The Earth, A Bride

The chinar leaves are falling on the tombstones of all those interred
yesterdays, turning red and yellow as if desecrating summer, as if

blaspheming spring, as if there is something auspicious about dying
in robes of holy vermilion and turmeric, colours of beginnings, colours

of marriage, the earth a bride, led towards the waiting river in a
funereal march, dressed in the red of sunset and henna, in the yellow

gold of sunlight beaded upon her veil, her lover, the sky, watching from
a distance, his eyes cold and grey. Remembering is a colourless prayer

whispered to a cloud. Every morning the sky changes, the clouds are
replaced and the supplication that leaves my lips begins a new word.

Another leaf falls through the emptiness, held in the palm of the wind
for a moment, before it is buried with the rest. There is no path to return

to the bough. Every morning the tree changes, the birds are replaced
and your name that leaves my lips turns yellow and red as it ends.

50 thoughts on “The Earth, A Bride

  1. The title engaged me at once. I’ve read the poem a few times, because it’s so beautiful and so layered. Initially I was struck by the same lines and phrases others have quoted. On re-reading, I lingered even more over “the earth a bride, led towards the waiting river in a / funereal march”. Of course, this contrast and irony is all through the poem. And yes, those last two stanzas are deeply poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Rosemary…. the contrast of colours- that mean different things in different contexts- struck me when I was up near the Himalayas last month looking at fresh green leaves on the maple trees.

      Like

  2. Such a beautiful poem about death and life….vivid colors of autumn and death….I love this line’

    ‘Another leaf falls through the emptiness, held in the palm of the wind
    for a moment, before it is buried with the rest. There is no path to return’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dying in such beautiful robes…so very true of autumn, I think. After such glorious colors comes death…as the beauty comes to an end and joins earth. Bridegroom and bride. Anyway this is as I understand it. Beautifully composed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am always enchanted by how beautifully you create a crisply detailed scene in your work and how effortlessly you play with those details to create a mood. There is this feeling of betrayal that comes through. Where the outward signs might point to something joyful, in reality things are wilting and dying back, both in the earth and in the protagonist’s romantic relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful sad reflection on life and death and changing seasons. It read so beautifully and I wonder whether youngsters would read this and not quite understand with so much life stretching out endlessly before them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m deeply moved by this image:

    “the earth a bride, led towards the waiting river in a
    funereal march, dressed in the red of sunset and henna, in the yellow

    gold of sunlight beaded upon her veil, her lover, the sky, watching from
    a distance, his eyes cold and grey.”

    I’ve never thought of autumn this way before. Now, every fall, I’ll remember those cruel, unforgiving eyes watching a lover being led to her death. Transcendent poem, Rajani…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaykuala

    Every morning the tree changes, the birds are replaced
    and your name that leaves my lips turns yellow and red as it ends.

    Sad realization when it ends with a demise irrespective of how the relationship had been!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a colourful poem about death, Rajani – and I love the play on ‘dying’ in the lines:
    ‘blaspheming spring, as if there is something auspicious about dying
    in robes of holy vermilion and turmeric, colours of beginnings…’

    Liked by 1 person

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