Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scheherazade and Her Master

He had power,
but no soul;
though he was surrounded by wealth,
he believed in nothing and no one;
when his wife found consolation
in the arms of a servant,
in his fury, he dispatched them both.

From that time,
he felt nothing;
people were mere objects
for him to command—
he alone had power over life and death;
the trail of blood
leading out of his courtyard
to the pit of lifeless virgins
provided ample evidence.

Then She came
—what does it matter where She came from?

What happened next made him so dizzy,
he almost swooned:
She opened her mouth and began to speak.

At the sound of Her voice,
he could feel,
and he knew at once:
he was not worthy to lurk in Her shadow,
all his power and erudition meant nothing;
he was but a thin shell, filled only with shame
at his past thoughts, words and deeds.

Her sound looked like sunlight cutting through clouds,
in order to dance on the distant waves of the limitless ocean;
Her voice tasted like berries drizzled in honey;
it intoxicated like wine.

He was mesmerized by Her voice,
yet he was convinced She was no sorceress.

While Her voice rumbled, purred, caressed and sang,
the sun rose,
the mighty waters parted
and land emerged
now before him,
as at the dawn of creation.

The sound that came from Her lips,
it was unlike any other;
ah, it was life itself!

He somehow knew
if he could live within the tone of Her voice,
there was redemption for his soul,
his life would have meaning,
he would be worth something.

To grant Her rest each night,
to nourish Her body,
to bathe Her in rosewater,
to clothe Her in silk
and adorn Her with gold and jewels,
to let Her rule his kingdom
with equity and peace—
this was but the smallest price to pay
for that heavenly, life-giving music.

© 2014 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen