Fri 18 Oct, 2002 10:17 am
The Desert is parched in the burning sun,
And the grass is scorched and white.
sand is passed and the march is done,
We are camping here tonight.
I sit in the shade of the Temple walls,
cadenced water evenly falls,
And a peacock out of the Jungle calls,
To another on yonder tomb.
seen in the lofty gloom,
Strange works of a long dead people loom,
Obscene and savage and half effaced
elephant hunt, a musician's feast------
And curious matings of man and beast;
What did they mean to the men who are
long since dust?
Whose fingers traced in this arid waste,
These rioting, twisted, figures of love and
Strange weird things that no man may say,
Things Humanity hides away;----
light of the living day,
Smile in the sun.
Cruel things that man may not name,
Naked here without fear or
Laughed in the carven stone.
Deep in the Temple's innermost shrine is set,
where the bats and shadows
The worn and ancient symbol of Life, at rest
In its oval shell.
By which the men, who, of old, the land
Represented their Great Destroying Power.
I cannot forget
That just as my life was touching its fullest
Love came and destroyed it all in a single hour,
Therefore the Dual Mystery suits me well.
The Tank's deep water is cool and sweet,
Soothing and fresh to the way-worn feet,
Dreaming, under the
One silently thanks the man who made
So green a place in this bitter land
The peacocks scream and grey doves coo,
Little green talkative parrots woo,
And small grey squirrels with
At alien me in their furtive glance,
Come shyly, with quivering fur to see
The stranger under their
The Camp fires redden like angry eyes,
The Tents show white,
In the glimmering
Spirals of tremulous smoke arise, to the purple skies
And the hum of the Camp sounds like the sea,
over the sand to me.
Afar in the Desert some wild voice sings
To a Jangling Zither with minor strings,
the stars glowing keen above,
I think of the thing that I love.
A beautiful thing alert serene,
dreaming, wistful eyes,
Dark and deep as mysterious skies,
As radiant mornings fade into afternoons.
held what I loved in my arms for many a night,
Yet ever the morning lightened the sky too soon.
Beyond our Tents
the sands stretch level and far.
Around this little oasis of Tamarind Trees,
A curious Eastern Fragrance fill the
From the ruined Temple garden where roses are.
I dream of the rose-like perfume that fills your hair,
times when my lips were free of your soft closed eyes,
While down in the tank the waters ripple and rise
And the flying
foxes slilently cleave the air.
The present is subtly welded into the past,
My love of you with the purple Indian
With its clinging scent of incense and musk,
And withering Jasmin flowers.
My eyes grow dim and my senses fail
While the lonely hours
Follow each other silently one by one,
Till the night is almost done.
weary and drunk with dreams, with my garments damp and
Heavy with dew
I wander towards the Camp.
Tired, and with a
brain in which Fancy and Fact are blent,
I stumble across the ropes till I reach my Tent
And then to rest, to ensweeten
my sleep with lies,
To dream. I lie in the light of your long lost eyes,
My lips set free,
To love and linger over
your soft loose hair-----
To dream. I lay your delicate beauty bare
To solace my fevered eyes.
Ah......If my life
might end in a night like this-----
Drift into death from dreams of your granted kiss.
Yes, the exotic ( and
possibly innate eroticism) is extravagant in this Poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Nicholson). It seems to be larger
than life and the imagery is life-like. The irregular rhythym is pleasant to read though there are a couple of lines that
are a bit schoolchildish and awkward. Nevertheless, its my favourite poem and conjures up a dreamlike scene. Having spent
quite a few years in the Far East, I can identify with the Poets's picture of a dreamy drug-induced
BTW I split this off
from the other thread because it deserves it's own topic.
I liked the imagery but the rhyme is sometimes a bit too
"jingle-like". Not that I have anything against that. Poe is the jingle man after all.
P.S. where in the far
I've lived in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand.....
Maybe we've lived in
some of the same countries.
Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak, (British North Borneo (as was) and 3 months in S Korea
Interesting! To my
earlier list I should add Singapore. I lived there too.