Wednesday 16 April 2014


I went to the place where the wild things are
last night, on the trail of the blood moon;
I followed stardust and scalpel stones
to the place beside the runes.

I held my palms, out,
for all the readers to see,
to make what they could of the threads that bind me
behind the smudging
     and the tearing
     and the rearranging
of my soul.

The blood moon passed over
I was bathed in blood
I paid in pain of a different sort
from a different source;

from the place where the wild things are
to the place where the unspeakables are
to the place where the silent are

© Shaista Tayabali, 2014

Phyllis Galembo, professor of fine art at Albany University in New York, celebrates the ritual of masquerade in her portrait photography from Nigeria, Haiti, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin. The carnival characters are rooted in African religion and spirituality, and among the materials plundered are lizard excrement, sugar syrup, tar, coal dust, leaves, cowry shells, sisal. 
Over at the dverse poets pub, the poets have thrown open the floor to interpretation.
I've been wanting to write something about the blood moon, and passover, so last night, I did… 


Unknown said...

I love that you used so many pictures (you're the only one to do that so far.) and a great poem to go along with them... the imagery was awesome - blood moon, illuminating a trail of darkness.


"I held my palms, out,
for all the readers to see,
to make what they could of the threads that weave me" - I'm quite intrigued by palm reading; the lines tell so much... used to have a chart saved that had all the meanings of each one.

Abhra said...

I agree with Anthony there absolutely, you are the only one to draw references to all those visuals and it impressed me a lot how you tied them together so neatly.

Very well done. My first time to your blog and I liked it.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Anthony Desmond at dVerse introduced us to the photography of Phyllis Galembo. It is really inspiring and evoking, don't you think?

Brian Miller said...

so the mysticism you brought to this...the scalpel stones and runes...and you just went from there....reading the palms...i was intrigued all the way through...and you did a great job linking the pics into a story of sorts....

Shaista said...

I couldn't not use more than one picture Anthony - they were so vivid and each so full of narrative.
I'm glad I'm not the only one intrigued by palm readers! My brother had a little old man come up to him in Singapore and randomly ask to read his palm! I think I'd like it someday - just to see, whatever is to be seen. It's a ritual, a kind of magic. ..

Shaista said...

Thank you so much for your comment - sometimes the thing does come together neatly :)
I credit the masked spirits at work!

Shaista said...

I agree! It's one of my favourite things about the literary and artistic blogging community - the discovery of new artists, photographers, poets, creators.

Shaista said...

Thanks so much Brian - whenever I feel the need to up my game, poetry speaking, I visit you dverse folk!
Can't always hold my own with clever variations of formal trickery but sometimes it comes together :))

Anonymous said...

Great job on using so many of the pictures! You tied them all together so well in your poem.

Linda Rogers said...

This is incredibly creative and magical. Adding so many photo's was a great idea.

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