The Art of Subtlety

It is not a surprise that you see at all!

All poets are in love!

You see beauty, and we are surprised.

As I write this, your Beloved waits

Where you hold the unveiled,

Where we all wait for love,

Yet we, excluding you, do not know how

To shiver from a dizzy kiss in the arms of love.

You see your Beloved’s hand on a golden shore

Wreathed in jasmine, bathed in moonlight,

And we, we keep our wings in your hand

Learning your subtlety.

(c) A Hannan


8 thoughts on “The Art of Subtlety

  1. A veil waving nature’s inner secret
    Revealing as it hides my nakedness.
    For wedding ring, a star in my finger
    Sparking madness to the beat of my heart.
    For betrothal, a wreath of unseen wings
    Fluttering around my head nimbus eyes.

    Life kissed me and my child-eyes woke to life
    Laughter, a river roar, and high, white clouds
    And dawn, a ruby sky of blue clearness
    Through these eyes weaving silence, a love cloak
    Revealing lover to lover through frame
    Wide and boundless as the Sahara’s sky.

    I leaped not and my movements stilled and stilled
    And I became a shattered monument,
    A Sphinx beholding ages blow as sands
    From the tower of the naught and nothing.
    With one eye perched on the dome of heaven
    I blinked, the world passed, and I drank its stars.

    An ocean within, God’s white tear, fallen,
    Love’s excess, on my shoulder a burden
    Rising me a pure, fiery feather
    To break as it writes what is unspoken
    And course madness, a river churning hymns
    Of lover-and-lover’s eternal now.


    Just so — the poem that has never been written; that can never be written; that remains unwritten, even now.

    When I read your poem, I cried.

    • In the silence, I will rest my head on my Beloved’s lap…

      I happened upon a flower I did not recognise,
      Its shadow, a guard imprinted with the suns height,
      Admonitions, a gentle nostalgic breeze raising shoulders,
      Mastering curls already tussled, my lips arguing with themselves as I came back to me.
      I closed my eyes and picked a random flower with a blind hand,
      Tempted, its colour brushed across the sky.
      I watched a poet once press the scent beside his heart
      Where it proceeded to advance analogies of death.
      All essence seeks love. When we reach it, robes fall off,
      The petal dies. There is nothing so lovely at all.
      I want this union. Life, slipping to forever, resurrecting an uninhabited us.
      I watch birds; they know the moment to fly.
      I listen to the many fallen leaves; they know when to sing with the wind.
      I learned from the mad man who came to bury me; he told me it was time to meet you.
      I will meet you there in the garden at sunrise, you already know the way.

      • Beloved

        Coming down from the mountain’s peak where winter dwells,
        Fluttering, a child butterfly in the breath of spring,
        You carry the cup of water whence snow’s gaze whispers
        And place it amid noon’s suns on the table of our feast.

        Your eyes, a lake which surface ripples endless my soul,
        Fall still and calm in deep reflection as with a graceful movement
        Your hand enters the deeps of your heart ocean
        And comes back, mirthful and triumphant, brimming with many coloured petals.

        With a hand tangled in mine rooting earth in sky
        And like a heaven showering earth’s eyes with blooms of infinite colour
        Your hand pours into the cup your petals of heart
        Where melting they diffuse a dye of love’s full spectrum.

        Your eyes in mine, your lips, love’s eternal shiver,
        Your hand lifts the cup to the height of who we are
        As in word’s silence you bid me to drink of union’s sap,
        Of the poetry your heart fermented into pure wine.

        Your lips and mine caught breathless on the rim
        As the juice in red undulations of warmth makes wet our mouths,
        Two birds drinking from God’s very palm
        Washing laughter to brilliance in this stream’s purity.

        Sun birthed in cup makes melt our faces
        And as the painter’s brush fails in drawing us apart
        It sinks with us in union painting heartbeats on cheeks
        As eyes cry ecstasy for colour and myrrh for scent divine.

        “Beloved,” not a word but a tune, white and mystical,
        Written with angel’s voices on the tree of life
        Rises from breaths now in fever dying
        And reaching, together flying, love’s clarity, the blue eyes of dawn.

        “A cloud in heaven’s palm, nomadic forever in my Beloved’s sky…

        “From birth to death, I, poetry, am in your heart.

      • Answered Prayer

        At birth, a map of stars whirling in my heart
        Guiding the wind to my eyes
        To rain into her palm,
        Fragments of light, soaked in the crimson wine
        Wandering, a pilgrimage of fireflies
        Into the garden of our love.

        There, an ocean of light filling earth and sky
        Drinks up all the red flowers that blossom and sigh
        A scented breeze, a fragrant salat bearing
        Two names, two hearts pulsing
        And calling us, you and me, calling us, come…


        At birth, a trail of many fallen leaves
        Echoing laughter in your groves of heart
        Guiding the wind to the red river
        Flowing on your shoulders white
        And raining into her palm
        Red and golden cheeks soaked in moon white
        Wandering, a holy procession
        Into the garden of our love.

        There, a sea of delicate wine sinking earth and sky
        Presses in a moon harvest the flowers of white,
        And a pure and fresh breeze whispers a salat,
        A divine breath shaping the contours of two faces
        And painting moon eyes while calling, you and me, come…



        Leaves and stars kissing and burning, oh divine hearth
        Of white and red merging, boundless ocean of love.
        Incense of salat heaves on lips of leaves and stars
        A cloak over the ocean-waves where lost, all is found.



        Dawn over the hills spreads a rosy breath
        As two bodies soaked in the raining dew awake
        Eyes in eyes, arms in arms, lips in lips,
        While a single soul through them flowing
        Writes one name, one heart, one fate.

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