I too am wary of past’s ghosts, squeezed by daylight into ethereal painted diaphanous landscapes,
and where equally pellucid capes waft in the nothingness of such a delicate dimension.
Sunshine filters through the interstices of arching trees – their spindly finger shadows pierce the throb of my ripened veins resting under the mirror of spider branches hanging lazily –
adust words tease the vastly hollow chambers of my heart and mind
whilst unwanted ghosts, these stark strangers, pass by me trying to scavenge my thoughts – thoughts once hid, but which now bustle briskly under this fair poplar – but adamantly refuse daylight in their presence
my muse blows timidly to rustle up my tired parchments not scratched since autumn opened its eyes on the majestic fade of green –
before it reawakens – under these dreaming spires, I will write a sonnet for her –
to coax, to not be afraid of ghosts, nor reconcile me with my own by her very absence –
me thinks I’ll keep it safe in heart, away from prying eyes and strangers’ judgement at least until summer comes again.
I see you, haunted muse come out from the shadows.
Wishing you all the best for this season! Take care and stay safe! Today, years later, this poem resonates with me because of what we are all going through, and who we have lost, and our resilience. The tone is hushed, but strong and fast, as we encourage the bird to fight to fly and to finally sleep after all its endeavours to survive. Just, as I imagine, like us all.
Sing little bird, fly overhead, rest in the trees’ wavering breeze.
Lift the curtain high at dawn let the flickering candles yawn.
Tall trees aglow, clouds full of snow, laden with light, sing black on white, snow flurry sneeze small feathers freeze.
Fly little bird lift up and fight, go little bird circle the light, sleep little bird, a peaceful goodnight.
Try little bird, lift your wings while you’re still singing soon the night will warm your dreaming.
Fly little bird reach for the night, go little bird, shy winter’s light.
Warm your body, melt the snow for the daylight crisp below.
Go little bird, sleep little bird, find the songs you sweetly sing, nestle there ’til winter’s still.
Go little bird, up to the night, fly little bird soundly tonight.
See the moon she’s smiling for you shivering stars their arms are open too,
so go little bird, fly little bird, high little bird, hush little bird,
soon will come the voices of the morn joyous little creature of our dawn.
Go little bird, fly little bird, sleep little bird, twilight is heard. Go little bird… go.
Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz. He longed to preserve the love that he had for her. With its creation, love, magnificence and memory has been preserved. I had the privilege of falling on the stairs inside that lead to the tombs proper on a visit – a treat from my dad while we were visiting family in India. The anniversary of his death and the reason for my blog is coming up, and I am taking a moment.
She wilted, and he slept for one year, fading like the blush of twilight – riches do not protect the human flesh or soul –
death permeates even our innermost love.
In his darkest dreams, grief struck at his aching bones and tortured sinews; the surrounds of a heart heavy from drought, until, he was woken with a vision to transform her death into beauty – as she was in life so she shall be in slumber.
‘No more tear drops on cheeks that pain compared to her touch, but across the naked sky, to prolong this innermost sorrow,
just the last one –
a gesture to sear my longing in this lonely, mournful place – the last cry will be affixed vapour laden with jewels and precious splendour to pierce the clouds saddened and heaving constantly as sorrow.
On the south bank, ribbons of the Yamuna river will stare at a true reflection of beauty created from your passing – it will remain a last kiss on the cheek from my final tear as it rolls through Agra.
Your splendour will ignite a restful place, and make magical this white opal – as opaque, as my grief and as magnificent as you my love, Mumtaz –
soon we will sleep until we can no longer, and we leave together through the ghosted marble of the Iwan.’
What summer’s sad fair
wouldst have me grace thy lips rightly
without strokes of seduction?
Tantalising is it not when ripeness befits
us as hosts and we lay warmly against each?
O, to take comfort
from those comely eyes is indeed
like breath itself,
for they eagerly greet such slender hopes
with backs as yet unbroken against
the firmament’s green sheets,
and that from whence we lay, to steer to riches
inside of the vast continent orb above
this fair orchard is remarkable. ‘Tis little to suffer
her streamers of adulation as we cradle
true love’s generosity
amongst each other in these verdant fields.
Rejigged this a bit. Hope you are all well and coping.
We are more than breath and bones, or the dust of a soul’s divide that gilds our pale faces with heavenly alchemy; we are combined essences swirling underneath complex skin with all of love’s triumphant splendour placed on our brows.
