Toubkal

I’m not giving you any context, because that makes it more ambiguous and enigmatic, and my poetry tutor absolutely loves that (learning so much already).

I thought of sunlight splintered with the cold,
Stiff pea-coat collars braced against the breeze,
Seeing her nameless grimace ‘cross the chill,
And I could only call her beautiful.

It does not feel quite like the winter here,
This light has lost the jagged edge I knew,
Tis’ everywhere, consuming everything.
I wait beneath the arms of starving trees.

I do not see her pursed lips
Drawn with six AM fatigue
In the shadow of Toubkal.

Yet when it seemed the moon had fin’lly purged
The endless stream of daylight’s razors slow,
Beyond the far side of the wilderness
Appeared a figure, and my mind then lurched.

I saw the night then, splintered with the stars,
My loosened scarf still dancing with the breeze,
Bestrid the mountainside, in unhinged flames
Still only close enough for my own eyes.

If those her brown eyes of infinite depth,
Her adamantine half-smiles thrown like knives,
While dancing round their hollow pleasantries,
Could cut across the bleak stone and the miles,

Would I tell her of those same lurking truths,
Wreathed craftily in starlight’s fraying veil?
I knew the answer several months ago,
The daggers were just hollow after all.

I did not see them,
Or hear her gentle words of awful truth,
In the shadow of Toubkal.

I often wonder- was it really there?
Beneath the surface of the jackals’ eyes?
From nothing formed but flashing, fracturing,
A moment of manufactured rapture?

She stays there still, far far beyond my sight,
She cradles, she sustains what once I dreamed,
She stands alone in that one night’s solace,
A monument’s fragment of self-deceit.

She is, of course, not ever truly there.
When last we spoke, she was in Newcastle.
As I fall back to time’s enfolding arms,
I love instead the shadow of Toubkal.

Syria Crisis Appeal

© Finn Maunder and “Finn.” 2015. This content is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Finn Maunder and “Finn.” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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