Dialogues without Words (5)

The Meeting at Midnight

She slid from under the car at night,
from out of a pool of oil,
Slithering, black, and up she rose,
first wavering, flat, then taking a form
so rounded, so sensuous – and standing
so close! I saw her beneath that
coiled-up hair – her whole naked self
only inches from me. She was all polished jet…
and yet, no, not so. For with every small movement,
the slightest she made – the breath of her breasts,
their quick rise and fall, the fingers that toyed with her thighs,
the flicker of lashes, her balance adjusted –
brought to life a succession of startling hues,
a swirling and ripple through sinews and limbs,
of sapphirine blues, of glowing wine-reds,
pinks of coralline, salmon; there was sulphurine gold –
emerald, smaragdine green of the Nile;
she was rich-veined and shot through with
lustrous designs that leapt, coalesced, and vanished again…
but behind that display, that mosaic in motion,
a fine, lacquered ebon, her midnight, won through.
With her gloss and her gleaming, my emotions spilled over;
I murmured some nonsense, stepped back in confusion.
She advanced! And with coolness, held me with eyes
of a tigress’s topaz, compelling, ablaze; in a moment,
though, softened to saffron and maize.
And a brave, laughing confidence danced in
those eyes, and I know that she noted, content,
my surprise – that they spoke, wide and silent,
that she knew of my kind. Oh! Her lips, fullest carmine,
and the richest of spoils, now an inch from my own!
And I knew, if they kissed mine, in that kiss I would know
the touch and the taste of moist, ancient soils; of a world
scarce connected with the one that I knew. What did she
seek in me? Why had she come? I shivered. I flushed.
And next – on my cheek – heated breath, brushing, light
Then she passed me, black shadow,
and was lost in the night.

(From ‘Mysteries: Poetic Reflections on Womankind and Love’ )

It wasn’t my intention to post this poem for some little while yet, for some four or five poems and maybe as many months hence, as it seems to me that so many items in my output are concerned with ’the fair sex’ – and I don’t wish to give the readership of The Ig-Og the idea, especially if they have encountered my appraisal of all that is feminine which accompanies the most recent post and are familiar with others which have preceded, that there is some conspicuous preoccupation here. (I am not so inveigled as to realise that ‘There also be women in the world that are but the handsome sepulchres of iniquity’; they undoubtedly are there, but fortunately few, and far from representative of their kind. So although it hasn’t quite happened I wanted, really, to somewhat spread out the poems which follow this theme of the female – which is, in fact, concerned with ‘womankind’, with that unique combination of the intellectual and the visceral in woman, together with the parallel search for/representation of The Eternal Feminine as it appears imprinted upon the European mind, from the untutored to the classical, in mythology, history, and literature. ‘She’ and her ways, along with the related theme of Love, are two things which I confess to have always had a lean understanding and therefore an acute interest; so for this reason, well, yes, it seems likely that at base there is a level of unfeigned preoccupation! The Meeting at Midnight does not, though, adhere nicely to this main theme – it is, unreservedly, an outright celebration of the sheer physical wonder of her, as well as, upon encountering it, the inferred reversal in store for the nympholeptically afflicted soul (inversely, a pitiful blessing it is, too, for those who can receive the gift in no more than self-complacency, a gift looked upon as accepted and commonplace as the ever-recurring miracle of sunrise). So this is an ‘interim’ poem along with its apology, chosen as the kind of ‘undiluted’ item I felt was needed in a hurry just now as a replacement for the poem which, apart from some time-consuming fiddling with its characteristically over-long notes, I already had in hand. It is also the final poem in the Dialogues without Words series.

2 thoughts on “Dialogues without Words (5)

    1. Thank you, Jacydo! Although I say it myself, yes, I was pleased with the ‘mysteriousness’ of this one, and really enjoyed composing it. (I check thoroughly under my car each night now, as you might guess … ).


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