We are more than breath and bones with no more taught sinew to soothe since all mapped outreaches tethered by distance and timid pasts have been conquered, and before intruders, unseen, steal west with their disgrace. We stay low and soft within this warm, diaphanous wrap; it is no fair costume this skin of faux silk.
We are more than breath and bones, as within each of us lies such vast continents yet to be stroked, to align with us under our blue skies. Synapses crawl to make us, messaged and volatile, their eager grip might conquer us still… we are more than breath and bones, and we will not be torn asunder.
We are more than breath and bones, or the thousands of strange shadows that tend us; each have all but one shade, and poor imitations lend counterfeit images, all of you. But, the truth lies in a kiss of your cheek, and there I see us in every shape and shadow we know.
Majestically, she strode to the edge of sun baked sand, like an hourglass held up by time, before she became still; her long legs equidistant
man lay heel to toe with a savage sun – humanity encrusted with parched earth, it had partially eaten him –
a dried out white dove clung to an exposed ribcage; a much needed perch for a wasted observer tired of flying, tired of singing, lost in his search for peace. Its feathers, etched from fine, dried clay – were fissure like veins devoid of faith – baked outside of death, badly in need of rest.
Her elongated shadow buried them both before she knelt on the earth for water to pour from dainty, silver rivulets that ran her body, which was smooth and flowing sand
he watched her rise, striking the sky with her cool, black silhouette but on the floor it lay outstretched – as an amber pool of honey; he placed in it his hand to taste her
immediately, he was quenched, fed. Arid skin of dust and clay fell away, as did the shell of the dove, which had replaced his heart – its wings shattered into a thousand pieces like baby soft powder dusting the gritty, sparkling floor
in the breeze, billowing white clouds conjured a magnificent topaz bird; its plumage was a thousand lights of peaceful nights held in its tail eyes of beautiful iridescence – tail eyes that had once glimpsed peace in a thousand colours: turquoise, ocean green and gold …
quill feathers wafted the zircon grains of the sand, writing new rules, posturing and reshaping –
beautiful but cruel foundations of peacock ore too brittle to walk on, created swank waves of peacock blues,
and it strutted till a thousand feathers fell on the sand rising once more as blood red poppies that poured in an avalanche from the gaping mouths of soldiers still inside tin helmets – grown men like babes still fighting inside their dreams
he tried to pick the wild flowers for her but barbed, razor wire snagged his crumbling fingers, and hidden behind those were children’s faces pressed against wire mesh on the shores of green, unpleasant lands lapped by oceans that gulped and gagged; force fed a rigorous diet of helplessness and hope each time sand was flipped inside the hourglass
he gripped her waist, but, his reflection caught on her glass bosom, it shattered her hourglass frame
she was released
a thousand more grains of sand flowed like the salt of his tears – sprinkling gently from a watering can’s wise rose to try to feed the presumption of green leaves between his toes
his flaking sinews were pulled to his chest; he wore a crude hole where the dove had nestled – dust stung his eyes and, his tattered hands rose, forming a bridge that the sun rode across to join him at his journey’s end
red jewel fish swam ahead of her in shoals of beating hearts – riders corralled the sand storm’s cloth approaching like a whirling dervish; her titian hair draped those black, almond desert eyes,
and their glinting sunlit flecks consumed time in their frenzy – she placed the convergence of jewel fish; a plump, red heart, within his rib cage,
she was a belly dancer for a while on the sand’s hypnotic gyrations prompting creatures with a spin of time to play music inside of their shells
her lips were kissed by one thousand butterflies, and her open palms let loose a chorus of titanium white doves; all of the notes to harmonise with man’s discord – all willing one more time to fly away in a relentless search for peace and to sing for another one thousand years –
time enough, she thought, before they’d need a place to rest
A flicker, a stare, fires the column, bled bare, by the pale yellow, violet flame as
its gliding wax grips and its rhythmic drip sets fast, and not unlike our game. The Slowness of time runs with our thoughts down this vine as I tease the quick with scorched fingers. And, as is your want, you navigate me, and like moths, we self destruct when we linger. A stolid breath of air soon releases our stares, and we flinch in the flame’s parting sigh; its sulphuric stench from the quickening wrench, reminds me of that stark light – as sleeping birds hum and a candlelit morn draws nigh.