Breaking down cultural barriers
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Friday, 1 April 2011

MinasTololyan - OH, MY BELOVED

The night is like a silent sphynx,
      oh, my beloved.
I, standing on its absent pedestal,
      look for you in the distance –
like an old temple tethered to heaven,
      like an ancient altar,
where artists beseeched dark,
      brooding gods for a muse.

Enthralled, enchanted gardens
with garlands of light and fragments
of a full moon obscured in the hollows,
alongside hidden hands
with white water lilies held tight –
I dread the horror of the night,
and seeing you In all things,
my beloved, I embrace all things
through you, my goddess,
fairest of them all…

My body grows weary wandering.
My feet feel ever so rigid
following paths pledged to lead me
to where you dwell. A spring
of radiance rises in my eyes,
veins of fantasy, strings of daring,
a rage of fire – I am exhausted
ascending the dream I aspire.

In the night – in all these ailing
and wailing things – my soul
is weary of this dark splendor
of my fabled, unfathomed night.
Share your surge, for my cresting love
flows in your froth…
Let me reach your tresses, let me
bring you down, let me ravage you,
so that in my rage, your beauty
may become even more savage…

In the silence – it is like a golden throne
rising on raging waves.
Oh, my beauty, there are more than
a myriad knives thrust in my heart,
and I can only reach my dream
by dying more than once…

Rooftops muttering, while a large cat,
its tail flickering like a phantom,
stalks hopes fallen into the abyss
of infinity.  A full moon -- so full
you fear it to fall like a ripe fruit…
On the trails, coiled, wary shapes
and mean little beams – bits of the moon.
All of eternity tumbles into my eyes,
aflame with these dim and bright things.
My soul – a drifting flotsam,
both shipwreck and shipwrecked –
thrashes amidst the deepest and
most sumptuous of all tempests…

Oh, my beauty, grant me as well
a tiny trace of that night that
tumbled into the depths of your hair –
or one single string of that lyre,
as I strive to be stirred into a storm.

The shrine, suspended from the skies,
stares from the east upon eyes
wet with tears. Stars from the west
look upon a graveyard where
risen dead mill around, yearning to love,
to imbibe once more, to be blessed…
Inside, with my secluded passions,
I gaze down the skylights.
Oh, that dream! All things beyond grasp
glide along the gilded halls,
crucifixes along the walls, heathen
renderings, large, grandiose…

Oh, my heart! I stand on a pedestal,
looking for you far and wide
by that altar suspended from the skies,
in that temple where artists pray
to please their gods…while from the north,
the altar has crashed down into
a desolate, deserted realm -- described
as such in a scroll I read one day in haste.
I recall the zeal that made me delve
into it. I need not fathom now the whole
breadth of disillusion, for today –
sight unseen – I can sense it all.

I bemoaned once having loved you,
tease that you are! With a soul of steel,
arrogant as a new sprout, you barely nod
in respose to the to a breeze of adulation.
You once cried out, “Do not ever love!
Love is a tempest -- total disturbance,
in one’s veins…!” How right you were!
Yet, for once, just once, take me hence…

I know and fear your infinite power
over a poet’s restless and sullen soul.
Oh, my goddess, I kneel down in front of you
I defer to your wile, for you know how
to infuse that sacred potion of fervent
submission into each and every smile…

The night is like a silent sphynx,
oh, my beloved. Standing lost on this
pedestal, let me pine for you in this manner
and offer my prayer with daring insolence.
Purest of all cathedrals, no soiled foot ever
placed its sole on your marble floor…

And along your isles, I never confronted
a mean intruder, lest he be strangled and
slain on the spot. Most Eden-like of all gardens,
which of your flowerbeds ever failed
to bloom? Lucid fountains of limpid sources
shimmer in the intimacy of your heart.
Most beautiful of all maidens, I would trade
a thousand beauties for your eyes.
I would rather cast myself into a raging fire
than live without your love, your sighs…

Oh my beloved -- loftiest altar in all the skies,
let me kneel down and worship once more
in your sun-drenched and night-darkened,
star-studded, searing and cool courtyard…

Minas Tololyan
translated by Tatul Sonentz

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