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Poetry || Two Poems (Brandon Marlon)

Art: Jagannath Chakravarti

The Sultan’s Tent

Veiled belly dancers gyrated,
delighting patron and guests
gorging on lamb and olives,
rosemary flecks in their teeth.

Feathery fronds spun awhirl
as squirming houris charmed
between swipes at matbucha
or nips of steaming mint tea.

Awaiting sizzling shish taouk,
emirs traded caravan hearsay,
fiercely rivaling one another
with reports of desert ghouls.

Yet within the host’s soul,
a quest for insight stirred,
diverting regal attentions
from tinkling waist belts.

Concerned with obscurities,
he forsook canopied luxury,
envious of unconfined stars,
keen to fathom their secrets.

Realm of Souls

Our preparatory surpassed,
we transcend to the intermediate,
a patient, millennial domain
where the newly disembodied
await, lighten, and grow,
in expectation of Resurrection.

Therefore, deserted grievers,
don no more mourning robes;
cast off the sackcloth and ashes.
The dearly departed are fortune’s intimates.
Ours is a dominion wherein even
the most weary among us recuperate
and the grimiest are laved of tarnish.

Here our essences, purged of dross,
sifted from chaff, glisten with shafts
of primordial light, shards of purity
meticulously reassembled.
The ethereal sphere is our entitlement,
a blessed relief for those overburdened
by the onerous density of destiny,
a welcome release from life’s knotty ravelment.

The greatest of phantasts pales
next to the lowliest of the unillusioned;
molting amid this crucible, we undergo
delicate catharsis and gentle burnish,
to reemerge with wide-eyed enlightenment,
piecemeal and unprecedented.

In the grand foyer of existence
heartfelt strivers edify, polishing the spirit
with fresh measures, well-meaning endeavors,
neither glorious nor ignominious;
yet only through the refining furnace
of posthumous kiln does apotheosis obtain,
where the righteous are crowned and recline,
feasting on the sublime effulgence.

First Published: CultureCult Magazine, Issue Two: November 2015