The Poeticians.

Poets sharing words from the Middle East to haunt the lyrical world.

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Simon Armitage- Love and Fear in Dubai

Simon Armitage is here at the Literature Festival in Dubai. I am honored to be performing alongside him tomorrow at an event.
I have loved many of his pieces in the past few years but recently stumbled across this fantastic poem. It felt like he was speaking to me and the man I used to love.
Funny, how poets know these things, they just know. Love in Dubai.
Now, fear in Dubai, as I plan what to read tomorrow in front of him. Love and loss, and death and despair in Syria perhaps.
Shake the placid Dubai ennui a bit.

Enjoy!

To his lost lover

by Simon Armitage

Now they are no longer
any trouble to each other

he can turn things over, get down to that list
of things that never happened, all of the lost

unfinishable business.
For instance… for instance,

how he never clipped and kept her hair, or drew a hairbrush
through that style of hers, and never knew how not to blush

at the fall of her name in close company.
How they never slept like buried cutlery –

two spoons or forks cupped perfectly together,
or made the most of some heavy weather –

walked out into hard rain under sheet lightning,
or did the gears while the other was driving.

How he never raised his fingertips
to stop the segments of her lips

from breaking the news,
or tasted the fruit

or picked for himself the pear of her heart,
or lifted her hand to where his own heart

was a small, dark, terrified bird
in her grip. Where it hurt.

Or said the right thing,
or put it in writing.

And never fled the black mile back to his house
before midnight, or coaxed another button of her blouse,

then another,
or knew her

favourite colour,
her taste, her flavour,

and never ran a bath or held a towel for her,
or soft-soaped her, or whipped her hair

into an ice-cream cornet or a beehive
of lather, or acted out of turn, or misbehaved

when he might have, or worked a comb
where no comb had been, or walked back home

through a black mile hugging a punctured heart,
where it hurt, where it hurt, or helped her hand

to his butterfly heart
in its two blue halves.

And never almost cried,
and never once described

an attack of the heart,
or under a silk shirt

nursed in his hand her breast,
her left, like a tear of flesh

wept by the heart,
where it hurts,

or brushed with his thumb the nut of her nipple,
or drank intoxicating liquors from her navel.

Or christened the Pole Star in her name,
or shielded the mask of her face like a flame,

a pilot light,
or stayed the night,

or steered her back to that house of his,
or said “Don’t ask me how it is

I like you.
I just might do.”

How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
or unravelled her hand, as if her hand

were a solid ball
of silver foil

and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
and measured the trace of his own alongside it.

But said some things and never meant them –
sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.

And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.

2 Responses to “Simon Armitage- Love and Fear in Dubai”

  1. March 10th, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Jameela James says:

    Hi Hind,

    It was a pleasure to catch you and Simon reading at the end of your session in Dubai. I was elated that you read towards the end or I would have missed you. Ran and bought your Anthology “No Where Near a Damn Rainbow” and can’t wait to hear you again someday.

    All the Best,
    Jameela James

  2. March 11th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Hind says:

    Dear Jameela, cant thank you enough for the wonderful words. Am super happy you caught the reading as well. Thank you so so much and hope you enjoy our anthology.

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