Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Look up! A new heaven beckons the eye:
The cage has sprung open and wings defy
The simple cruelty of mortal men;
Wings were meant for climbing the stair of sky.
“The world is a narrow place” – says the priest
Poet replies – “Ev’ry flower is a feast!”
A single golden iris can confer
The granule of joy which is ever-sweet.
No more contentment than this could I seek
Than to find a grassy pillow for my cheek:
Sink to slumber in pomegranate’s shade
As barbet digs for gems with eager beak.
Or when the dusk sifts light from dark, to hear
The yellow song of the oriole – clear
It calls me from my travail – shall I cry
Today for tomorrow’s unadorned fear?
In my early teens, my grandmother gave me an antique copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald, bound in a burnt sienna suede and decorated with colour plates. It would be hard to say how many times I lost myself in the mediaeval world of Arabia, but certainly it left a lasting impression.
The beautiful fabrics displayed in the prompt Artistic Impressions with Margaret, as well as Margaret's collaborative poem, written with Gillena Cox, Of Nymphs & Gods inspired me to create a mini rubaiyat of my own.
For those unfamiliar with the birds of a South African garden:
Black Collared Barbet
Black-Headed Golden Oriole
I would also like to thank Carl Sharpe for featuring my poem, The Trees Held Their Silence with an audio reading, on VerseWrights this weekend.