Thursday 24 June 2010

The Gifts of Time

The Gifts of Time
pile neatly around my soul
not the Christmas
and birthday time gifts
but the abstract fruits
of kindness, harmony,
friendship and trust;
the Invisibility Cloaks
of a lucky lifetime.

And what about the little regrets?
The unbought thing
the unvisited place
the unspoken, unwritten word?
All tuck away neatly
in the Great Pockets of Time
awaiting another explorer.

The songs I have not sung
stream merrily from another's lips
And dreams someone else has spun
dance a tango on my hips.

The Gifts of Time
are the funny miracles
of quick escapes and
quicker encounters
down narrow lanes
and atop mountains;

there the voices speak
there the souls gather

and sing.

I wrote this poem on my last night in Sing.
I read it to Dad a few days ago, here in Shelford, and he said it captured his own experience exactly. He had been feeling regretful, of all the things he had not seen, the places, the people's faces. The holiday he could have had, if the fates were different, had been playing on his mind. Then this poem, and suddenly he seems to have relaxed. It is not the nature of regret that he dwells on anymore, but the gifts that were his. The dancing! He danced with my mother on the first day we arrived and he never really stopped. Now that is a gift of a lucky lifetime.


Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Those dreams of others dancing a tango on your hips! How could your father not dance after that beautiful image? Have a safe and sound trip back home, Shaista.

Muznah said...

how precious (in a non-LOTR sort of way) :)

Ruth said...

You do speak profoundly in simple words and phrases, always, which fits the image (of you?) kneeling - sacred, like you're in the center of something holy. (I really do feel that.)

The quick gifts of time that have to be taken (ohh, your Yes poem comes to mind, my god), so there isn't regret. But if you missed one, another one's dreams on your tango hips is pretty darn fantastic.

I've never said so before, but I have always found your parents incredibly beautiful in their joy, in their relating, which you share here in words and images.

Sam Liu said...

This is so endearingly beautiful, your delicate words brought such a smile to my face, Shaista. As always, a joy and a delight :)

Wine and Words said...

How lovely, the poem and the effect it had on your father. This was exactly one of those precious gifts of time of which you wrote. Wonderful that the inspiration and the outcome went so beautifully hand in hand.

Tess Kincaid said...

Your family is so beautiful. Lovely words. Thanks for the smiles, Shaista!

Lele said...

Just beautiful...our heart can see more than our eyes...
I have no idea the feeling of not seeing but from all the photos you have posted we can just feel and see all the emotions, joyful and peaceful moments! regrets will exist forever in our lives but when you bring them to counscious..we fix it right way, with our next actions! Thank you always for your beautiful words, they feed and calm down my soul :), feeling more than blessed now! hugs, Elenice

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

I am so intrigued by your observations of your parent's romance.

Beautiful poetry darling. And I love that your Papa upon hearing them relaxes. I do too.

Relyn Lawson said...

I adore that poem. You do have a gift with words.

Maxine said...

I would love to hear audio of this poem! It has a really nice heartbeart to it.

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