Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A new poem

Talking of Flowers


There was a poet who said once
your talk is the talk of flowers.

He said it in Urdu of course,
so perhaps this is not what he meant.

To talk of you is to shed flowers
from my mouth is also
what he might have said.

To talk of you is to talk of scented
creatures grinning up at the morning
plush with themselves and the aching
to be witnessed and named, dancing
in their skins, coaxing seed
up and out.

The panicked response of still life
to someone's riotous need to mean
more is to think of you.

The brief and the tender,
the easily sold and binned,
the easily crushed
and not even through malice,
is to think of you.

To feel sun and dew
on skin cracked raw,
to quaver as roots fling themselves out
of ankles and affix you to earth
is to think of you.

To speak of you is keep watering
the snowdrops long after spring.

To speak of you is a rosewater rinse. 

To speak of you is to soak jasmine
garlands overnight in a bucket.

To speak of you is to tear
open a marigold and eat its
cushioned ovary.

To speak of you is to swear
never again then again be stained
by the taste of sugared roses
in betel leaf.

To speak of you is to speak
of beds on wedding nights
fields of mustard
a song with a mandolin in it
and a honeymoon suite occupied
by one.

*

(C) Annie Zaidi


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