Temple Bar

Your love is my temple
Where we enter
In reverential
Silence.
These tasselled
Tabernacles
Inside you
Are draped
With silks and refined
Ores from the shores
Of the Aral Sea,
Luminescent shells
And gold-leaf murals
Of peacocks and grapes.
This temple, (just like that arid bed
Once home to sea-cucumbers
And one exotic fungus which
Expunged all poverty,
Caused wars born from
Tribal animosities),
Flooded once, yet while all
Around the shops and houses
Resounded with torrential
Waters and furniture pounded,
(They were engulfed by the love
Of the Lord all around them,
Inundated beyond survival),
Yet you stood firm,
Outlasted all the others.
Your love is the beginning,
An entrance, the frame
In which my adoring form
Is made out of shadows.

We are a communion
Our love out of your love
Conducted by a lightning rod
Until earthed in a channel.

I must be mistaken
If the worth of sleep is awaking.
A telephone rings briskly
Somewhere in brittle distances.
I get dressed and feign existence
In the inbetween life
And all its anodyne mechanics;
I go to work solely so that
I can live and pray again
In those shadows.

Aftermath

You’ve been shopping again,
Cruising aisles and clothing
Racks left in a season-ending’s
Messiness; sales are on four
Polished parquet floors
Inside my night-time mind
Where these more
Pleasant dreams
Sometimes reside,
And also you in spirit-form,
Sometimes hiding
Within me yet without me.
A paradox with summer storms,
We slipped into my department
Store with expectations to avoid
The rains and post-pandemic
Hordes, oceans of traffic lights
And umbrellas, holding hands
As we gladly made our way
Through this homage to
Commerce, this palace’s
Obscenely gigantic doors,
Deep green frames, lintels
Propped by angular art deco
Demigods with impossibly
Muscular jaws. I won’t be
Jealous of a statue in obsidian,
I sought myself, to reassure.
I’d visited here in different
Dreams several years before,
Alone and feeling lost,
Uncomfortable
In my only thoughts,
Though I have atoned
For those stones
As you know,
And now like everyone else
I can buy coffee, and tour
Menswear and menageries,
Counters and clocks.
All the fish have been caught.

Not knowing what you bought,
Jewellery perhaps, a camisole,
I could see beside your green
Heels three or four bags,
In purple and pink fabrics,
Even the inexplicable methods
For carrying purchases about
This city where you reach
So deeply in to me reflects
Your personality as perfectly
As the death of inadequacy
In Elysian markets.
Your ways delight and inspire
A primal circuitry, native,
As old as the hills of men,
Indigenous, sacred.
I just have bags under my eyes
From the tiredness, trenches
In my dreams are drenched
By July’s torrents. I longed
For the fresh air pursuing
A storm’s routes, its brute
Force, the airborne cousin
To the scent of grass after
Its mowing, from where we
Gave birth to a word: Aftermath.

I remembered in that dream
The store bags had lines from my
Haiku printed in white fonts
And I looked to you, as beautiful
As the day our friendship and
These sentiments too were born,
And I knew then the meaning
Of dreams where we met
On a simple bench in a store,
Avoiding the crowds, sharing
Moments of quiet reflection
And your laughter like lucid
Streams over those stones
I threw back in to the water,
A pure invigorating air
Only found in the Highlands;
Hands held, biding our time
Until the end of the storm,
For its end is on the horizon,
Then we may leave this building
And travel home once more.