To L. W.
"The girl whose boyfriend starts writing her love poems should be on her guard, perhaps he really does love her, but one thing is certain: while he was writing his poems he was not thinking of her but of his own feelings about her. --W. H. Auden. ÔSquares & Oblongs,' (1948). The Complete Works of W. H. Auden. Prose: 2. Edited by Edward Mendelson. (Faber & Faber, 2002). 346.
The world goes on and on and on in bleak infinitude
WhatÕs then the harm if I express my woes a little?
Yes I swore to bear all ordeals at your luscious hands
Let me catch my breath a while now, let me repose a little
Never could we rise up to our worth for all to see
Someone had to push us down whenever we rose a little
Seems like no one here has ever heard of loyalty
Could I be blamed if the cynic in me shows a little?
The moon awakens your memories; the moonlight thinks I love her
It shines in all its splendour when my anguish grows a little
If you are about to organize your memories
Juxtapose what is left over, and dispose a little
That long awaited moment came fortuitously and went
Our soul became a fireball, the body froze a little
Although somehow I will manage to relate this saga
Factually IÕll hide a little and expose a little
Everyone I know is wealthy, I a mere poet
Study poetry, speak poetry, and compose a little
By the ponds of apperception beauty sits amiss
Numbed by a know-not number silenced by a kiss
In this season past and pleasant threaten to dissent
We O lunar queen are forced our goings on to pent
Wear O poet! Wear your failures like a fiery rose
Blabber Sapphic ludicrousness, chat in Venus prose*
Rival lovers win and bin the hearts of those we loved
We though Darling still are loyal, you can still be loved
Dawn pangs, bird twitter, dying for a breath
Love seeks not itself to conquer, but to conquer death
* Aphrodite/Venus: Greek goddess of love and beauty, the sea and seafaring and war. Born in Paphos –
Cyprus. Father was Milo, mother: Dione. Lived around 1000 BC. Height: 5 foot 4 inches. Weight: 10 stone 6
pounds. Bosom: 35 inches. Hips: 37½ inches. Said to have been born from the white foam produced by heavenÕs s
evered genitals after its son Cranus threw them into the ocean. Married a Trojan Shepherd: Anchises and bore him 2 sons,
Aeneas and Adonis (killed by a boar whilst hunting).
Love Is Better Than Wine
Don't evade your realm because you think you're weak
Sanctify our hole-and-corner warm white day
Stay and fight the battle with your own physique
Go away and pray
If I ever pass along your street again
Will you hire your boys to hurl abuse at me?
Can we ever (in the same way) meet again
I learn to live with what I've got and just then
Teeming tears of grief, flaccid pain
Tell me what I never had and where and when
My eyes can't contain
Light enough to know our days won't return
And it feels like I am close to passing out
Now the wings of tiny little angels burn
What's love all about?
Grace me with your Chardonnay kisses tonight
Scintillating stature in fur coat soused in
Bathed luminosities and glinting light
Let our life begin
Is it her? (It cannot be) avert your gaze
That jutted jaw-line and the same bare legs
Do your chink and tangle ugly bits amaze?
My loner moon amongst a crowd of stars begs
Words Socratic, words messianic
Your slapdash words go a long way here
Words delivered to prevent a panic
Whispered gently like the doleful air
The unconventional is to me conventional
They tied me up last night with his will
Is it conventional to be conventional?
Puddle-jump highways and byways still!
Burlesque On a Poem by Dylan Thomas
If I were pickled by the nub of love
A frigging girl who took me for a ride
Stole through her laws dissevering my estranged sting
Of the bread tickle as the struggle strove
Stole it to catch a giggle from my tongue
I shouldnÕt bare the battle nor the blood
Nor the glad bud of making
Shall it be stale your tale? Say the harbingers
That stalk the mean girls for their ken
I shouldnÕt bear the butting din of love
If I were skittled by puffed enamours
Searching heartbeat on an oar-edged swerve
I would not fear the null in the groin
Nor the sullen rave
© Rehan Qayoom
Bio: Rehan Qayoom is a poet of English and Urdu, editor, translator and archivist, educated at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has featured in numerous literary publications and performed his work internationally. He has published 2 books of poetry and several works of prose.