Friday 21 September 2018


‘Beauty doesn’t last forever,’ the young one said.
Wise heart, serious head.

Time passes, changes everything.
The recording poet remembers everything.

The curve of this tree, mottled with green,
the conch of this shell I may wear as a ring,
the slats of this chair I wrote a wedding poem in,
the sound of the rain pitter pattering -
even my hair curling,
sharp sting of insect biting,
wish I had done something different thinking -
years thundering along.

‘How does it feel to be forty? Tell me!’
The Dutchman says he is dreading it.
‘Wonderful!’ I say, ‘when you’re happy.’
But maybe I mean free, as maybe he is not.

There are types and types of freedom;
we rein ourselves in, and gallop fiercely on.

At night my bed is a pirate ship
loosened from its moorings.
I fight off shadows of Komodo dragons
and bodies of armoured beetles.
Mulan of the Nikoi night, I tamp down
on fear, and hungry midnight yearnings.

If Frida could, I can -
a motto for all time.

Some beauty never fades.
Some women never age.
Power grows smaller,
cupped in their hand.

©Shaista Tayabali, 2018
(participating in DVerse Poets Open Link Night)

This poem was inspired by my niece Isabella, who provided me with the first line after seeing my postcard of Frida Kahlo and learning a little of her life.

DVerse Poets Open Link Night)


Sumana Roy said...

I would love to forever stay in between these two lines: "Beauty doesn't last forever" and "Some beauty never fades. /Some women never age."

scotthastiepoet said...

Vey beautiful writing, Shaista - So many knowing lines here to delight in.... Tahnk you for a marvellous read.

Unknown said...

So glad you directed me here, Shaista! Your poetry flows like a stream of consciousness - engaging and rich with description.

Lona Gynt said...

Powerful subjugation of time to the adventure of dreams in this quiet pinnacle:

Power grows smaller,
cupped in their hand


Frank Hubeny said...

It would seem this is true for any age: "‘Wonderful!’ I say, ‘when you’re happy.’"

Dwight L. Roth said...

Beautiful poem... and the family photos add a wonderful touch!

dorianna ric said...

lovely poem that reads like a dream, enjoyed your photos..thank you for sharing.

Shaista said...

Thanks Sumana!! That’s such a lovely compliment. I’m sure those last lines apply to you!

Shaista said...

You’re welcome Scott. Thank you for stopping by to read me...

Shaista said...

Thank you! Yes that’s just how I do write - in a stream of conscious awareness from start to finish with a few pauses for thought between strings of lines...

Shaista said...

Thank you so much Lona.. Frida always inspires me as do all the women in my life - from the youngest to the oldest...

Mish said...

I think it's so true that freedom depends on perspective. This stanza was so dreamy...."At night my bed is a pirate ship
loosened from its moorings..."
This was a very interesting poem. Sharing your personal inspiration of family through the photos was a nice touch!

brudberg said...

I really love how you tied the initial sentence into the end... maybe beauty does linger on. Wonderful writing, and images.

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