saadat tahir (21011965 / Islamabad-Pakistan)
Aphrodite on the red sea...1002-2k12
(Warning: unsuitable for those not interested in long winding Homeric themes. But a warm welcome to those that know her well… :) …besides its valentine time… ;) …)
It was so much by design!
The sea azure the day so fine.
To go, in earnest search, by the shore, for...Aphrodite,
in lively form and chirpy conspicuity.
Talk to her...nay whisper in her ear,
a song, a sonnet, to lure you my dear,
...in my own special way,
on a cerulean breezy day.
After a brooding silent foray,
castles and footprints in the shifting clay.
As usual, lounged she, in her pearly shells,
languid, to the harp and tinkle of Eros' bells.
So softly, I called out her name.
Hardly she stirred, for her t'was all the same.
Gestured she, with a dangling hand,
to clink her beauteous pearly band.
I stammered to her, thus with a slant,
"Oh aphro…lend me your ear…that's all I want…
I am Ankhises….the shepherd man
As youth I once your errands ran"
blazed She at me as if to express…,
enjoying my aguish and distress,
eyed me down, as a sorry looking staff,
smeared by Vesuvius and its pumiced chaff.
How dare an earthly shepherd to her thus speak …
Puny, in fate spun and weak.
spoke in husky melody of a cats purr,
yet to my rustic ear touched the slur.
"I recall through your dim and dusty eyes,
thine bounding days and your sighs.
To Persepolis I had you t'once sent,
as you lay bled white with a heart so rent.
Your stead was then supple like your practiced thigh,
Ah! There was the glint of Achilles in your eye.
For decades thou traveled and journeyed through my being,
shut thine shifty inner eye to my eye's seeing.
"Why now, should I talk to, o'mortal, you!
What is it hence that you ask me to do? "
naughtily …she deliberately asked …
and in her beauty basked
"Hast thou bought anon some memories olden tale
Or hast thou tasted from the froths of Jamshid's rancid ale
My gaze and lightening eye sees thine mists in Druid Grimm's crystal ball
Thoust better days be heaped upon thine back and yet ye bear an olden pall
Thine limb and sinew shake before thine date with the reapers call
But thou strange be mankind for sings thine breast a longing call"
"here! " I pleaded, "take this reed…"
she so used to mortal's need
softly I touched it to my parched lips,
with my mind then my heart came to grips.
Slowly she put out a marble hand,
to hold it before it touched the sand…..
She put it to her ear and sat upright.
To soak my chagrin and my plight.
"…..it makes my blood boil,
It makes me shake the soil,
of a goddess it speaks, of a beauty in a far off land.
Leave ye my waters and step on to sand!
Leave ye the seas and all that within dwells
Or forsake thine body's soul to its fuming swells
On it unmistakable to your nares …. is her anointed breath,
and for you mortal, spells nothing but death.
Why shalt I not drown thee right here?
And her as she steps in my sea there.
Thou here for the sharks to feed!
And she for her treacherous deed!
Oh you smitten, deceitful heart…
You dare, pass this reed to me a goddess,
and stranger yet, wish me to bless."
"Mercy…" I implore …."oh superb one……thee I plead"
rolled her eyes she like that purest of bead.
Slowly, purposefully, she put it to her sculpted nose,
as if disdaining a moldy rose,
almost shouted…at me,
"it reeks of another! .. Why should you be?
speak your heart mortal…speak thee,
I will cause you to be no more…
Hence, I forfeit thine service and thy chore"
I took my cue… faltered I at first.
But fear of life at me already thrust.
My inner self took me by surprise.
My words flowed, were measured concise.
Stuttering first and then with vein…thus I spoke,
yawning she feigned to have now awoke.
"Go you aphro! …..Snake across the deepest sea…,
along creaking ship and by its lee,
go across the oceans deep
your seashells safety they shall happily keep
….for you it rises not and fondly abates,
over the fronds and dangling dates,
past the monsoon winds, past crooning cranes,
past rivers great, over mortal cares and their banes,
forbidden city or tumultuous wave,
over the pyramids and sandy rave.
Set your eye on yon far off port.
There you will find cupid's consort.
Here this is the golden apple…wrenched deep within my aching breast.
of eastern city or western mount don't ye contest.
Put ye this apple to cupid's hand.
a befitting recompense for my errand"
She smiled and said "the rest I know"
And with flair she cast a lustrous throw
"no no here aphro listen please!
