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.
A rumble of silence creeps
into the veins of
tangible pain, numbing senses
while corruption still tortures.
Our touch contaminates
until we sicken
nature’s soft noise –
humanity’s sonorous roar –
animals need to sleep
amid our mess.
Tribes and wildlife and ecosystems need to exist –
amid our mess, not endure enforced extinction.
We have made some
of the biggest mistakes
of our existence.
But we are who we are,
and mistakes will happen
until we are no longer here…
amid our mess.
Quadrille for dVerse. Other entries can be found here.
Black gossamer strands,
like grasping fingers,
the brightest moon glow,
reaching and writhing
wild, tepid winds of the night.
Silence bore chaotic sounds,
quickened as thunderous hooves
brought seven stallions
majestically to the bough of a leafy bend.