,

your significance is truly your pride.

You safekeep millenniums old


the most beautiful building west of Taj Mahal ,
A offering to GOD, an interior that commands attention, completely enthralls,


with your chestfull of Ottoman treasures that glitters,

you outgrand Bangkok`s Grand palace or India`s Mughals


– lively and busy, the perfect 100 metres walk, a most charming view, the best of humanity revealed.

ISTANBUL — the land of Ottoman campaigners,

Breeding ground for world class soccer players,
Sexy, erotic and exotic belly dancers,
And now — many, many gawking travelers ….

And as the sun sets,

I sit across from

Eminou harbour

Watching your skyline glow in red,

descending upon your Ottoman mosques,

turning minarets into towering shadows,

as the ferries, seagulls come and go,

The 10 million people, the millennium old buildings and your

5000 year old history,

all this and more you comfortably hold,

Your charm, your heart, in Asia you have NO twin,

at least not from the 50 or more cities that I have seen,

ISTANBUL or CONSTANTINOPLE or whatever else you may have been,

Dolbumanche palace, Chora church, Roman walls, Byzantine era mosaic arts,

Sulaimaniye, the blue mosque and Turkish baths,

There is even more sights you are offering me?

You are true a reward, an Asia overlander`s dream,
A perfect distraction if only for a short interim

ISTANBUL — My LAST stop on a mad dash,

but you will always be,