The devil came upon a poor miller
In exchange for wealth with luster
And wanted his daughter’s hands
Though it pained her in blood and tears.
Now the girl without hands wandered off
Day and night with her tears washing off
The pain she suffered from the promise
Her father made with the devil for riches.
The girl without hands came upon a garden
Where Tree of Fruits of Grace seemed to beckon
with the susurrus of leaves coaxing her
And she saw a besotted king approaching her.
The girl without hands became a queen
But the devil returned with a scheme
To kill her and her son for their pure souls
As bounty for his region against angels.
The girl without hands fled with her son
Deep into a forest where seven years began
Until the king found them in Angel’s Hut
And the girl with no hands was no more.
She, with her wings clipped in shackles
Sees the light above the high altar
Through the dusk of leaves and boughs
Beneath the dome of boundless skies
Without spires and stained glass within.
But why else when nature has it all
Sermons in trees, brooks, and skies?
From the haunt of life’s vicissitudes
rests herself under the pillars of trees
As the choristers of hummingbirds begin
The hymns of hope in nature’s cathedral.
There is a sky in the eyes
Sparkling with sweet stars
Made of fire, spirit, and dew
Swirling in liquid emerald hue;
There are secrets of the universe
Across the oceans of galaxies
Farthest into the unbeknownst
One world more to the loneliest;
There is an alchemy of a wizard
Inside the magical windows
Unlocking the magic beyond,
Revealing the wonder inside.
P.S.: This little poem is written as an ode to my fourteen-month old cat Toro in celebration of one-year anniversary of his adoption from a shelter. When I look at his large light green eyes, I see a world of his own composed of stars, moons, and suns – all in the mystery of the unknown galaxy far away from the end of the farthest known star. As George Orwell referred one man’s death to a condition of one world less in the whole universe, my living with Toro means a cosmic show of birthing another world of stars from a beautiful emerald and diamond supernova.
Beneath a new visiting sun
Sees a woman through tears,
Sorrow of the heart she feels
As it deepens into a sea of pain.
Beside her an ailing old woman
Lies in natural amnesia for woes
She wishes to send away in vain
When a life’s grip is relentless.
Fear crowded, tension soaring
Zealots of God clad in weapons,
Fierce eyes searching for victims
Outside is the terror reigning.
Demands of life, duties of care
A caryatid bears on her head,
She faces the faces of terror
With a brave heart for the fate.
Author’s Note: Yesterday, I wrote about my essay on the current situation of Taliban-seized Kabul in Afghanistan but still could not take it off my head because I felt for their fear for unknown futures. An article of the day from Reuters was about the ordinary Afghans who had to make livelihood even against a possibility of danger that lurks around everywhere where thousands of people are attempting to escape from the new Taliban regime, often futilely. Therefore, this little poem, albeit insignificant willy-nilly, is my small tribute to the brave ordinary people on the frontline with life in Afghanistan who are just like you and me. The heroine of this woman is another Me in Afghanistan who shares a similar life story.
Maidens of the Evening Star, Daughters of Atlas
Goddesses of the Evening, Children of Nyx
Live far away from here beyond glorious oceans
On the boundary of the Night encircled by stars
with pales hues of sunshine in the land of the Hesperides;
Mirth and music spring from the land of the Hesperides
Where they tend a garden of divine golden apples
Guarded by the faithful dragon Ladon with mighty wings
Swooping four winds, bellowing a crescendo of flames
That envelope the circle of divine parameter against the mortals
Till the impetuous half-man, half-god Hercules darts an arrow
Dipped in the blood of Hydra piercing the heart that dies in sorrow
shedding the tears for love for his goddesses, the Hesperides;
They mourn for the death of their beloved Ladon, whose blood flows
From the still warm heart and meets with tears from the diamond eyes;
And the gods of Olympus bring the slain dragon among the stars
And give him a house of his own named Draco where he can watch always
Over the garden of golden apples in his beloved land of the Hesperides.