Ode to an Eastern Blossom

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An ode to a lost girl and a lost country, both of whom I know will one day find their peace.

Willower, widower, dreamer of dreams,
Weeper and waterer, filler of streams,
Will rose blossoms grow from the earth where you’ve been,
Jasmine flowers white, scented, and Damascene?

Walk our streets, a stranger now you are,
Walls that make even dwellers not at home,
Carrying and crumbling you into palms that scar,
Littering streets with mem’ry of home.

And how I wanted to be that hand that held,
Gently curling fingers over,
Folding love on gentle flowers,
Dying in that gentle hold.

So pardon me, for none had spoken,
To me of truths that love to lie,
The words, that flowers only open,
When they are just about to die.

Do old, dead cities, still bury you,
Grim gardens in a once-happy town?
Will old, dead places, still carry you,
When I’ll need one to help me down?

These wars have a way around humanity,
They’ve torn my walls beyond my pace,
And I am a warzone beyond my sanity,
To lay you even inside me, I have no place.

And if you ever come to visit, you should know,
That my rooms are full of coffee stains on wooden floors,
Covered with pages of torn books and scores,
Riddled with dried roses that never left the door.

Floral prints and silk lace sheets,
All torn and faded,
Teatime talks in the summer heat,
Now teacups cold and summer shaded.

(Somewhere across the Eastern wall, you’ll also find gunshots,
The only place where daylight pierces me, in dispersed polka-dots.)

And you see, even in all this misery,
And because of all this misery,
The death of one woman, I still find time to remember,
If only because her life lived on like sun in December.

And from the Ommayad Mosque,
Her body, like incense is burning,
Floating over the dawn and the dusk,
Ever and homeward returning.

(Dec. 2014)

Bold: On the Length of Romance

-How long are you staying?

-As long as you need me, and keep making excuses that you do, because somewhere down the line, though I won’t admit it, I’ll need you too.

-And then?

-And then when you’re out of excuses, and I’m out of denial, we’ll both realize it’s time for me to leave, and it will only be because I am a nomad, who can never settle for any home, who has not found a home, partly because real estate has gone up so much these years, and I can only afford rent.

-So that’s it? No exceptions?

-There is one exception, rarely if ever applied. It’s that if you can walk with me, as I wander off to crazy destinations, go with me as my soul wrestles to find its place, if somehow by sheer coincidence or fate our souls share the same destination, and if you will not lose your breath at all the travelling, we can make ourselves into some sort of nomadic alliance.
You see, darling, I enjoy my loneliness so much, that I can only be with you if we can somehow become one person, but that’s too much to ask of anyone, even you.

Bold: Annie Hall

No interpretation, no commentary needed.

[Alvy addresses a pair of strangers on the street]
Alvy Singer: Here, you look like a very happy couple, um, are you?
Female street stranger: Yeah.
Alvy Singer: Yeah? So, so, how do you account for it?
Female street stranger: Uh, I’m very shallow and empty and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.
Male street stranger: And I’m exactly the same way.
Alvy Singer: I see. Wow. That’s very interesting. So you’ve managed to work out something?

-excerpt from “Annie Hall”

Sometimes, When the Night Falls Gentle

Sometimes, when the night falls gentle over the land I cannot call home, the thought of you flows with the wind over and into me, toxic fumes on a midnight wind’s path, bleak and obscure, from that soul I called home.

Many a time, when life brings my aching seaward, to rest on the shore, I turn my mind to the dreams I’d left, on those waters, for the dreams now lost.

And as the fresh mountain winds blow on the wounds now lain bare, I find in them treason, and love struck and broken, lingering in the air on which you flew.

Sometimes, when the roses grow in a summer field, amid the stairways of an old town you knew, I find myself there picking blossoms, to be never sent, to the girl I did love, for the love she withdrew.

And often amid my nights of wandering and sitting atop the rooftop we spoke from, I notice a star shining brighter yet than her sisters, its warm radiance recalls, of the eyes that I knew.

I know not today, tomorrow, or years and lives forth, what cruel things I’ll meet, that will utter your name, and now as the moonlight passes, shines on lovers, and shines again, I find my world crueler, and ever reminding, the essence of you.

And now in my solitude, ever when the night falls gentle, I find my mind wanders, from the streets that I know, and the skies that I look upon, wanders astray, to the home that is you, and rests ever there, in somber tranquility, eyes shut and wandering, to the memory of yours.