I praise with water thine plenty ease.
Thine supple legs and belly's tease.
Thine shapely legs and eye's freeze.
The way ye walk and thine arm's seize.
Thine winsome smile and thine bosom's heave."
Bobbed she back, out the sea to feign a raised brow,
in her wake the sconce and also the trumpets blow,
threw me an irate, a quizzical look,
for my efforts were not writ in logics book.
"Hey! " I said…. "you've got it all wrong…"
blurting…"It is for her that I long."
At this insolence she appeared to frown,
indeed heavy is the head that wears the crown.
She pouted her angelic fairly face.
Relenting with amazing grace.
whipping the seas lace,
slowly she nodded her invented yes.
And my cheek was caught in the seas caress.
One hand she raised in perplexity and gave.
As Eros by her side played naïve,
just he shrugged and played his little harp,
to the leap and dance of colorful carp.
Eyes narrowed, shot she back.
Pointing to Zeus' chariot and the gathering black.
"common tell…hurry you be.
Much I have work to do…see.
I have beeches to cover, in worlds apart.
You stop me imbecile before I start.
You not the only one who needs my help,
many the hearts tied by sea and kelp"
"Gentle! Aphro will you be, oh queen!
Greet thee her and to her land unseen.
This apple to cupid to ease out his best arrow,
sent before sunrise like the early sparrow"
"Shhshhh"…she pointed to her lips,
shifted her weight on alluring hips.
"No more! Mortal… u want me be ask my son…"
"no" I pleaded "talk you Greek and I with Homer done"
In centurion moments she stared deep into the sea.
And shuddered I for fear of me to be.
"So be it! " She finally said…
"Return to yer tavern to break your mortal's bread.
Thine work be easy upon my hand and so upon my heart.
I smile upon thine fate and wish thee happiness of all sort"
In those brief moments I held my humble breath,
For I feared her wrath and that in water after death.
"I beseech you aphro, ask of him!
To save my apple from Zeus's fiery rim,
to cast his arrow across the days,
across the demons wily ways,
gorges deep, paddies of rice …,
undipped in the poison of eternal vice,
across the misty gardens and placid lakes,
across the chariots and vortices, wakes,
into the northern, easterly and westerly winds…
"Ah! "... she interjected as she smiled….."you want it to land in …..…."
Before she could say a word….I stirred, bespoke in the gathering din
"Yesyes…yesss…..aphro"…I stuttered…"how did ye know…"
Great is thine wisdom and thine coveted eyes throw"
She flashed me a wicked; yet coy smile.
As she pointed her staff in the direction of Nile.
she murmured "I believe …there be truth in a mortal's throb"
….whirrllll! .. Disappeared she in a whirlpool, a bubbly cob
Ah! I thought when the arrow finally lands,
the Amoretti of Amorini will play their bands.
The rainbows shall rise and gently bend,
as if to paradise and skies a message send.
My vacant eye now roamed the scene,
not held by the lure of a treacherous queen.
Hark! .. there he was… Poseidon, behind a palm,
eyes burning into aphro and her receding form…,
listening intently, he threw me a rushed wink,
hastily he waved …."don't be worry mortal…though your heart be sink"
my horses and words shall lope the vineyards,
the assembly of old men … all of them and their guards,
Nereus, Proteus, Glaucus and Phorkys…,
All wise and they know the world its wily ways.
Mounting, he thrashed his miraculous cane,
to my mortal eye, a gesture devious, inane!
Dug his heal in his horse's side,
with bloated chest and overly pride.
"They will help too….now don't you sulk
For my weight holds the earth's bulk.
Be thee peaced, oh sullen face the arrow shall surely fall,
for my sent trident has yet to stall.
It shall kiss the earth's flower….. where it belongs"
…. shouting over shoulder, blurred he out.
Left me gaping at his bluster and overt clout.
Agallop he reared aphros' way,
gone in a blink to his favorite foray,
disappeared he in a gathering cloud,
the last I saw, his fluttering shroud…..
Dipped I, my hand in the waters blue,
that seemed pooled from flowers dew,
I tasted the tangy mirrored salt,
thinking of you, smiled! ….at my mortal fault.
I smiled ……
Yes and yet again I smiled…
once for him and once wryly for me…
for us, mere mortals, there are rules to be!
1002 - 2012
She knows …she smiles too!
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