For my Counterpart

 

It is to be remembered, that for all our diversity,
the white lily blooms; even in adversity.
All blood is the same and different throughout,
all water is the same in storm and drought.
The sand settles over a puddle of rain,
and rain over concrete will do the same.
A novelist is a creator in all written word;
A musician is an artist in all music heard.


To Antor, thank you for being an amazing counterpart for me in the ICS programme, and please continue to grow after I’ve gone.

From Hannah Watson, July 2017

Jack fruit

Wednesday 21st of June, 2017

The jack fruit ripens and falls from the tree,
Fresh, bulbous, and just for me.
Its flesh is wonderous, not yet rotten:
Crack it open, never forgotten.
How often can taste like this be?
How often is happiness free?

To Nero, with passion.

Oh Nero, true and endless lore,
You will be mine forever-more.
Let tide and time quiver before us,
And speak of Nero, and his love Sporus.
If I can be over-hopeful:
May our love last like shining opal.
May it gleam, white-gold,
and keep all lovers bold,
Glint of green in the eyes of men,
May they fail to carve them, then.
It would repel all scripture and heart:
if you and I were ever to part.
Take my hand up to you lips,
and kiss along my fingertips,
and if you so dare, suck on my forefinger:
I beg you, let your passion linger.
By your eyes the gods were tempted,
I thank them all you were exempted.
Love may be what love can be:
let your mind only occupy me.
I think of you as Achilles did his lover:
Patroclus felt that flame, and did not recover.  
Pluto told us to feel unafraid,
And on his deathbed where he laid;
He wishes all men and men,
As all same and women,
Would find this heartache over stricken;
It will not be sin, and our pride may thicken,
we may trust that it should.
Oh, my love, did you so hurt her that she could
not carry your child to life?
Had she deserved to suffer in strife?
To be loved, and loved in your basking heat
like the sun; sizzling our skin, and meat;
Ripened fruit, and grapes plump and dark.
May our hearts be roots; and your anger be our bark.
May I be a boy as well as I can,
And a better lover, not a man.
Lift my veil and look deeply inside,
All this love i will not hide.
Ut manibus meis, my love, and follow me to shame.
Tongues languid, love, and set our hearts aflame.

 

Read about the true story of Roman Emperor Nero and his second husband Sporus, whom he castrated in an attempt to keep his boyish looks, here.

Bangladesh’s fight for Independence

1971: the becoming

Emerald surrounds blood; mimicking its sheen.
Own it; become it,
it was yours to begin with, and it always has been.
Bangla; golden, even in black.
Two-million in a night, but who’s keeping track?

bdlarge

The CIA World Fact Book tells us that the green of the flag represents Bangladesh’s lush landscape, and the red circle is a representation of the blood of Bengalis shed in the Independence War. To learn a bit more, click here

 

Day three in Bangladesh

Dhaka resounds around us, trying to draw our attention.
It succeeds, usually, with mangoes.
They grow high above the roof; hard to reach,
unless you climb up – and cast your eyes to the city.

Fresh green skin; baby soft, with a light grip that breaks on a pull.
Dhaka tempts you to the cliff edge; sniff and get a nose-full.