Monday 16 May 2011

Said the Leaf to the Tree

Said the leaf to the tree,
'This year,
let the leaves not fall.
Let autumn not come!'

Replied the tree,
'Brother Leaf,
This is the law of the world.
One leaves. The other arrives.'

Kabir, the mystic Indian sufi, wrote that. Have been carrying such a heavy tired sadness all day. Dawn left on Friday the 13th. Her little joke?! One last joke. Reminding me of Goodbye, Mr Chips... have you read it? One of those perfect novels, that aren't novels, but really friends.
Anyway, this evening, I received an email telling me a poem of mine has 'gone live' in a Chicago medical humanities journal called Hektoen International. I think Dawn was a bit fed up with my tears. Silly billy, she must have thought, and sent something to cheer me up.

It's working. I feel a smile coming on. Only a small one, mind. Am still cross with the tree. But it's not the tree's fault. We come, we go. It's the law of the world. Said the poet.

The other joke is this; the poem of mine published today, is called Continuation Day...

Shaista Tayabali
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Poet’s statement: When I was 18, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, and poetry began to define the landscape of my soul. It saves me now, from needles, night sweats, ulcers, glaucoma, and the general terrors of global happenings. I write, and my soul takes flight. Death is a companion now. Not particularly friendly, but entirely familiar. I see the cloak everywhere, across time, and behind closed doors on the wards. I examine the shadow, inspect it from all angles. And yet, Death surprises me. Poetry is my shield against this temporal existence.
Continuation day

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?
— Rumi

A memory tugged at me
weeding in the garden

I looked up
to hear
your laugh
reach the furthest branches

reminding me
though the light may dim
the birds sing on


Marion said...

How very sad the death of your friend must be making you feel.Congratulations on the publication of your poem. The bitter with the sweet.

Shaista said...

Marion, thankyou, but there is no bitterness here. I see the publication as Dawn's way of reminding me she Continues.
She said she would. And she is a woman of her word :)

Anonymous said...

Very deep. I enjoyed it. My magpie:

erin said...

"Poetry is my shield against this temporal existence."

yes. and so i am glad for the existence of poetry.


Ruth said...

It is a mystical and mysterious truth, that one leaves and another arrives. Bless you. Bless her. Bless this poem leaf.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh Shaista, I so love your writing, your heart, your spirit, which shines, every word from your pen gilded with gold. So sorry about Dawm, but it sounds like she is still close by. Wonderful little surprise, having your poem published - and its title reminds us there are no accidents and something much bigger than we are is going on. I most especially love your poem about how the birds sing on, enchanted. Truly lovely.

Helen said...

Everything you write is beautiful.

Tess Kincaid said...

Shaista, this is really beautiful.

RNSANE said...

You are in my thoughts and your thoughts are in me. I alway love your poetry and your writing. Dawn, what a perfect name. I am sure you are reminded of her every day that dawns!!!

Ella said...

I am sad to read about Dawn; I love the bird poem and your words about the bird singing on. It was sad n' beautiful~

Congrats on being published~

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Shaista - beautiful stuff!

Anna :o]

tarunima said...

beautiful words shaista!:)

Friko said...

Thank you so much for your visit to my blog and your friendly comment.
This is a wonderful post, I speaks to me and touches me in my innermost soul.

* said...

What a magical, softly strong poem, Shaista! Congrats on your publication, although you know you're published thoroughly in my heart already. :)

I've been thinking of you this week while reading the words of Denton Welch in his quietly stunning work, "A Voice Through the Clouds". Have you read it? It is one, I feel, may change your life. (Let me know if you've heard of it, he's an Englishman...)

ds said...

I am sorry for the loss of your friend--clearly, she is still watching out for you. Your poem is stunningly beautiful.

Congratulations on being published!

avecwings said...

honestly... am a very lazy person and seldom visit blogs. But i dont know wat made me just hang on to this one..! I JUST LOVED IT! Your poetry is beautiful! It has penetrated the tough wall that i house around myself...! You have an ocean of LIFE inside you!!! And this shall never PERISH..!!!

UniversalMind said...


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