At 4:00 am, Salm woke up with the ethereal feeling that the whole night sky was shining through the window. His tabletop, tilted 110o to face his bed, was glowing softly. It was strange that his favorite pillow was almost inaudibly but repeatedly playing one of his mother’s favorite classics, Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. He had expected to be roused up later in the morning by some strong vocals sung a cappella, as that was what the agent was bringing him for several mornings now. It must be one of those times when the agent was playfully glitchy and did not exactly do what it was supposed to do, or, Salm wondered, did Mother mess around with my agent?
On the dimly glowing tabletop, below the small headings on ownership copyrights, bibliographical information, addresses and all that legal speak, Salm read the following:
Author: Hans Acadiane
Title: the edge of a continent is. . . .
the edge of a continent is
a lonely place to lie in wait
for the closing of the distance
or the heaving
heaving of the heart
where white stallions
burdened by their manes
fling themselves upon the shore
fading fading like cirrus clouds
in supreme sacrifice
my heart clings to the sand
as the distance slips back
into the horizon
i see your face gently
gently breaking into a smile
and a fluttering like
the mane of white stallions
gasping rushing at the edge
of a continent
a lonely place a lovely place
to lie in wait for the stallions’ crests
race up to the shore
to kiss the land
and praise the sky
with playful wings or burdened chests
and the softly howling wind will tell
will tell of a lonely place
a lovely place
where your morning hair
is like the silky breeze
fondles for evermore
the heaving troughs the restless crests
the twisting clouds
of the edges
of a continent
© said sadain, jr. 1999
The above is an excerpt from a short story, “Babel Rising”, that was written at the turn of the century, “that time of the year when people reflect on a lot of things and, with more enormity, write things like a poem or a resolution or a testament.” 🙂 Hans Acadiene is a fictional character in the story and any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
This poem (& the short story) is now being brought in to harbor on this blog for these weeks of February, in lieu of my recent creative produce of terrible haiku/senryu (there are still several of them that include a trilogy on clothes — the kind worn or unworn, as the case may be, by emperors, politicians and an empowered crowd — as well as a love poem with a tragic ending; but, really, you would not want to suffer these creative licenses for now; maybe I’ll just let them sneak up on you much later).
So “Babel Rising” it is! It is a love story, for one, so appropriately, February ♡♡♡ … and more 😉 The short story first appeared in a desktop-published book by yours truly in 1999, and had been anthologized in the book The Many Ways of Being Muslim, 2008, edited by Coeli Barry. It will most likely be included in another book of interviews to be released later this year. I will be posting the short story in five easy-to-read (I hope) parts over the next five weeks, while I go on auto-pilot mode for a hiatus from play to attend to still unfinished work 🙁 And, by the way, if you cannot stand the suspense as each part unfolds from week to week, you can google the short story up and hopefully find the complete blob in one place somewhere out there “writhing, pirouetting, flirting, living, dying, fading, growing, connecting, breeding, whatever. . . .” out there on the world.wild.web.
[Coming up on 9 Feb. 2018: “Babel Rising” in a time and place. . . . ]
— SSJ, 2 February 2018
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Sweet, the future and the past and the middle in between, poetry within the story. All great but, I have to particularly mention th e beautiful “to lie in wait/for the closing of the distance.” A tantalising introduction, looking forward to more, Said. 😃
Thanks, Steve. I hope you won’t be disappointed. “To lie in wait / for the closing of the distance” would normally awash me with a bittersweet feeling and anticipation of redemption, but on some days for me, it means getting snarled in traffic helplessly eyeing the infinity of lamp posts separating me from my destination. 😀
Haha. Sydney traffic is also not the best. I use Wayz, I find it helps.
Right, Steve. Surviving these traffic jams can sometimes make one sing: Yes, I did it myyy Wayz (or Waze, as the case may be)
Not nearly as gorgeous as the poems you write on your blog, Imelda, but thank you very much 🙂
You flatter me, Sir. 🙂 But thank you for the kind words. 🙂
You’re welcome, Imelda 🙂