Love's ghost

For centuries, your ancestors ruled over
Endless plains and mountains in the East,
A proud nomadic people of warrior-poets,
Then the vagaries of life, took away
From your elders, that given right.

I found you in exile embittered, a pauper,
Languishing in a stultifying city of the West.
With the knowing patience of love,
I nursed you back to life, offering you
A new crown, I did invest you prince-poet.

With such graciousness you accepted,
Dressing me in the robes of your ancestors,
You sung praises to me, your true beloved.
Embellishing me with gems and a crown of
Orchids, humbled by love, you paid homage.

We dwelt endless years, in our secret kingdom
Smoking the pipe of happiness,
And drinking from the cup of love.
Our passion reached farther than the stars and
Grew deeper than the oldest geological strata.

But, though I did purloin the moon for you,
All my love could never bring your beloved
Mountains back, nor buy the respect of your
Scattered people. Or the summer palace north,
Nor riding south with the wind, to winter plains.

Flesh and blood, sorrow and joy, could not
Compete with your opium dreams, that deceitful
Mistress that promised all, but gave you nought.
Yet you, my beloved, in a dream, followed her.

That day, without warning, darkness fell.
For three years long, like a grief-stricken Orpheus,
I roamed the Underworld, clad in widow’s garb,
Tearing my hair, discarding paint and jewels
I cried at passers-by, have you seen my beloved?

Disconsolate Orpheus, I return to this world
Where your ghost comes back to taunt me
With the memory of your amber touch,
The mesmeric voice calling in the night,
Those eyes of liquid gold, in whose depths
I swam so many times, without fear of death.
Today, your ghost struts with such regal mien,
So lissome... that elusive feline grace I know so well.

I pray return to the underworld and sleep,
For your crown is safe, no one can ever take
The place of my beloved khan-poet, but now,
My heart beats again; lay your ghost to rest.