Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Song of Shichrer, Canto III

"Mobius Faces" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

Now I shall sing a song to my well-beloved
   touching her with my voice
      caressing her with my melodies

I am old now
            but still handsome
   o my daughter of Jerusalem
      old as the seal of Abraham
handsome as the beard of Methuselah

Unveil your eyes and look upon me now
   snow has not blanched my lashes
      ice has not closed up my veins
The sun that sets upon my forehead
   has sweated my blood with life
      sun has caused my tongue to swell

Ayishah this is not the first song
   I have made for you
      that I know you cannot hear

I have made comparisons my love
I compared you with a Veda of King Solomon
I compared your body with jade
I compared your beauty with a necklace of pearls

Now I have only these comparisons
   since you disdain our love with distance

That is why I bought this cloth of jade
   to wear next to my body

That is why I sewed this necklace of pearls
   to set upon your pillow
That is why I made this song for you
   to hold against your absence

You say I did not love you well nor wisely
   yet did we not give back the cold to Winter
      did we not make poems of our love?

Did we not share our hidden meanings
   private nightmares
      secret dreams?

Or was my mouth too timid
   were my hands too greedy
      was my thirst too great
to slake upon your heart?

For your sake I gathered logs
   I built a fire
      I kept it burning
even in the deep midsummer

For your sake I disavowed the universe
   left it hanging between sun and moon
      nascent and moribund
For your sake I trimmed the edges of my beard

Like the gorse that flowers on moorlands
   Like the scorpion that stings itself
               in rings of fire
Like the butterfly whose wings are crushed
   Like the tortoise swallowed in its cave of shell
Like the naked sapling -
Like the density of uncharted forest
How else should I have come to you?
How else
         and still be true?

Ayishah your love is like the Sharon Rose
   that lives only among thorns
      sixty days have you been gone from me
         sixty mornings have I spent
hopefully planting thorns

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Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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