by Duncan Forbes
A ruby lies untouched in a crytal case,
encircled 'round it burn five smokeless coals
of anthracite and moonstone-woven lace
drapes from the glass like tapestry of tulle;--
flanked out on pewter rod hang clocks of jet,
bereft of time despite their damascenes
of mocking gold--in ruffling silhouettes
two bolts of creamy satin cross like beams;-
like pearl-wrought spectres yearning to belong
to such a shrine, unnerving though it seems.
Beyond these satin torsos and among
a panoply of midnight velvet screens
a peacock bronzed conceals his plumes
in sullen contrast to sapphire show;--
his eyes are topaz and his jaunty crown
of milky opals fringed with emeralds
and crescents underneath reveal no lack
of splendour--agate, quartz and peridot
seduce the gaze--this dream vault all
The peacock's wistful gaze now disenthralled;--
it seemed so prescient, like a lover's hand
whose blood veins pulse beneath her ruddy skin,
as her hands stretch to clasp another's hand...
those fingers have dissolved like icicles,
when time and chaos tossed an amulet
of garnet, a remembrance of their stay.
The peacock's profile fades in melting bronze;--
those eyes of burning topaz won't permit
an encore--please, one encore while I
Instead of mundane dreamscapes which repeat.
Could I not steal once more into this chamber's midst?
Could a shamanic spell appeal my case?
Or will old nightmare stealthily blockade
my entrance and this precious site reclaim?