Saturday, 10 August 2013

Poetry 2013 Shortlist, Talha Ehtesham

Scheherazade’s Last Tale

Moonrise over the empire, like always.
The palace shines like a beacon of hope in the
Middle of the desert. Death looms
In Scheherazade’s mind, like always.

Footsteps. The messenger comes with a royal summon again tonight.
His Majesty’s loyal servant prepares anew
A tale, a shroud and kohl to mask her swollen eyes.
“The night has sent an empty sky” she sighs, “again tonight.”

 Murmurs, a wailing concubine, despair, her poise... a cloud of dust.
A tangle of bone and veins, calls out to her
In a language ancient, of fearful trembling and failing eyes.
In searing pain of love for her captor she starts to weave, a cloud of dust.

A tale of magic and hope, her life’s balance has always been a gamble.
His life ebbs, writhing at each fantastic bend
The curtain draws, just a hand limp at her hem
A gust robs the candle of its flame. The wick’s torment is still a gamble.

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