There is a gap sometimes so large,
a new meaning fills like loose sand
flowing in the pit the well-digger labours.
Even god cannot command that –
communication of total meaning.
When he asks for light there is darkness,
morning and evening to a day.
Gather the tamarind seeds from the heap,
cup them into bowls sorting by shape, size
as fingers get coarse with sepia dust,
sand where seeds lay furrowed with zeal.
Vault becomes the line I draw on the canvas –
the horizon for dimensions and spheres,
everything follows, every single detail.
( Inspired by Genesis 1 )
The northern wind from the Hindu Kush
set the talisman tied to the doors jangle,
prayers of souls drowned the lake, greened
the meadow. Dead skin from wintry nights
in the cold desert fell away like vermins in
the warm embrace of smoked rhubarb
that filled the air of the hill country,
blue with traces of silver and lapis lazuli.
Fields stained red with madder roots
spread like shawl of heavens at his feet, but
he sought echoes of different nights,
visions of lands that entombed lost legacies.
Since I can feel the pulse of the morning to tell the fever, you say that I can also grow wings, dislodge the gate that has not opened in years, to watch dust fly like dunes in a desert. You know there are no deserts in my land , only the rain forests and the peacocks whose feathers he wears on his hair, sandal paste that the women rub on his body as sensations pool over, from depths that they measure with the grains of dust trembling on his skin.
Breeze from the hills blows between walls of mausoleum,
ascends on ribs of blue domed prayers
to wrap him in muteness.
The city carries memories of watercourses that
like veins rumble and knot close to the
heart of the land.
Gardens are young maidens that open their blouse,
bare pomegranates – a rash of desire smears an ache
that like a needle pricks him.
He lays her on the cool mosaic of his colonnade,
the cool stone breathing through the pores in her neck
wrapped in a turquoise band.
City pants in tumescence with sharp cries of battle,
the young emperor is the dervish spirited
by his passion for the land.
The clear air crackles over the steppe,
trembles blue of a pool where breast of bird
skims the surface like a sigh.
His tunic is splattered with mud, ropes of hair
fall on eyes turbid like dark lake,
nomadic blood runs like streams that crisscross
the land his ancestors essayed.
Turban laced with sapphires cradles
rinds of melons from Farghana country.
He reads the horizon as he would a poem,
counts the rolls of hills fading purple at distance;
considers he’ll pitch his kingdom where blue
gets ashen grey.