Thursday, 22 November 2007

Sufi Lines

*Sometimes I'll find things I've written and then forgotten about. I just came across this - I wrote it in March but just read it again and really liked it. Thought I'd share.

No mask to disguise my love; I have sat here, unmoving, through the storm and into the gentle parade of calm that followed. The silt in the puddles, which the bell-shaped raindrops had sent to war, is now slowly settling. Soon the water will be clear again and I will watch the glass palms scribe the invisible lines of passing clouds.

If I am quiet enough I can feel my heart pump blood through my entire body. The victorious red river balloons at my fingertips and turns back again, a humbled stream longing for its source.

A man passed by me, carrying a deep wooden bowl and leaning on a gnarled stick. The bowl was empty and wounded and dark, but he clutched it fiercely. Once he raised it to his face and inhaled violently, as if he were trying to suck up some ghostly scent that had been scratched into the surface. The moment he lowered it again I looked at his face, where his features had softened and his eyes were skimmed with light. He stumbled slowly on, leaving behind the faintest trail of cinnamon.

He must know that it will not last, I thought, turning back to the puddles. Spring is coming, and the warming air will bulge with the humid prickle of evergreen. It will scour away his fragrant spectres, and then he will be alone.

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