Percy Shelley’s Heart
Don’t quote what scientists had thought
of the heart that lay unburned
amongst a pyre’s ceremonious coal,
a handful of gold,
on the Tuscan shore.
Don Juan had drowned in an ugly storm
whose wrath had claimed Percy and all
on a voyage of doom,
but Keats’s poems were bound to endure,
enshrined in a pocket in Percy’s coat
to identify his corpse.
In a shroud of silk his heart reposed,
befriending Mary wherever she roamed,
a grail for thoughts.
Her death bequeathed to us what she adored,
wrapped in a poem in which he mourned
the death of Adonais, Urania’s orb.
My totem is a rivulet
I make amulets of the relics of friends.
a few hairs from a feline pet,
the leash of my assassinated dog,
my dad’s watch which malfunctioned shortly before he died.
My talisman is my second sight,
a precognition of events to come:
of seas trespassing over grounds,
of birds remapping their ancient charts,
of bullets rebounding to hunters’ chests,
of Zest depleted of its zest.
Her smile, a charm around my wrist
and words she whispered in my dreams,
I wreathe with lilies to deflect my fears.
With silver blades, Edward sculptured art,
the unique youth endowed with scissor hands,
vying with masters whose fingers carved
I grew to cherish every blade of grass
that Grandma tended in her hospitable house.
Emerald had coloured every childhood trance,
bequeathing to me a fructuous cast of mind.
I view the dubbing of chivalrous knights
with blades of glory from ancient times
and wonder if a woman like myself can earn
the title Knight with a blade of ink.
My flat mate had once informed me
that she could only become expansive
after a glass of intoxicating wine.
I told her I had the opposite problem
for I readily wore an expansive smile
which a friend used to discourage
in our misapprehending times.
I’m aware of this trend for smile enhancements
to which some actors and politicians resort,
but my smile does not serve a purpose,
it does not placate, appease or enthrall.
It merely mirrors an inner comportment.
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Ink Pantry, Mad Swirl, Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, and Down in the Dirt.
You can find more of Susie’s work here on Ink Pantry.