Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Topkapi

i searched for comfort in history’s
forgotten backyard, a reckless debris
it was: angry stone and mute granite
cobbling together in an ornate dance,
and the wind like a swirling dervish
swaying with the fury of a woman
scorned. the ottoman walls wailed
over memories of miseries enacted here,
and over pleasures that were played out
by the banks of the nearby bosporus –
a pliable backdrop, if ever there was any,
to this decaying palatial harem
where eunuchs and courtiers conspired
to stretch an empire beyond the marmara.
i was all alone when i witnessed all this
from my zephyr burnished perch, an impossible
privilege in the days of the sultan
and now a mere salutary stop
in a tourist’s itinerary. i was perturbed,
to say the least, at what this meant
and found no comfort in pitying
the significance of this moment
as i saw before my eyes
centuries of conquests collapse
into a parable of the inevitable.

© 2005 Ashish B. Gorde

3 comments:

Pragya said...

Really liked how this piece illustrates the transitory nature of things so well. My thoughts often dwell on such matters.

But why the lower case all around?

Ashish Gorde said...

Initially, I had written it in upper and lower case, but it looked a bit too well-structured. That's why, I removed the upper cases to give it a kind of a 'dilapidated' look.

Dan Husain said...

Amazing portrayal and interweaving of history, the physical landscape, the moment, the poet's feeling and the angst of a lost heritage. Brilliant Ashish!