Today’s (optional) prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which, a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves. Whatever form your dream visitor takes, happy writing!
My poem ‘Goddess of the Sea’ is a tribute to Mumbai, the city of dreams, the city that is an enigma to all who see it from far and whose heart beats in every person who lives here.
My poem ‘Goddess of the Sea’.
I, Goddess of Sea
am a mystery to those around me-
enthralled by my golden sunrises,my crimson sunsets,
my swaying palms and fishing boats with nets.
Do you know there is so much more to me
than meets the eye?
A courage, a resilience, a bonhomie in my bosom lie.
You see the imbalance on the flooded streets
The sky scrapers and the blue tarpaulin sheets
But do you not see the joyous camaraderie,
or the hopes and dreams I carry
in the humid breeze that births within my womb
and blows upon this land
And combs every man on it?
You discuss the spectre of poverty,
greed and betrayal that looms over me,
and scorn the tinseltown mask I adorn
But, how dare you judge me, when you hardly know me-
I, have been plundered and pillaged many a time,
my waters maligned by hands stained
and my people, massacred- their blood
spilled on my land and ran my waters red.
Do you not see how I came out stronger each time
Despite the treachery and held my head high?
the Goddess of the sea asked, a storm raging
in her deep blue eyes and her hair, flowing, unbroken, waves
I, gazed in a trance, bowing my head in reverence, and the vision was gone.
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