The Waters of the Lake are Stil

The wazir was standing before her bed when the queen awoke.

“Where are my poets, my wazir?” She was small and dishevelled in the rolling acres of the bed. “Where is the chorus that lifts me to the day?”

“Today, O My Queen,” said the wazir, “I am your poets and your chorus, and the chanting voices that lift you to the day. This is the poem, O Radiant Dawn, that you bid me write, of you, and for you, and to you.” He bowed low, the formal bow of the poet, hands folded together within his splendourous sleeves.

My love is a sterile island
A rocky shore upon the salt sea
A roosting place for gulls
The black-winged cormorant

My love is the salt sea
The life of ocean fish
The death of river’s fish
Silver bright fish’s death.

My love is the deeps
The crushing blackness
Peopled with milky-white blindness
Luminous horrors.
The endless struggle.

My love is the sea bottom
The soft drift of centuries
The tumbled wrecks, the weedy bones
The slow settling

He bowed lower still, hands even more formally folded away, and then left, in the manner of poets, silently.