Remembering Sappho today, from ‘To Anactoria’
Remembering Sappho today, from ‘To Anactoria’
my mind is coaxed awake from a particularly long train of thought, not yet asleep not fully awake, it seems as if sweet dreams were being brought on
because I woke up in a million years—my soul floating up to the stars—my lips forming contentment in all its lazy, luxuriant glory,
my hair soft—even after ages in the sun—healing in the shade of night—my eyes heavy with the weight of your dreams and my senses are filled to the brim
my eyes are closing—i’m floating back down into sleep’s folding embrace and my mind is full of your soft peach lips and your sun warmed skin and your raven hair thick and curling between my fingers,
and I’m back again in your deep blue room and wind blown white curtains, your tumbling pile of books your unmade bed where your lips touched mine for the first time, your stack of records and films strewn around without a care because—because I’m full of you, you with your well-worn shorts and laughter bouncing off the walls, the evening sunlight turning you golden and Edward Sharpe singing Home.
And I am, I am. I am truly, truly, home.
You tell me you are not beautiful
but you don’t stop
How the wind holds
her sweet breath
her approval to me
How the sparkling waters
under the sunlight
burst forth like a million
How the stars of the calm
night glitter much so
bright, you don’t see.
You only tell me
And we weep in tearlessness, disharmony in our hearts while the smile denies the obvious truth and the sharpness of grief wedged deep in our souls.
But not just yet.
I’ll be leaving soon,
for greener pastures
chasing the horizon
I’ll soak in the sun
Lie on the grass
Listen to the waves
the lapping lullaby.
Someday, I’ll come back.
I’ll climb white peaks
I’ll dive deep seas
I’ll learn an obscure tongue
Try a soup suspicious
wear a dress ostentatious
But, someday, I will come.
When the sun colours me warm
When the seas impart their song.
When the gulfs glitter,
And the sparrows twitter,
When the palm fruits turn bitter.
When the Sun sets orange and red,
And the sands in pink and chrome are set.
When the flamingoes fly home,
And the winds blow North
When day’s symphony is gone.
And I know what it is worth.
Then the night’s silence
And the melody of the stars
will remind me,
Of greener pastures
Of sparkling streams
Of a brick chimney’s steam
Of you –
When in silence and in subtle murmurs
I’ll hear the breeze beckon me homewards
Your silent gesture
I’ll come Home.
The smile that trembles deep behind your tears
Is the promise of the world since the beginning of time
Even if I’m alone now, from our yesterdays
Today is born sparkling
Like the day we first met
You’re not in my memories
You turn into a breeze and touch my cheeks
Even after our parting in the afternoon with the sun beaming through the trees
The promise of the world won’t ever end
Even if I’m alone now, tomorrow is limitless
You taught me about
The kindness that lurks in the night
You’re not in my memories
So live forever in the song of the streams
In the colour of this sky, in the fragrance of flowers
In the Glitter of the stars
In the gleam of the moon
For me, be the promise of the world
Stood tall the tower of her confinement
far far away from mortal reach
The patch of vivid blue from her window
was forever clear, so vibrant, so distant.
Her tower stood in the heart
of a forest forbidden,
where dwelt the creatures of magic
and creepers and trees that breathed
She longed for an escape
and escape that would hold her up
like a man’s strong arms that held his daughter
or that his lover is lifted by,
up to touch the distant patch
of forget-me-not blue
or lay her down,
down in the dew kissed meadow below
where a soul, laid on the
lush green ecstasy would soothe.
But desires don’t materialize into gallant princes,
princes that will come galloping, to give in
to her whims and fancies then
galloping on horses to whisk her away
For passing of time she used to sit
by the lone window and does so still
immersed in thoughts of unfathomable depths
swirling images in her keep
A silver paintbrush in her hand
drawing miracles on her walls of confinement,
An unconfined spirit,
A high waterfall, exuberant freedom
A blazing sun, righteous anger
A sole ship sailing on high seas,
Tides in her heart
A woman on horseback
an escape, her escape.
Midst sighs of defeat, exclaims of bliss
She planned it, in careful wit.
Then the dark head with endless tresses
like rippling waters of a black river,
unending, winding, unwinding, looked up.
The plan was drawn – fully bloomed
’twas reflected in the spring of her dark eyes
in the summer of the dusky skin
in the flush of her cheek
and in the tremble of her lips
That night by her window
not in contemplationbut in disquiet fervour she sat
holding her brush and hair
she let her breath upon
her bosom splay, her head bent
o’er the casement’s ledge
anticipation writ large
across her poignant face
A trembling palm enclose
the shaft of the silver brush
A stroking move, an intense flash,
A blaze of red hot light
The enchantment had not broken.
A hundred silver fragments lay
in the open of her palms
The gleam of the moon
in the northern sky failed
to camouflage her tears
that now pooled.
Mother Gothel’s enchantment had worked well;
keeping her in this wicked confinement
for eternities to come.
bent double, she curled up in desolateness
and the warmth of the moon seemed cold.
One white landscape away
She was sitting on her ledge
knitting time away
in strands of brilliant rainbow
When came a call of her name
A call that seared through her wintry heart
to touch the softness that still flamed
and thus in secret, she let down her hair.
He was up inside her tower
beside her, spreading his warmth
She was compelled under his tempting touch.
Her lamp ebbed so did her coldness
The darkness grew but only outside
within her there was only light.
The year long frost had melted away
Now she sat in the darkness
The night still young.
Awaiting his arrival.
waiting for his touch to
drive away the coldness
waiting for his kiss to
make the world disappear
waiting to lay in the heat of her bed
a space where only they belonged
a place which held secrets
secrets that made her blush scarlet.
She waited a long while, no call came.
Her lamp was ebbing away
She held her breath
A soft murmur reached her ears
Picking up the slight sound
she ventured into Mother Gothel’s
The key space showed her, two figures
Two figures entwined in intense familiarity
Two figures she knew well. Perfectly well.
The light was out of her by the time
she reached her door, into a tower cold.
no heat to warm her the slightest.
Summer had gone away too soon.
The fire that once blazed in the hearth
had been doused forevermore.
The tears of sorrow never came,
nor the excruciating pain she had expected.
Her entirety had been replaced by an emptiness
A gaping hollow she felt pleased to have.
The fire breathing dragon beneath her tower
had taken her heart, never to return again.
It was then she knew what to do
it was then the key to the lock was secured
it was then she knew what she had to make
it was then she knew she only had to make a Choice.
Apolectus! Apolectus! she cried in bittersweetness
Then she slashed at her mortal bindings
tore away the ropes of immortality
freed herself to fly away or to sink
to oblivion or to eternal bliss
that I cannot tell for sure,
for, it was Always her choice.