We are unfinished. Somewhere, a part
of us is still being made. A thought, a poem,
a connection. I wonder if it is you or this
surrogate verse or the endless insistence
of the sea. What would completeness feel
like? Why should wholeness require
togetherness? I look up at Orion. Opposite
edges of the same space touch the twin
wounds of our yearning. Yet I am farther
from it, than it is from me. The hollow
in me is shaped like a star. Sometimes a half-
light fills it, seeking its mirrored darkness.
This is a game with many lives. Perhaps, once,
when I knew only salt and thirst and infinite
sky, , I knew of an unbroken unity. The universe
watches me search. Rolls a different die. How
much longer before it offers another clue?
Even Rumi, who could fit the entire
universe inside his poem, was yearning
for the grace of the Beloved. The universe
is not enough. It cannot love us the way
we want love. Its miracles are just math.
What would language do, or poems, if
the poet did not suffer the anguish of
loving a sunset? The sky just is. The poem
reaches out to touch your cheek. The
words wipe your tears. The poet burns
in the orange light until he becomes the
darkness. The Beloved holds back the
wine. Love is only an empty tavern, the
sun has been extinguished and the stars
in the window will be gone by morning.
More poems in the “Universe” series on my instagram page: @tp_poetry Trying to pull them all together – soon.
I wonder how they see the universe. Those
that might be a little more unencumbered, a
little more free? Is their night half lit instead
of half dark? I worry the engulfing murk till
it opens an ear. Till our angst matches our
scars. Till we promise each other a share of
invisible moon. Light is the preoccupation
of those who see the outside. I close my eyes
and look within. Half universe. Half poem.
Emptiness sits in a half full glass, uncomfortable
and wet along the rim. But the poem immerses
itself in the darkness, sometimes a word gleams
or a star catches its shout for help. Freedom
is the hallucination of those trapped on the
inside. A universe where poems swim or sink.
The night has the voice of walnut shells, retelling the myth
of the churning of the sea, good versus bad, gods versus demons,
the mystical ocean spitting out poison before relinquishing the
secret of immortality. Good triumphs but not without a little
manoeuvring, quiet artifice, a desperate prostration, even
an unexpected ally. Here we call it luck. Or the lack of it. The
empty cotton sheets beside me lie cold and rippled. Everything
is less clear, more orphaned. The phone flashes a look of bright
annoyance. Distances grow without movement. Seas swell. Their
blue is the colour of bitter venom. Between regret and fear is a
feeling still unnamed. It feeds on silence, getting fatter, moving
in circles between us. What if the churning stops? What is the
consequence of destroying absolutes? We flicker. We die. We
listen. We don’t speak. The phone and I pretend we are asleep.
Happy to say that my poem “Rush Hour Traffic” is included in a lovely anthology just published by The Poetry Annals. It is called “The Anatomy of Desire” and is available on lulu.com
It’s been such an amazing year of poetry and I have two little books in the works. Not sure what direction those manuscripts will take, but the pleasure is in the writing (and the editing), I suppose! I wish you all a very happy 2019. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement and I look forward to reading and sharing more poetry in the new year. Cheers!
Am also active on twitter and instagram – @tp_poetry , do give me a shout if you stop by there.
There will be no starting over, no reboot, no capitulating
to this categorization of time- January 1st, I refuse you as
a marker. I will have leftover curry and rice from Monday
afternoon, squabble with an unfinished poem about an
unresolved grief over an unnamed absence just like I
have been doing for so many nights now. I will cringe, as
one should, at the conceited adjectives and declamations
of superlative joy, and those lists and resolutions – oh,
especially the resolutions. I will remember your not being
here yet feel your voice and know your smile just like I
have for so many months now. Alright, new year, my
door is bolted, twice over, the oil lamps have been put
out, even I cannot tell myself apart from the shadows
of the last lantern rocking in the wind. The stars are the
same, the angles between them are the same, the grey
pigeons are asleep on the drain pipes, don’t wake them
up with your arrival. In your face, in your pockets, in your
vacant stare, there’s nothing they have not seen before.
I can walk away from this, from your
universe. One, two, three steps and the
shackles start falling away, I begin to
unlearn, I forget your name, we become
strangers. Beyond this, there is another
space. There has to be. I grow with the
distance, larger, larger, until I can peer over
the giant fence, until the clouds are below
my feet, until what was becomes a tiny morass
of mostly darkness, its lights fading like the
memory of last night. Nail down your stars,
glue your shadows tight, incarcerate your sky,
hold your emptiness close, the song that echoes
in my heart is playing somewhere else.