What cabal this? Who stoops to burn her verses?
Books on the pyre, ablaze by fickle dictates —
The ash of Muses, in the urn. Her verses.
Her silenced stanzas rise from mourner’s singing —
For what do Swati’s daughters yearn? Her verses.
The Unfair Sex are immolating Wisdom —
If only they had stopped to learn her verses!
Your ship, aflame, adrift in sacred rivers —
Beneath you monsters snap and churn. Her verses.
Charred rigging will not gain you dismal distance —
The black swans chasing you, astern? Her verses.
Board the barge! Behead with righteous sentence —
The weapons used to overturn? Her verses.
Lucy’s threaded heads to Kali’s Necklace —
Swati’s not her god. Adjourn her verses.
Notes: In Hinduism, Saraswati is the goddess of books, writing, music, poetry, learning and wisdom. It is considered an affront to her to destroy writing. Her symbol is the (white) swan. The goddess Kali — whose colour is black and who represents time and change — is also known as the Destroyer. She has a necklace of severed heads. Every single head had it coming. Disdain wisdom, burn books, and you find yourself facing a far more implacable deity. This poem is written for a man who destroyed a poet’s verses. If he so disdained Saraswati, will he find himself before Kali?
Love and WineSo will he be my lover come tomorrow? A roaming man, he’s paid in love and wine —
For who is now the author of my sorrow? Only the one that stayed in love and wine.
The axe upon the bough though it might kill you, your feral cattle roam below the hills
Those ancient tales of border reivers thrill you. Who knows, perhaps you raid in love and wine?
I’m drowning in the River, love, a torrent, the seeping cold that clings to sodden gowns —
By unburned haystacks, take more than I’d warrant, from rivers that you wade, in love and wine.
While Agape’s our quarry—and Affection—our Friendship that augments that other Love.
Without these three we’re sure to lose direction, for Eros can corrade in love and wine.
Have you wronged her? The Lady’s cold and wicked, and few like you survived to play her false.
The warning’s growing gayly in the thicket — the Bella Donna’s shade, in love and wine.
Reason’s underrated for discussion, debate it sober, then debate it drunk!
It’s discourse (scholarly, in ancient Persian). Philosophy’s charade, in love and wine.
The gasping dark, your fingers cuff my wrist-flesh, you hover and command my whispered plea—
Such pressure of your love on blazing kissed-flesh, for Liùsaidh lies unmade in love and wine.