Tuesday, August 6, 2013


© Farouk Asvat

Now that love is dead,
And you, bemused,
Go your whimsical way
I realise

That kindness is a curse
That one cannot live on dreams
The periphery of other lives
The thin moment between life and death
The gesture between love and the ocean

That we have to lead our own lives
For beneath the facade of defiance
Lurks the heart of vulnerability
Even as you offer your lips
And I gaze child-eyed at the laughing parade

It is not easy, my love
The hungry fingers yearn
And the songs of our lives
Keep repeating themselves

            So if it was love
            How come the wind still sings sad songs
            How come the stars still explode silently
            How come the sun barely leaves a shadow
            And my eyes are always moist.

                        Forged by the obscene embrace of cold men
                        In the grey streets of another city
                        The massacre in my eyes
                        Is filled with mournful sighs
                        With the deep anxiety of oppression
                        With the full-hearted laughter of infinite despair
                        With the profound sadness of the universe.

            Yet, sweetly so much you gave so trustingly.
            Was it my chestnut horse's eyes
            That gazed into your gushing blood
            With that no-man-fuck! look?
            Was it the strength of my loneliness
            Or the weakness of my gentleness
            That made you undress
            As eagerly as I sought your searing passion
            With my turgid branch?
            Or was it just another memory
            In a misty haze of faces
            Between saturn rockets
            And the void of space?
            Or was it the first
            Of a thousand and one nights?

There was a time I believed the wind
Believed orchids bloomed in scraggy gardens
Believed I could give you revolutions
Of the infinite galaxies
Believed we could dance on stardust
Sail on solar breezes
Fly on angelwing

            But you released me like a burning asteroid
            Plummeting into myself
            Leaving me only seasand and seashells

                        I did not feel
                        The sandsting in the seawind
                        I did not taste
                        Snoek and sewer in the air
                        I only saw the sea
                        Through armourplate glass

It was then that I realised
That it was in life
That you were unattainable:

            The undulating beauty of the beach
            The knowledge of the stars
            A world of dreams
            Spiralling down
            To suburban gardens;
            It was then I knew
            That nights invite the morning
            Loneliness love
            Desire another delight
            For a bouquet of diamonds
            In a cup full of sorrow.

But still
After all these tears
After all these curses
I cast upon you
I look you in the eye
And lay your restless ghost to rest.

But still
Our lives are bound
By tenuous emotions
By spittle threads
Of tender desires

                        So when you hear me singing
                        Love songs in the wind
                        Know that I am merely weeping

© farouk asvat

composed: 1980 - 1990 [Cape Town, South Africa under apartheid] [w]

[] Acknowledgements:

The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs was previously published in:

                The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs (piquant publications, p12, 2006).

                                new updated version: 2007

                [We Have To Lead Our Own Lives: section previously published in:
                                English Academy Review # 3 (University of the Witwatersrand, p6, 1985)].

© farouk asvat.  All rights reserved.

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farouk asvat can be contacted at:                               farouk.asvat@gmail.com

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