Keki Daruwalla(1937 - / Lahore / British India (Pakistan))
Sappho To Aphrodite
- by Keki Daruwalla22
Long and lonely are my nights. Come help me Goddess, end my blight; her absence burns me, burns my sides with love intense.
Aphrodite, hail or sleet, I implore you to come down from Crete; my altar smokes, awaits your feet, with frankincense.
Your love-demented Sappho pleads: Give me no manna and no mead. It's love, not wine that Sappho needs you understand.
I haven't had a word from her! Once again make her my lover in bed and bower her breasts should flower, in my hands.
Her star-erasing beauty's spell, turns me feverish, frail, unwell. Her presence is both bliss and hell - I tremble so.
Her absence scars my empty flank. Goddess you don't need my verse to tell you this. My love is frank, I can't dissemble so.
Bring back Gongyla to my side! May she once more become my bride! May she, her lyre and her fire beside me purr.
Come foam-born and Cyprus-born, Goddess of love and the lovelorn, my altar awaits you with fire-urn, incense and myrrh.
Suddenly the Tree
- by Keki Daruwalla21
The hive slept like Argus its thousand eyes covered with bees. The light as it fell through the neem tree was a marine light, in which yellow moths set sail from one perforated shadow to another. The hive was mystic, a drugged mantra with its dark syllables asleep. As the afternoon wore on the honey-thieves came and smoked the bees out and carved out a honey-laden crescent for themselves and left a lump of pocked wax behind. The bees roamed the house, too bewildered to sting the children. At night they slept, clinging to the tree fork, now scarred with burns. Sparrows and squirrels, a bird with a black crest and a red half-moon for an eyelid bickered over the waxed remains the next day. Then with a drone of straining engines the bees rose like a swarm of passions from a dying heart, and left.
[From 'The Glass-Blower: Selected Poems']
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