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.’
Words tremble and form on my lips. In the middle of nowhere, on an old, abandoned field’s icy, quiet calm – I can see those words as frosted air, palpable, almost real. Almost. The memory of ecstasy ripples vehemently in rifts, saying, ‘don’t let go – don’t let go of the moment, the tenderness and the journey that has begun – don’t let go of the time invested and the heart’s own life span,’ – I clap my mitts together hard. I need to hear another voice in the heavy, thick dullness of meaningless, inside this bitterly cold wilderness – an expansion of existence. Inside this perfect ring of O, caution and doubt is excluded by the wintry tourniquet and deep seated bleakness. Within this rink of fire, I have found a plan; idly scraped into the dense snow’s virgin white territory are thoughts and decision making – a bittersweet means to an end. I exhale and words reverberate – detached. Let loose, they do their own thing. I believe that trust is its own reward, and love is a consequence of that very airing – so, I let them breathe. My lips tremble from more words, although I can’t hear them, they spill and the cold lets them sit there. Sat on the snow, memories cosy up to them, of when tears made me choke and lies made me half blind – now they both thaw like a discarded ice lolly bleeding into the impacted prisms hidden in this pristine foundation. I rub my insulated woollen hand over the small pond’s glass to see a lifetime spent asking why amid my mind’s sighs to half answered questions and doubts, and painful bouts of inertia. I find a heavy rock, and listening only to the whispers between my thighs’ nylon energy, I smash it into a face in the ice – all of those things are finally released and surface through the shards of their confinement – roaming prisoners cut loose to set me free, to crawl out onto the debris. Wading knee deep I try to remember what was instilled in me; I was taught to swim and love, and trust in rewards, I was loved and I am loved, a consequence of not sinking – swim freely. The temperature plummets within, and still knee deep, I am caught in the ice of limbo like a reluctant, unbaptised infant who already knows its own mind. Today, it is not as simple; revisited once again, by dark clouds that come to smother me with their words – they take their place in the queue in this time lapse of a snowy day where whiter clouds come and go, but like my words they are seldom realised, and so I have to withdraw into a quiet blackness – the Narnia sheen of glistening reason is too bright, too stark, too vivid when shouts scream from it. The pool of unhurried water is a starkly black dilation – of a welcoming eye – the pupil inside this giant O. I fall into its gaze, and like yours it swallows me up.
I say goodbye holding your hand, desperately searching for raw comfort, but from clay cold skin and defeated flesh, words will no longer form, nor draw me close. You hold a smile, and it squeezes my heart softly with a palpable sense of who I am and who we were. I think you have just found a dream inside of death, and see a vision higher than we, one rich in vitality for your journey or destiny – I don’t believe we are really saying goodbye, and so, sweet dreams, my love – stay far from errant shadows – so I can see you on the other side.
‘Miss me not ‘til I have died, then always remember me…’
In the early glow of dawn, silence rolls on the bosom of heavy clouds – solemn doves in a new formation accompany sunrise, hearing the sound of an abundance of rain.
Above tumulus soil, peace remains a warm blanket for all who were lost there since death is an aching cold, and mired in these fatigued and embattled lands; lands where life spilled into dying, and courage became mulch to the seeds that were sown. Acres of crimson mist undulate to waft forever in cool breezes; its pitch black eyes peer though the ruddy murk, we feel the pulse of its stoic heart, and, we are touched by the dew atop each poppy’s blade. All are there to remind us still, and without words often drowned by time.
Raindrops sheet in silver threads to lace our silent tears. And, as the flight of doves let loose like windswept petals, to surrender one by one, we humbly promise
I found this and turns out it was one of the first posts I made here back in November 2015, but I think I had written it around 2006 or so. A bit bleak, but hey ho. Anyway, I hope you are all doing well, and staying safe! Take care.
It’s been such a long time; it could be ten thousand years. Time passes much faster when you cry all your tears. Last time I looked back, I could only see my feet. I never saw the sky, I missed a treat, and I miss my old life. I can only look back and cry. I miss my future, but it is too late, I say. And, I cry for the passing of time, all of the day.
‘There are blue skies and a cold yearning face. Catching the breeze with eyes closed in embrace. Swirled on tip toes, hearts lift in the air; wind cool on the fingertips is chilled in the stare. Longing and heartache kept warm all the while, and never a dry eye let down by goodbye. She holds it all in still after many have cared, but don’t tell her you’re leaving, don’t stroke her there.’
I take off my robe in ankles held deep. My hands fill the water with each step of my feet. The waves fully clothe me until I’m replete. I disappear from view to drown in this pain; and I miss my future, fresh and anew, but, I can see the stars now, over and over and over again.