It's just poetry, it won't bite


12.20.16 Posted in today's words by

Rehan Qayoom’s most recent poem to appear here was “Modern Snow” (March 2014) 

By Rehan Qayoom

Everything reminded him of her everything
Everything was connected to her
In her of her with her
Without her nothing
She became her everything she was
Everything and he a lover of everything
A lover of love
In gratuitous silence
Their hands doing the talking
Gently Johnny
Two fingers rotating in light circles

That was the first poem in the first book of their summa erratica
In which he did not feature
Too far gone
Their love changed shape to fill the space it needed
To call a home—
Nychthemeral, big enough to ambulate long enough
But always vertiginous and out of reach*

Love’s nests rest warm and pernickety
Being a closed system unto herself
She grew a green tree in her heart and kept it from the world
Her rhyme would seek out any reason not to pursue flight
Lambent from the equilibrium of realisation
Above and beyond all locales
To come out of herself toward herself
The enfolding girdle itself enfolded
Just enough to create a world of its own
Beauty’s greatest theophany
A mirror
Without which the Divine face would remain the deus absconditus**

She was his moral mainstay
The mighty dramaturgy
That improved in the telling
He groped for somebody, anybody
His thoughts in the emptiness
Were ancillary pincers, cognitive dissonance

There is only the love
Love and the memories of love the love
That went with him wherever he went they went
Died with him again and again and again
Till they arrived at a position
To make a decision—For the severance of desire

She had told him
In the rolling stream of time
Be mindful of the moment

O Procreated Procreator!
O Contemplated Contemplator!
What have you done to love?

* Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece Brideshead Revisited and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby appear to have inspired these lines. See the essay ‘Brideshead Redivivus’ by the author.

** See Henry Corbin, Alone With the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi for an interpretative description of the Primordial Triad: beauty, love, nostalgia.

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