The city golden loathes all maps,
Owing existence eternal
To that certain peculiarity of geographical magic:
It cannot be found—
And once found cannot be left. If ever
You find your feet upon its sand,
Stay a lifetime longer; listen evermore
To Celebration’s glass sound, morning lightness;
Marvel until tomorrow’d tomorrow at triplet guardians,
Horizon-erasing waterfalls of stone and lavender marble.
Only that you forget.
There are no visitors in El-Fasaan:
Its language lacks the word.
Between the little spaces of their ambition,
Voice unwanted, undeserved,
As sunlight snatched from sketched-on-black winterday:
Valorous not in victory,
But ceaseless action against defeat divinely-destined.
Repent, else descends that endless night?
Let it come. And when, kindling-crushed she sleeps
Within destitute maw,
Swallow and taste naught
But the vast limbs of your words,
For judgment was never yours to hold:
Long ago she escaped, already to the moon.
He led an accidental life, paramour from first
To fortune’s fortressed crown. He dwelt
Within an indefinite age, its poetry penned not
In battlewon ink but long-rested silence. Nature too
Stood serene, famin’d word forgotten
With the passion of indifference. Thus fled madness,
Soul-shaken—what pauper throne remained
In world so luck-loved? Its faces, in four,
It cast through corners, uncertain curves
Bent straight for the blind.
His shadow stumbled upon one on the day of his death.
At dawn they pierce the walls,
Helmets dipped in dulcet twilight,
Swords masked in murdered song.
At citied center they gather: noiseless heart
Littered yet with too-stubborn cadavers—
Why do they not pass? Does hope
Require only fingers to be clutched?
Voice cries out, lists surrender’s terms:
Present annihilation, promised subjugation.
Older children cry. Babies laugh,
Too perfect to perceive. Vultured generations
Sleep in sky below. They choose
Only the choicest specimens.
“Why only Seven Seas?” he wondered,
The condensation of childish impertinence
Dusk-drawn on moustached promise.
Serves better exploration’s edict?”
No echo gave answer (much less acquiescence),
Sand-swallowed by canvas dune-dotted.
So onwards he drifted, ever-orphaned
From Odyssean pusuit. Never would he kiss
The blue mother’s waveworn lips.
Upon Color he chanced
In thirteenth year of sightless sojourn.
A brook, boundless in Blue, knelt before him,
Nevermore would it know the wor(l)d alone.
Together they traveled, ever westwards,
Ever swiftly, ever outracing
That trimmed-in-gold prophet.
Untold horizons they fashioned,
Lest reckless they topple
off creation still-edgebound. First mountain
they freed, whispered to stone
the seven shades of a secret.
They wait yet today
In a cave marked by no map,
Asking only for a color untold.
I caught Adventure once,
Held her in my brittle heart.
I sought to ask her hand,
Meld embrace to evening’d dance.
But hardly had I opened
That my quarry flew away
On hateful little wings.