Sadiqullah Khan

@ Thirsty as Salt

You hold, O! Poetess of a tongue of fire
On the garment to the King, where all the tendrils
Flowers have grown into your tender hands,
On his benevolence, you have grown abundant fruits.
Thirsty as salt is your lament, a desert lark
And of eyes possessed, a magician’s spell
Of a lost empire, the defeats are as cold
As cold are the dreams and the afternoon winds.
From the high hand of fortune,
And the fearsome sweat and sigh of men,
Who but built, fought and died, and whose women
Lived in the queen’s ego, serving and telling
Their sons, be martyrs, for the shadow of god,
Which may not be pierced by the cruel sun
As an evil eye whom they all possessed, and
May not strike the bounties and riches and splendor;
Yet the gods possessed the hierarchy
Angels and a throne, long hands and retribution.
O! Poetess of a tongue of fire
Silence is like claws of vulture on the shore
Thick, unending, breaking, breaking and breaking
The tide of time is, who lives, and who does not
From the sadness of demise is groomed
Romance, and melancholy is a bird
An oft visitor, who but reminds,
Everything shall happen one day, and the day;
Yet happening is just another name of filling the void.
Those who once slept the eternal sleep,
Have they come back, such long is their dream
Whence, where, how, why and by whom
Who but have answered the questions.
O! Poetess of a tongue of fire
You have been wished to be sitting in the wounds
The wounds thirsty as salts, and like the roses
Perfumed, wet and dry, like a weird cloud.
Between us is nothing more, a stroll, a gait
A mare’s step and hair like a nightfall sans a moon.
O! Poetess of a tongue of fire
Like a tedious argument, hanging limbs, stitched
Red, purple and grey, on the half risen walls;
The drag of half deserted streets wishing to see
The morning come easier, or hit by a storm
A thunder and an unwanted rain,
Being dug, broken apart, and lit with flower pots.
A young girl is gazing downwards, might be freedom
Is like a flying crow, or a tree who had been eating soot,
These mornings, evenings and the noons are so familiar:
On the step, is time counted, passing and we happily
Let it go. The deceitful hope, is it not another illusion?
I have known the words, in other’s formulated phrases;
And the two angels, sitting on my left and right
In what debts I shall find myself on the Day of Judgment.
O! Poetess of a tongue of fire
I am not obtuse, nor do I want sadness fall on you,
After all the songs have been sung,
All tea drunk, all tables washed, all nights slept
All happiness gathered, all love made.
The stately ship, survived all ill fortunes, not sunk
And she has said all the beautiful words,
All dead remembered, all living blessed.
Will it then that this existence comes with some meaning?

Submitted: Saturday, August 03, 2013
Edited: Sunday, December 22, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

cropped -salt- lake

-The poem is about an imaginary dialogue with poetess Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (Cordova,1001-1091) , an Andalusian poet.
Courtesy: Najet Adouani

The poem is in descendo, the early court life of the poetess, her life as connoisseur of art and poetry and independent spirit, gradually coming to the modern day life. It tries to transcend through the age.

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